Los Alamitos Winter Derby finalists Spirit Leader (left) and Mr Its Country Time are among the talented sprinters racing in the $20,000 James Smith Memorial Handicap on Sunday at Los Alamitos. The feature event is named in honor of one of the most influential racing executives ever at the Orange County oval.
Owned by Abigail Kawananakoa and trained by Paul Jones, Spirit Leader enjoyed his most successful race of his young career when he finished a game second to the talented Viva Mi Corazon in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on February 15. The son of Corona Cartel has been facing nothing but top runners in his career. He was also the runner-up to Viva Mi Corona in the Winter Derby trials and prior to that he faced El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Moonist in the $35,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational Stakes last season.
Jesus Garera Garcia’s Mr Its Country Time won his Winter Derby trial by a half lenght over the talented Dynasty Of Habits before running fifth in the Grade 1 finale. He actually finished ahead of Spirit Leader in the aforementioned Juvenile Invitational while hitting the board in five of seven lifetime starts. Juan Aleman trains the gelding by Country Chicks Man.
Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Well And Good, Holiday Handicap runner-up Another Storm, the stakes placed Sadie Sis and allowance winner China Wall will complete the field. The card will also include the debut of Balgo Racing’s Pink Berreta, who has sizzled in the morning with a pair of bullet drills. She’ll race in the fifth. Celina Molina’s Viento Negro is another talented colt to watch on Sunday.
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