Stablemates Nellie Delaney and Bon Accord have already secured berths to the prestigious Grade 1 Champion of Champions to be held in December and now a third horse will be looking to join the field in Sunday's running of the Vessels Maturity at Los Alamitos.
Ten runners will be in action in the $163,300 Vessels Maturity headed by World Champion Last To Fire, the reigning Champion of Champions winner, and fastest qualifier Far Niente. Owned by Jesus Cuevas and Jesus Avila, Last To Fire won last year's Vessels Maturity impressively and he'll be looking to not only repeat as the winner in this race, but also get back into the Champion of Champions. The last horse to win back-to-back runnings of the Vessels Maturity is Be A Bono in 2005-2006. Eduardo Nicasio will be aboard the son of Walk Thru Fire, who has won eight of 20 career starts. Sergio Fiscal will saddle Last To Fire, who ran second in his trial to Howard Nichols' talented Jess Being Valiant.
Atwood Ranches and Vessels Stallion Farm's Far Niente (above) looked tremendous in winning his trial by 3/4 lengths in the night's fastest time of :19.68. To be ridden by Saul Ramirez for trainer Jose Hernandez, Far Niente won the $233,000 Golden State Derby last year and has also appeared in several other stakes events.
Hector Hernandez's Tres Coronas Mas and the aforementioned Jess Being Valiant posted strong trial wins. Jess Being Valiant, who ran second to Far Niente in last year's Golden State, won his trial by a neck in :19.73. Trainer Jaime Gomez will be going after his first Vessels win. Tres Coronas Mas posted a similar neck win and will now race from the outside post number 10. Purchased by the owner from Vessels Stallion Farm, Tres Coronas Mas ran third in last year's Southern California Derby. Once Over, a multiple stakes winner already this season, PCQHRA Breeders Derby winner Significant Heart, Seperate Interest, Jess Featureme Quick, Creole Williams and the nine-year-old Time For A Royal Dip will complete the field.
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