LARC NEWS Posted: 7/12/2019 10:57:14 PM


             Steve Burns’ homebred filly Tequila Sangria posted her second consecutive impressive victory of the year, once again defeating males to win the $15,000 Big Lew Handicap on Friday at Los Alamitos.

            Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala from post number one, the Favorite Cartel filly was outstanding right out of the gate, as she broke nicely before flying to the lead at about the halfway point of the 350-yard race. Tequila Sangria continued to pull away from her rivals from there, crossing the wire 1 ½ lengths ahead of multiple Grade 1 stakes finalist Dexxter to win at 7-1 odds. Tequila Sangria covered the distance in :17.505.

            “We’re real proud of her,” trainer Mike Casselman said. “I knew we could have gotten her in a little easier, but this stakes came up and we wanted out a few weeks here before the next set of derby trials. We opted to go in this direction. I wasn’t sure that it was a good decision, but she ran really well against tough company last year and she came into this race doing well. We’re happy with her.”  

            Tequila Sangria, who scored an allowance win by a neck in her 2019 debut on June 14, will now start preparations for the Grade 2 Golden State Derby trials on August 4. She ran in the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity last year. Tequila Sangria earned $8,250 for the win to take her career earnings to $38,510. She’s won three of five career starts.

            Howard Nichols’ Dexxter, who finished fourth in the Grade 3 El Primero Del Año Derby on March 31 and second in the Dillingham Handicap in his previous start on May 18, earned $3,375 for his runner-up effort. The Corona Cartel gelding was a two-time Grade 1 finalist last year, qualifying to the Ed Burke Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. K & R Allred Ranch LLC’s Arizona Favorite, a winner in his 2019 local debut on June 22, finished third. Ali Babe Foose, SC Coronada, and High Flier completed the field.


         Richard Frandsen’s Favorite Motion, who posted the fastest qualifying time to the Golden State Million Futurity before running fourth in the Grade 1 final, scored an eye-catching 1 ¾ length victory in his first outing of 2019 on Friday at Los Alamitos. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, the Favorite Cartel gelding was a clear leader right from the start, cruising to an easy victory – his third in six career starts. Favorite Motion is eligible to race in the trials to the Golden State Derby and Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby. He covered the 330-yards in :16.719.


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