LARC NEWS Posted: 11/11/2019 1:11:46 AM


               The superstar showdown between AQHA champion Flash And Roll and three-time derby winner Powerful Favorite in the Grade 1, $1,009,650 Los Alamitos Super Derby lived up to the billing, as the two standouts hooked up early and dueled the entire way in the 400-yard race on Sunday night. In the end, Scott Bryant’s brilliant filly Flash And Roll held off the terrific Powerful Favorite by a neck in one of the races of the year.

In the process, Flash And Roll posted a history triple of stakes wins, as she became the first Quarter Horse to win the Golden State Million Futurity, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Super Derby. The filly by First Moonflash also improved her lifetime record to a perfect six for six at the Orange County oval. Ridden by Cody Jensen for trainer Justin Joiner, Flash And Roll earned $424,053 for the win to take her career earnings to $1,689,718. Her lifetime bankroll moved her into the top 20 in career Quarter Horse earnings. Her earnings figure actually places her 19th in the all-time list, $64,605 away from tying the great Dashingly for 18th place. Flash And Roll covered the distance in :19.516, the fastest time in this race since Heza Dash Fire won in :19.46 in 2015.

Now a winner of 10 of 13 starts, Flash And Roll will have a big opportunity to earn more dough, as her victory in the Los Alamitos Super Derby also earned her a provisional berth into this year’s Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions on Saturday, December 14. With an unbeaten record at Los Alamitos, Flash And Roll figures to be one of the favorites when she hooks up with ageless warriors like BH Lisas Bly, Zoomin For Spuds and Katies Easy Moves – just to mention a few - in the 440-yard Champion of Champions. Flash And Roll will also be one of two sophomore fillies in the race, as Steve Burns’ Tequila Sangria earned a berth when she beat older mares in the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap.  

Starting from post number five as the 3-2 second choice in the wagering, Flash And Roll left the gate right next to Apollitical Pence. The Julianna Hawn Holt-bred filly took the lead shortly after and retained command from there, even though Powerful Favorite was breathing down her neck the entire way.    

“I got away from the gate like a rocket,” said Jensen about his ride on Flash And Roll. “As good as I got away I thought I’d get the jump on everybody. We hit the ground that first time and Powerful Favorite was right with me, maybe a head or half-a-neck behind me. The race was on. It was a dogfight from the first jump. Those two extremely good 3-year-olds just hooked up and ripped down through there. I was telling Scott Bryant that most of her races have been so easy when she’s won or in the races where she’s gotten beat, they’ve been a disaster right off the bat. That was the first time she’s really been in a dogfight. I was very impressed at how she handled herself and really dug in and did what it takes to get there first. It was impressive because a lot of times a horse that hasn’t really been challenged as hard like she was today you don’t know how they will do until they get hooked in a battle. She outfinished (Powerful Favorite) there at the end. I would not have guessed that a little - maybe 900 pound - filly would have outkicked that big (gelding) on the end. I thought I had the quickness advantage over him, which was negated as good as he broke today. She actually was the stronger finisher tonight. I was very proud of her.”

The great G.R. Carter piloted Flash And Roll in her futurity wins at Los Alamitos last year, but Jensen was very familiar with this champion.

“I chased that filly a lot last year,” he added. “I watched her a lot because first and foremost I’m a fan of horse racing. I love good horses. I love watching her run. I loved chasing her. The only thing I didn’t like was not riding her. As much as I paid attention to her - and I worked her in Ruidoso before the All American trials, and galloped her a few times here last year - I kind of knew her a little bit. She’s a filly that enjoys her job. She’s kind of always on edge. She was a little wound up tonight in the post parade. It takes a minute to get her to settle. The pony person, me, the head-man, no one can manhandle this filly. It just doesn’t work out. The guys at the gate they know her so well and really handle her light. I handle her light. We know her and get along really well with her. She’s a really smart filly, she just lives on the edge.”

Trainer Justin Joiner saddled Bodacious Eagle to win the Champion of Champions last year and will now have a solid chance to make it back-to-back victories in the prestigious race thanks to Flash And Roll.

“I’m just glad that filly has come back the way she has,” Joiner said. “I’m glad to have this race. They really put up a pretty good horserace today. I was wondering if that horse was going to close in on us, but she seemed to get another gear down here and did her job. I’m sure glad she finished. In All American Derby she actually got away really well. She got bumped around good. One of the horses got disqualified. She took it pretty hard. The first couple of weeks down here I was just trying to put her back together and really hoping that it didn’t affect her mentally. It didn’t seem to. Sometimes a change of environment really helps.”

And the Los Alamitos environment suits her perfectly. Four for four last year and now two for two here in 2019. She won her Super Derby trial and in the fastest qualifying time and now posted this victory to hand Powerful Favorite his first loss of the year in eight starts.

“She really likes it her,” Joiner said. “I don’t know maybe she likes the beach. Just looking back, it’s kind of surreal. You start a whole new year and I’m so focused on looking forward and what we need to do that I tend to forget what we’ve accomplished, but maybe that’s a positive thing. Cody Jensen really fits that filly as well as G.R. I think. Cody is one of the best finishing riders that I’ve ever seen. He gets them away from the gate so well and he’s really quiet on top of a horse. She likes that. He didn’t panic at the end, he just rode her. She responded. It’s always tough to go against seasoned horses and out here I call them extremely seasoned. You got some 6 and 7-year-olds that are running as well as when they were four, maybe even a little better. They’re a salty bunch of horses. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot. It’s much harder for a 3-year-old to compete against older horses, but we’re only about two months from having to go against older horses anyways. We are not certainly not scared. We’ll give it our best show and hopefully it ends like today.”

  Trained by Chris O’Dell for Rosenthal Ranch, Powerful Favorite earned $171,641 for his second place finish. This was his first loss in eight starts this year. The son of Favorite Cartel is also 0 for 3 in stakes races against Flash And Roll. This, however, was his closest finish against the champion filly.

“She broke faster, but were coming after her,” said Eduardo Nicasio, the rider of Powerful Favorite. “As he was running, my horse moved towards the inside during one stride. That’s when she got away from us. My horse came back after her, but she kept getting away from us. I love my horse at 440 yards and would love an opportunity to see him at that distance. I would love a rematch against her this year. I thought we were going to beat her this year, but she got us again. She’s a very fast filly. She ran strong.”

Dunn Ranch’s Apollitical Pence was quick out of the gate, but couldn’t keep up early with the two leaders. He remained third throughout for trainer Monty Arrossa and jockey Jesus Rios Ayala. The son of Apollitical Jess earned $121,158 for running third. Corona By Corona, Red Hawk Cartel, Dexxter, Ali Babe Foose, Bail Czech, and Symbol Of Faith completed the field. Especially Tres PYC was scratched due to a high temperature. Trainer Paul Jones expects Especially Tres PYC to recover fully in a few days.


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