Trials will be held on March 7-8
The first running of trials to the Los Alamitos Oaks, previously known as the La Primera Del Año Derby, and trials to the Grade 3 El Primero Del Año Derby will highlight the racing program at Los Alamitos Race Course on the weekend of March 7-8. The Oaks trials will take place on Saturday, March 7 with the $400,000 estimated final set for March 28. The El Primero trials will be held on Sunday, March 8 and final for colts and gelding will be contested on March 29. Here’s a look at some of the top contenders that are eligible to race in these trials:
LOS ALAMITOS OAKS TRIAL CONTENDERS:
Cartel Jess Rockin (photo) – The 2019 AQHA champion 2-year-old filly had a nightmare journey in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby final, as she was bumped on both sides and lost her racing path while finishing last. Fortunately, the Favorite Cartel filly returned from the race in good shape and figures to be one of the marquee names in the Oaks trials.
Chocolate Divinity – Has finished in the top three in eight of her lifetime starts. She looked tremendous when posting an allowance victory on February 9 and is no stranger to nice performances in trial races after finishing second in her Golden State Million Futurity trial and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trial in 2019.
Dreams Divine – Has never been lower than third in her six career starts and exits a beautiful looking victory in the AB What A Runner Handicap when posting a half-length victory in a time of :17.594 on January 25. She finished second to Flokie by a nose in last year’s (G1) Ed Burke Million Futurity and was third in the (G2) Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity.
Fayvorite Chick – Had a nice finish to her freshman campaign last year when hitting the board in each of her last three starts of 2019. Much was expected of her in her trial to the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on January 26, but she had tough trip and was eventually disqualified from fourth and placed sixth due to interference.
Fearless N Favorite – Exits a beautiful victory when posting a 1 ¼ length win at 330 yards in a time of :16.851 on February 23. Finished second in her Maiden trial two races ago.
Getit Now – Has never been out of the money, while running in the top three in her six career starts. Finished third against allowance foes in most recent outing vs. Chocolate Divinity on Feb. 9. She covered the distance in :17.091 in that 330-yard dash.
Jessafamouslady – Wonderfully-bred had a promising patch early in 2-year-old season, but has finished out of the money in her last three outings. Ran fourth in an allowance event versus the boys on February 8.
Melisa With One S – One Famous Eagle filly won her debut while at Ruidoso Downs on August 11. Arrived at Los Alamitos following that race and was fifth in a recent allowance dash versus the boys – a race won by Maximo II.
One Sweet Change – Finished third to Dreams Divine in the AB What A Runner Handicap at 10-1 odds. Was seventh in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year. Will enter the trials after working :12.20 handily on February 15.
Southern Wagon – Has not raced since posting a fourth place finish in her trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on November 24. She was sixth in the (G1) Golden State Million Futurity on November 3 and approaches the trials after working 350-yards from the gate in a time of :18.10 on February 11.
Suite Expectations – Finished third against the boys in an allowance race on February 10. Was second in the Autumn Handicap last year when covering the 350 yards in :17.786 versus Los Alamitos Winter Derby final Just Be Real. Finished fourth in the Golden State Juvenile at 400 yards.
Ventura Jess JQM – Apollitical Jess filly won her first start of 2020, but has finished fourth and sixth in her two most recent starts. Qualified to the (G1) Ed Burke Million Futurity last year.
Wambui – She was 4-1 in the AB What A Runner, but could only muster a fifth place finish in that race. She finished second in her Two Million Futurity trial and second in an allowance event prior to the AB What A Runner.
EL PRIMERO DEL ANO DERBY CONTENDERS
Black Jack MV – From the family of champion Good Reason SA, he won his Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes trial on January 26 before running seventh in the final in a still nice 350-yard clocking of :17.751.
Chickititas Favorite – Has won three of his last four starts, including the Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational Stakes and Golden State Juvenile Stakes. Qualified to the (G2) Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity last year. Worked 350 yards in :18.60 on February 6.
Close To It – Enjoyed a three-race win streak during his freshman campaign. Finished fifth in his trial to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby.
Corona Required – Finished second to Maximo II in his last start when covering the 300 yard allowance race in a swift :15.417 at 6-1 odds. Finished sixth in the (G1) Ed Burke Million Futurity last year.
Diamond Rock – Son of Parsons Rock finished second in an allowance event on February 8 while making his first start since September 14. He won his (G2) Robert Adair Kindergarten trial last year and then finished ninth in the final.
Doctor Gene – Has made only two career starts. Won his maiden race in his last outing while covering the distance in a solid time of :15.682. He’s a half-brother to AQHA champion mare Quirky.
Flokie – One of the most accomplished 2-year-olds of 2019. He ran third in the (G1) Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and won the (G1) Ed Burke Million Futurity. An earner of $704,253 in his seven-race career, he worked 350 yards from the gate in :18.40 on February 11.
Furyofthehuracan – Ran second to Mister Tornado in an event for $20,000 claimers in his last out on Feb. 8. Was second in 110-yard allowance race to Hoodalum on January 12.
Interesting Bar – Posted a nice ½ length allowance win on January 24 in a 330-yard time of :16.824. Last year, he finished third in Los Alamitos Two Million trial and was third to Just Be Real in the Autumn Handicap.
Mental Effort – Classy runner was a bit fractious before the start of the Los Alamitos Winter Derby, but ran solidly throughout to finish third in the Grade 1 event at 400 yards. He covered the Winter Derby distance in :19.717 at 12-1 odds.
Mister Tornado – Has won four consecutive races, albeit all have come in the claiming ranks. Most recent win was against $20,000 claimers when posting a 330-yard time of :16.753 on February 8.
Old School Icon – Finished fourth in his Los Alamitos Winter Derby trial and second in the Corona Chick Handicap last year. Qualified to the Wild West Futurity in 2019.
Pay Me In Front – Finished fourth in an allowance test on February 16 and had won a pair of allowance event prior to that start. Was second in a Two Million Futurity trial last year.
Pesky – He’s a high caliber runner, who ran third in his Winter Derby trial and Two Million trial. Finished second to Chickititas Favorite in last year’s Golden State Juvenile Stakes.
Runforyourlife – Full-brother to 2019 El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Powerful Favorite. Won the (G1) Golden State Million Futurity last year and was a finalist to the (G1) Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. His last start came in the trials to the (G1) Los Alamitos Winter Derby.
Sass Go Blue – The winner of the (G2) PCQHRA Breeders Futurity ran a strong fourth when sent off at 22-1 odds in the (G1) Los Alamitos Winter Derby final. Finished strongly in the derby.
Sounds Good – Fourth in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes final when covering the 350 yards in :17.66. Was second in a trial to the Maiden Stakes and before that was a nice maiden winner.
Tell Cartel – Winner of the (G1) Los Alamitos Winter Derby when improving from fifth to win by ¾ lengths under hand urging at 17-1 odds. Favorite Cartel colt won the race in :19.610. Ran second in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year.
You Can Run – Was tremendous in the trials to the (G1) Los Alamitos Winter Derby when winning by daylight in the fastest qualifying time. Returned to finish second in the 400-yard final to Tell Cartel in a time of :19.709. He out nosed Mental Error for second in that race.