Bella Valenzuela’s 2-year-old colt Opt Out, a full brother to 2020 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby runner-up You Can Run, can also run.
The colt by Favorite Cartel and out of the Walk Thru Fire mare You Can Fly was impressive in his racing debut, as he took control of the race right from the start before pulling away with each stride on the way to a 1 ¼ length win in race number eight. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Opt Out (photo) covered the distance in :15.775.
“We are really pleased with this horse,” Flores said. “Hopefully, he can continue on this path. If we can keep him sound and stay smart just like he is been so far, we’ll be very happy with him. He is an honest horse. We did not ask him during his morning works. We just let him roll through there. He ended up doing everything right. I always like it when a horse wins like he did tonight. It is a good feeling. The Ed Burke Million Futurity trials (on June 7) will be his next start. Maybe we’ll just give him a little breeze in between starts just to keep him sharp and go from here.”
Opt Out, who was purchased for $43,000 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, was bred by Dr. Steve Burns, the 2019 AQHA champion breeder.
Owned by Absolute Refrigeration AC/Htg, Jess Cartel Eyes was cool as ice in the sixth race on Saturday. The filly by Corona Cartel took the lead shortly after the start and sailed from there to post a ¾ length win in a time of :15.874. Out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Racy Eyes, Jess Cartel Eyes was purchased for $30,000 at the Ruidoso Sale. She was bred by Vince Genco and the late John Andreini. Jess Cartel Eyes is a half-sister to Oklahoma Futurity winner Fetching Beauty.
Trained by Paul Jones, Jess Cartel Eyes was ridden to victory by Armando Viramontes, who picked up the mount after leading rider Jesus Rios Ayala injured his ankle in the post parade. Rios Ayala did not ride the remainder of the night.
A track record single night handle was set on Saturday at Los Alamitos, breaking the previous record set just 24 hours earlier on Friday night. The handle for the nine-race card was $2,843,573 eclipsing the $2,466,567 wagered on Friday’s nine-race card at Los Alamitos. The new record handle at Los Alamitos was highlighted by an Early Pick Four pool of $442,781, a figure that was more than $106,000 more than the previous record Pick Four pool here of $335,918 set two weeks ago on April 11. The racing action continues at Los Alamitos on Sunday night with a 5:05 p.m. first post. Los Alamitos remains closed to the public and only essential personnel and staff allowed inside the facility.
Ridden by Minor Arana for trainer Jesus Nunez, the Thoroughbred mare Sharpest One won the third race at odds of 98-1 on Saturday night. Sharpest One returned a season high $198.60 for the win. As a result of Sharpest One’s upset win, the $1 Place Pick All returned a season high $20,464.