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Check My Thoughts Fastest in So Cal Derby Trials

Check Him Out gelding aiming for second Grade 1 win at Los Alamitos.

December 3, 2012

Ed Allred’s Golden State Derby (G1) winner Check My Thoughts continued his stellar 2012 campaign by posting the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 1, $170,900 Southern California Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

The Southern California Derby is the meet’s final Grade 1 race of the season and will be held during a special daytime program on Sunday, December 23. All three of that weekend’s programs on December 21 through the 23 will begin at 2 p.m. at Los Alamitos and the Southern California Derby will certainly be the biggest race of the weekend. Check My Thoughts figures to be that weekend’s biggest star, as the son of Check Him Out will enter the final after winning his trial by an impressive 1 ¼ lengths while covering the 400 yards in :19.967 over a track labeled as good following some rain. Ridden by Eulices Gomez and trained by Jimmy Glenn, Check My Thoughts has never finished out of the top three in 13 career starts. A winner of five races, Check My Thoughts won the Golden State Derby on August 26 and was also the third place finisher in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby.

“I’m so glad for Eulices and for Jimmy Glenn,” Allred said. “Check My Thoughts wanted to get out and then wanted to get in, but he got rolling at the end of the race. His mother is Just Think, who qualified to the Ed Burke Futurity (G1). She was a pretty good filly and a good young broodmare. We’ve been unlucky with the health of some of her babies, but we’ve been fortunate with Check My Thoughts. Just Think’s breeding is from the family of horses bred by Jay Parsons and his family. I’ve always tried to get in that family of horses.”

Just Think also ran third in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and competed in the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG1) and Charger Bar Handicap (G1). In addition, Just Think’s mother, Toltackitt, ran second in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity, while her granddam Bandolanty is a half sister to champion Sig Hanson and to Lantys Pennant, the mother of Pennants Headlight and Think Landy, who is the mother of the great champion marathoner Sign Of Lanty.

Jimmy Glenn had his concerns prior to Check My Thoughts’ runaway victory.

“I was worried to death about the mud,” Glenn said. “He flew out of the gate. I was so impressed by the way he raced. I feel like he’s really peaking right now. He’s getting bigger and stronger and I’m pleased where he is at right now.”

Glenn also credited the young pilot, Eulices Gomez, for another good performance on the saddle.

“I rode a little bit in my youth so I think I have a good perspective of what a good ride is and sometimes it bothers me when people think that just because you win a race that that must have meant that the jockey rode a great race,” Glenn said. “That’s not always the case. Eulices, meanwhile, has now ridden Check My Thoughts in three Grade 1 stakes races and if you go back and look at the video of his rides, he rode those races flawlessly. When the pressure of a Grade 1 race is on, he is really great. He rides great when the money is on the line. Now, I have chewed him out before for a ride in a $2,500 maiden claiming race, but overall, when the pressure is on, he has been great. Plus, he’s also one very good kid.”

Last To Check Him, owned by Jose and Gustavo De La Torre, finished as the second-fastest qualifier after a half-length victory in the third of four trials. This was her first win of the year. Last To Check Him won this race over her half brother, Last To Fire, who was saddled by Elena Andrade for owners Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas. Last To Check Him and Last To Fire are both out of the stakes winning mare Last Shall be First and were bred by the Estate of Spencer Childers. The two of them have faced each other before in big money races, as they also qualified to last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) and this year’s Golden State Derby.

San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Our Man David and Steve Burns’ Attack The Cartel also posted trial victories on the night. Other top qualifiers include Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) winner Kobe and 2011 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge winner Shez Jess Toxic. The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Check My Thoughts (:19.967), Last To Check Him (:19.988), Last To Fire (:20.065), Our Man David (:20.147), Shez Jess Toxic (:20.149), Kobe (:20.151), Attack The Cartel (:20.180), La Corona Cartel (:20.188), Consider (:20.191) and Mai Corona (:20.291).