Wood Pair Lead Winter Derby

SS Paydirt and Viva Mi Corazon headline a tough Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Q-Racing Journal
February 12, 2014

Trainer Trey Wood brings out two powerful contenders – SS Paydirt and Viva Mi Corazon – to lead the $196,600 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Richard Frandsen's homebred SS Paydirt (Carters Cartel-Mia Ta Fame by Dash Ta Fame) is close to being undefeated. The gelding’s record shows five wins from seven starts, though his two losses came when he was disqualified from the win in the $114,656 Bitterroot Futurity (RG3) at Les Bois Park and then finished fourth at 2-1 odds in the $151,500 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos after being knocked around at the start. He also had unfortunate luck when he was supplemented to the All American Futurity (G1) trials at a cost of $50,000, and though he won his trial did not have a time quick enough to advance to the $2.6 million final.

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After his fourth-place finish in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship, SS Paydirt moved from the Blaine Hadley barn (which is based in Utah) to remain at Los Alamitos under Wood’s care.

In his first start for Wood, SS Paydirt dominated his Winter Derby trial by a length over fellow qualifier Ms Perry (Mr Jess Perry-Runaway Shaker by Runaway Winner). SS Paydirt raced to the fastest-qualifying time of :19.476 for 400 yards while Ms Perry checked in with the seventh-fastest time of :19.808 in the third of four trials.

The 2013 champion owners Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches LLC send out their Viva Mi Corazon (First Down Dash-Miss Sin Tacha by Mr Jess Perry). The horse has found a winning home at Los Alamitos with four wins, including in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2), and a second place in the $1,916,525 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) as the 8-5 favorite from five local outs for Wood. In the Two Million, he was bumped on both sides at the start and still managed a runner-up finish.

After the Two Million, Viva Mi Corazon returned in the Winter Derby trials to his winning form. He ran strongly to a half-length win at 2-5 odds and put up the second-fastest qualifying mark of :19.528.

Jesus Garera Garcia’s Mr Its Country Time (Country Chicks Man-Abstinence by Special Effort) has been moving forward in his latest two starts. The gelding from the Raul Valenzuela barn was third in the $35,000 Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile (R) and returned to take his Winter Derby trial by a half length at 9-1 odds. His time of :19.547 was the third-fastest clocking.

The Vessels Stallion Farm LLC’s homebred Dynasty Of Habits (FDD Dynasty-One More Habit by Apollo (TB)) was the 3-2 favorite and finished second to Mr Its Country Time in their trial with the fourth-fastest time of :19.612. She has the stakes resume, having finished second in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, and has finished first or second in her latest four starts.

Ronald Hartley’s Moonist (Separatist-Your First Moon by First Down Dash) moves up to the graded stakes level after winning the $35,000 Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile and the Golden State Million Juvenile (R). The John Cooper-trained gelding rolled to a half-length win in the Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile and held on for a neck tally in the Golden State Million Juvenile. He won his Winter Derby trial by a neck with the ninth-fastest time of :19.846.

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