Revv Me Up Tops La Primera Trials

Stel Corona filly breaks maiden with fastest time at Los Alamitos.

March 17, 2013

John and Cina Sperry’s Revv Me Up had a memorable first win, as the daughter of Stel Corona broke her maiden while posting the fastest qualifying time to the $200,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) for fillies on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer by Paul Jones, Revv Me Up picked up her first win in nine starts thanks to a solid three-quarter length score in the fourth and final derby trial of the night. Bred by Jones and Keilani Farms, the sorrel filly covered the 400 yards in :19.737, which was 12/100ths of a second faster than the next fastest qualifier. Revv Me Up had been runner-up a total of six times in her career, but her record included appearances in the 2012 Kindergarten Futurity (G2) and Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and also a second place finish in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on February 24.

But even after delivering a much anticipated victory for her connections, Revv Me Up still made them wait. In fact, she almost skipped the winner’s circle presentation altogether after she threw her rider to the ground during the gallop out following the race.

“We were between two horses and all of the sudden she put on the brakes and I went down,” said Sanchez, who did get back on Revv Me Up for the winner’s circle photo.

“She got spooked and ducked out,” Jones added. “Fortunately Ramon is okay and she also looks fine. I was afraid that she was going to run into the fence or something like that. I’m happy that she finally broke her maiden and maybe she’ll get into a winning habit.”

“She looks okay so that’s important,” Sperry said. “And we got our picture taken.”

Headed by Revv Me Up, the fillies with the 10 fastest times will return for the La Primera final on Saturday, April 6. San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Fireworks, Gustavo De La Torre’s Lavish Susan and Parsons Ranch’s Tiny Taz were the other trial winners. They also qualified to the 400-yard final.

Ridden by Reuben Lozano for trainer Danny Montes, Fireworks finished with the second fastest qualifying time of :19.856 with her half-length length victory over Jose and Gustavo De La Torre’s Slightys Mac A Tac in the third trial. The two fillies had raced against each other in the 2012 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2), but this was Fireworks’ first outing since that start.

“She hurt herself a little bit in the Breeders’ Futurity,” said Jorge Carmona of San Gregorio Racing Stables. “She hit the outside part of her leg during the race. We decided to turn her out after that race. She wasn’t paid into any other big races last year so we chose to give her time off. She had already broken her maiden so she wasn’t eligible to the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes and she was still laid off around the time of the Winter Derby trials. I talked it over with our trainer and we just decided to wait until the La Primera trials. She’s now using an outside patch on her leg so she has some protection. We’re happy with the way she ran. The La Primera is a great race because it gives these fillies a chance to build their hearts for the other derbies that are coming up.”

Fireworks has a busy season ahead, as she’s eligible to run in the trials to the Golden State Derby (G1), PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G3), Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) and Southern California Derby (G1). Carmona’s San Gregorio Racing Stables partnered with Jose and Gustavo De La Torre to campaign the 2012 World Champion One Dashing Eagle. They were also named AQHA champion owners last year.

Manual Lorenzana’s Secretly Hot finished strongly while running second to Revv Me Up. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Jesse Godinez, Secretly Hot stopped the clock in :19.887 to post the third-fastest qualifying time. The daughter of Walk Thru Fire has done well in previous stakes races, as she won the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) and Holiday Handicap last year. She’s hit the board in seven of 10 career starts while earning $177,965.

Ridden by Francisco Rubio for Parsons Ranch, Tiny Taz won the opening derby trial while tying with Slightys Mac A Tac for the fourth-fastest time of :19.909. Sired by Tinys First Corona, Tiny Taz improved her record to three wins in six starts.

“She had an :11.9 gate workout (at 220 yards) prior to her career debut last year,” said trainer Chris O’Dell. “She was one of the few 2-year-olds to get an A+ workout from Les Onaka last year. Les has always loved this filly. Her name fits her in that she’s a tiny filly. She looked like a baby 2-year-old going against 3-year-olds towards the end of last year. Fillies can sometimes have a hard time maintaining their weight.

“With her, she’s so small that you have to space her races out,” O’Dell continued. “She’s so small that we decided against giving her an out before these trials. We gave her workouts instead. She got bumped tonight, which is tough for her because she’s fragile. She’ll still keep going, but it does take its toll on her. She’ll always run as hard as she can. She might get beat, but she will give it her all. Having three weeks between these trials and the final will really help her.”

The Separatist filly Lavish Susan was impressive in winning her trial by a half-length. With Eduardo Nicasio in the irons for trainer Jose De La Torre, the sorrel filly was making her first start since running in California’s richest race – the $2.18 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) last December. This was her second victory in eight career starts.

The complete list of qualifiers for the April 6 La Primera Del Ano Derby is as follows: Revv Me Up (:19.737), Fireworks (:19.856), Secretly Hot (:19.887), Tiny Taz (:19.909), Slightys Mac A Tac (:19.909), Forgotten Dynasty (:19.926), Lavish Susan (:19.978), Feature Malinche (:20.021), Without Fault (:20.029) and Miss Behaving (:20.035).