Field Set for Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby

Rite Regal posts the fastest qualifying time in Saturday’s 400-yard trials.

Edited press release

Rite Regal won the first of five Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) trials on Sunday. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Rite Regal, a Favorite Cartel gelding owned by Urschel 3-D Ranch LLC, is the fastest qualifier to the February 13, $215,250 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1).

Racing in the first of five 400-yard trials on Saturday, Rite Regal defeated second-fastest qualifier Jess Good Reason by a neck in :19.863. Santiago Mendez rode the gelding for trainer Jose Flores.

Rite Regal was coming off of a 2-year-old campaign in which he won a 400-yard Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity (G1) trial in November but just missed making the rich final.

“He drifted in a little bit towards the end,” said Flores, referring to Rite Regal’s Winter Derby trial. “We still have to work on him a little bit to get him to run a little straighter. He’ll really roll then.

“He missed (qualifying to) the Two Million, but we were hoping he would give us this kind of race coming back,” added the trainer. “He’s on the right track.”

Rite Regal was bred in California by Dr. Steve Burns. The gelding has won four of his six races and has earned $20,568.

Jess Good Reason is trained by Paul Jones for owners John and Cina Sperry. A brown daughter of Good Reason SA, the filly has won four of three outs, including the December 27 Holiday Handicap at Los Alamitos, and she has earned $22,990.

Third-fastest qualifiers Uno Corona Mas and Dynasty Energy finished in a dead heat for the win in the third trial. Uno Corona Mas races for Burns and Oscar Andrade from the barn of trainer Elena Andrade, while Dynasty Energy is trained by Chris O’Dell for the Parsons Family Limited Partnership.

“(Uno Corona Mas) still didn’t break as fast as I would have liked and like I know he can,” said Elena Andrade, who also bred the son of One Sweet Jess. “The last two races he’s had some fumbles. He either breaks too hard and the last time he fell down. He still has a lot of run in him and tried really hard. He still does not have that many races compared to the rest of them. He’s still maturing and he’s still a colt.

“He needed this race really bad Every time he’s gotten in a trial he always gets in the hardest trial,” Andrade added. “That is where you want to be, against those kind of horses that will push him. He still needs a little more experience.”

Uno Corona Mas has banked $6,835 from five races, and his two wins include a Golden State Million Futurity (G1) trial in October.

Dynasty Energy is a homebred gelded son of FDD Dynasty who was making his first start since December 13, when he ran third in the Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity. O’Dell, who also trained multiple champion Catchmeinyourdreams, said that Dynasty Energy has foot issues.

“I had to pay a lot of attention to Catchmeinyourdreams’ feet when he was racing,” O’Dell said. “Dynasty Energy’s feet are not quite like that, but they do take a while to grow out.”

From the time Dynasty Energy left the walking ring to the time he entered the winner’s circle on Saturday, the gelding lost one of his shoes.

“I know he doesn’t have it on now,” O’Dell said after the race. “(Jockey Tony Guymon) said he felt him slip a little after the second jump so he probably ran all the way with only three shoes.”

Click here for a complete list of Los Alamitos Winter Derby finalists.

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