Little Talks Speaks Loudly in PCQHRA Breeders' Derby Trials

The homebred filly set the fastest qualifying time to the September 30 final at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Dr. Steve Burns' Little Talks won the last of four PCQHRA Breeders' Derby trials and is the fastest qualifier to the September 30 final. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Little Talks and You Can Fly, a pair of homebred fillies owned by Dr. Steve Burns of Menifee, California, are among the 10 sophomores who qualified to the September 30, $177,000 PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G3) at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Cesar DeAlba for trainer Mike Casselman, Little Talks on Saturday won the last of four 400-yard trials by a half of a length in :19.675, setting the fastest qualifying time. Earlier on the card, Casselman and DeAlba teamed to win the third heat with You Can Fly, who won the third heat by 1 1/4 lengths in :19.786, the third-fastest qualifying time.

Little Talks is a daughter of Favorite Cartel, while You Can Fly is by Walk Thru Fire. Both fillies are out of Babe On The Fly, a winning and multiple graded stakes-placed mare by Strawfly Special who also produced multiple Grade 1 winner Rock You.

“They are half-sisters, but they’re two very different horses,” said Casselman of Little Talks and You Can Fly. “You Can Fly is really laid back. She just takes everything in stride. Little Talks is just a go getter. She is a little more to handle. We are proud of them both and I’m glad I can train them. We’re excited.”

Little Talks has won six of 11 starts, including last year’s Golden State Million Futurity (G1), and she has earned $471,632. The filly was coming off of a fourth-place finish in the August 19 Adequan California Derby Challenge.

“We did quite a bit with Little Talks at the gate,” said Casselman, referring to the time between the California Derby Challenge trials and final. “She did not load that good (on the night of the Adequan). She broke dead last. She kind of beat herself that night. We’ll just keep working at the gate trying to get her to settle down.”

Other prominent PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby qualifiers include S-Quarter K Racing’s Ima Fearless Hero, last year’s champion 2-year-old gelding. Trained by Jose Flores for S-Quarter K Racing of Kennewick, Washington, Ima Fearless Hero won the first trial by a nose in :19.870 under Cruz Mendez and set the fifth-fastest qualifying time despite drifting in toward the end of the race.

“I didn’t think he would struggle so much,” Flores said of Ima Fearless Hero’s trip. “But it’s his comeback race, his first in about eight months. You’d expect him to get tired which he did.I

”I like the way Cruz rode him,” the trainer added. “He did drift in half-way through there, old habits sometimes. (Cruz) let him cruise the last 150 yards, which he needed to do because the horse was pretty tired. He needed this race bad.”

Click here for a complete list of PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby qualifiers.

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