Field Set for $220,400 La Primera del Ano Derby

Trippys Royal Jess is the fastest qualifier to the April 1 stakes at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Abigail K. Kawananakoa's Trippys Royal Jess won the second of four La Primera del Ano Derby trials on Saturday. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Trippys Royal Jess, a homebred daughter of Apollitical Jess campaigned by Abigail K. Kawananakoa, won the second of four La Primera del Ano Derby (G3) trials on Saturday, and the filly is the fastest qualifier to the April 1, $220,400 final.

Ridden by Cesar DeAlba for trainer Chris O'Dell, Trippys Royal Jess covered 400 yards in :19.857, and her winning margin was three-quarters of a length from third-fastest qualifier Red And Ready. The filly was winning for the fourth time in 10 outs.

Trippys Royal Jess was coming off of a second-place finish in the Seal Beach Handicap on January 28.

“She was good in the gate,” said De Alba of Trippys Royal Jess, who was fractious in the gate before the start of the Seal Beach. “The headman did an awesome job today with her, and she got away in good shape and finished great.

"She was finishing (in the Seal Beach)," the rider added. "She just needed more distance.  The added distance tonight helped her. After about 150 yards, she really took off and finished strong.”

EG High Desert Farms’ Sweet Aguila, the second-fastest qualifier, won the third heat by a half of a length in :19.972. Jesus Ayala rode the homebred One Sweet Jess filly for trainer Yanet Rodriguez.

A finalist in last year's PCQHRA Breeders' Futurity (G2), Sweet Aguila has won two of nine outs and has earned $20,075.

“She’s not fast out of the gates, but she finishes strong,” said Rodriguez of Sweet Aguila. “She’s a filly that we’ve had trouble with because it’s hard to maintain her weight. That’s been an issue with her, but thankfully we’ve gotten her to eat now.”

Click here for a complete list of finalists.

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