Believe Me Irene Makes Season Debut with West Texas Derby Trial Win

The Valiant Hero filly is the fastest qualifier to the March 31 final.

Q-Racing Journal

Believe Me Irene (orange cap) broke her maiden with a neck victory in the third of seven West Texas Derby trials. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Making her first start since December 31, Diamond Racing Stables LLC's Believe Me Irene earned the fastest qualifying time to the March 31, $187,916 West Texas Derby (G3) at Sunland Park.

Believe Me Irene on Friday won the third of seven 400-yard trials by a neck from second-fastest qualifier He Be Flashy. Ridden by Jose Luis Enriquez for trainer Jose Luis Muela and aided by a reported 20-mph tail wind, the brown daughter of Valiant Hero covered the distance in :19.417 for her first win in seven outs.

Believe Me Irene was bred in Arizona by H & E Ranch Inc. The filly has banked $139,140, and she was a finalist in last year's All American Futurity (G1).

He Be Flashy was ridden by Manuel Gutierrez for owners Jack Manning, Beth Cobb, and Diane Norwood. John Cooper trains the sorrel First Moonflash gelding, who ran second in last year's New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) at Zia Park.

Click here for a complete list of finalists.