Powerful Favorite Tops Winter Derby Trials

The Favorite Cartel gelding is the fastest qualifier to the $198,700 final at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

A $90,000 yearling purchase at the 2017 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Powerful Favorite is the fastest qualifier to the February 9 Los Alamitos Winter Derby. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Rosenthal Ranch’s Powerful Favorite is the fastest qualifier to the February 9, $198,700 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Making his season debut in the last of four 400-yard trials on Saturday, Powerful Favorite defeated fourth-fastest qualifier Red Hawk Cartel by one length in :19.789. Eduardo Nicasio rode the California-bred gelding for trainer Chris O'Dell.

Powweful Favorite was bred by James Markum and Dr. Steve Burns. The gelding broke through the gate before the start of his trial on Saturday, but he was reloaded without any additional issues before he sprinted to his fourth win in 10 starts, all at Los Alamitos>

"It's a little easier to breathe right now, but it wasn't very good after he broke through the gate," said O'Dell. "He hit his teeth on the gate. He might have cut his lip just a little bit.

"He uses a flipping halter, so he's really close to the door out of the gate," the trainer added. "He didn't hit it super hard, but he hit it hard enough."

Powerful Favorite has earned $321,461, and his resume includes a victory in last year's 350-yard Governor's Cup Futurity (RG2).

Second-fastest qualifier Mister Appolitical won his trial by a half of a length from graded stakes winner Cole Man 47. Ridden by Jesus Ayala for owner Legacy Ranch and trainer Terry Knight, the homebred son of Apollitical Jess went 400 yards in :19.792 while posting his fourth win in eight outs and increasing his earnings to $140,417.

“He looked good tonight,” said Knight of the gelding by Apollitical Jess. “He broke well. That’s the key with this horse. He has good gate speed, and when he can use that to his advantage he’s a tough horse."

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers.

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