La Primera del Ano Derby Trials Draw 21 Sophomore Fillies

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the $227,100 final.

Edited press release

Saturday's 400-yard La Primera del Ano Derby trials at Los Alamitos have drawn 21 3-year-old fillies.

Twenty-one sophomore fillies will race in three 400-yard La Primera del Ano Derby (G2) trials at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the $227,100 final in April.

The La Primera trials will be headlined by All American Futurity (G1) finalist Crooked Path, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) finalist Time For Jess, and Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) runner-up Jess Good Reason. The three star fillies are entered in separate heats, with Time For Jess seeing action in the opening trial, Jess Good Reason in the second trial, and Crooked Path in the final trial.

Racing for Steve Burns and trained by AQHA champion trainer Paul Jones, Crooked Path will be making her first start since she won her trial to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

“Crooked Path ran a really good race in the trials, and when it happened I thought it would be good enough to get in the final,” Jones said. “She was in one of the later trials and unfortunately her time was not fast enough to qualify.”

Crooked Path was the second-fastest qualifier to last year’s All American Futurity and the only filly in the field. A half-sister to Grade 3 winner Oldsmobile Hill, Crooked Path has performed well at the Orange County oval. In addition to her Winter Derby trial win, the Favorite Cartel filly ran second in her trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. 

“She’s raced well every time at Los Alamitos,” Jones said. “I’ve never been disappointed with her effort.”

Cody Jensen, who had been riding Crooked Path, is currently sidelined with an injured collarbone. Ramon Sanchez will ride the filly on Saturday.

“Ramon worked her (on February 26), and she did well for him (:12.50 in a 220-yard turn and work),” Jones added. “Ramon is a great jockey, and I think they’ll do great together.” 

Spackman Racing’s Time For Jess won her Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trial by daylight and returned to post a solid sixth-place finish in California's richest race for any breed. The big filly matured in a big way during the second half of the 2015, and she could be one of the top fillies on the grounds this year. Trainer Lin Melton will saddle the Idaho bred, and Cruz Mendez will ride the filly in place of Cody Jensen from post 5 in the first heat.

Jones will saddle John and Cina Sperry’s Holiday Handicap winner Jess Good Reason in the second La Primera trial. The Good Reason SA filly finished nicely for second place in her Winter Derby trial before flying late to post a second-place finish in the $215,000 final. 

“She broke a bit awkward, but she made a big run at the end of the Winter Derby,” Jones said. “I thought she was unlucky to lose. She’s a talented filly and jockey Roberto Hernandez has done a good job riding her from the beginning. I’m happy with Roberto. He’s an up and coming Quarter Horse rider.”

Jones is also looking forward to saddling McColee Land and Livestock’s Lady Perry On Fire in the opening trial.

“I’m excited about this filly,” Jones said. “She worked :17.8 (on February 27), but she stumbled out of the gate before finishing nicely. She belongs in this race.” 

A daughter of Walk Thru Fire, Lady Perry On Fire has impressive bloodlines. She’s a full sister to 2014 Grade 1 Dash For Cash Futurity winner Jess Walking Thru, who also ran third in the Los Alamitos Two Million, and she is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes runner-up Sass Me Blue and A Ransom Handicap winner and Vessels Maturity runner-up Jess Being Valiant.  Lady Perry On Fire will be ridden by Oscar Peinado from post number seven.

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