Jess Good Reason Seeks First Graded Stakes Win in La Primera

The filly is the even-money morning-line favorite Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Edited press release

A convincing winner of her trial on March 12, John and Cina Sperry's Jess Good Reason drew post 8 for Saturday's La Primera del Ano Derby final at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Jess Good Reason, a daughter of champion Good Reason SA racing for John and Cina Sperry, will seek her first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s 400-yard, $227,100 La Primera del Ano Derby (G3) for sophomore fillies at Los Alamitos.

The fastest qualifier, Jess Good Reason is coming off of a 2 3/4-length victory in the second of three trials on March 12. Paul Jones trains the filly, who ran second, a half of a length behind winner Fire At Will, in the 400-yard, $215,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) on February 13.

“All we can hope for is the same break as last time,” said John Sperry, a former California Horse Racing Board member who has been racing horses at Los Alamitos since the 1980s. “That was the key. She’s lost two races but they’ve not been by much. Another (few) steps, and she would’ve won those races. We just need her to get a good start.

“I talked to Paul, and he said she came out of (her trial) perfect and is doing great,” he added. “She’s right at the top among the best that I’ve had. Stel Corona (currently a stallion and former track record holder) is still one of the best, and I also have Carols Treasure. She won a lot of races. Revv Me Up is another good one that I have owned.”

Sperry, 80, won the 2013 La Primera del Ano Derby with Revv Me Up. Carols Treasure (PT) won the 2013 Masterpiece Futurity for Paints and four stakes against Quarter Horses two years later.

“I’ve been fortunate to have owned some good ones,” Sperry said. “Jess Good Reason is so promising. She might not win every (stakes) race, but she can make every one of them and be right there.”

Sperry added that he is cutting back his involvement in racing.

“I have a 2-year-old this year (the promising Stelfast) and a yearling by PYC Paint Your Wagon,” Sperry said. “I’ve been racing for a long time and it’s been a lot of fun. We’ll see how Jess Good Reason keeps going. We didn’t breed her this year, but maybe in 2017 we’ll take her to Walk Thru Fire and then race her after breeding her. We’ll figure that out as time goes on.”

Jones will also send out Crooked Path for owner Steve D. Burns. A homebred daughter of Favorite Cartel, the filly has won her last two starts, and she was a finalist in last year’s 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

The complete lineup for the La Primera del Ano Derby, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
First N Final (Cesar DeAlba), 3-1
I Wont Give Up (Carlos Huerta), 20-1
Shes A Temptation (Oscar Peinado), 30-1
Miss Special Regard (Rodrigo Aceves), 30-1
Time For Jess (Cruz Mendez), 12-1
Bo Dash Back (Alejandro Luna), 20-1
Crooked Path (Ramon Sanchez), 5-1
Jess Good Reason (Roberto Hernandez), Even
Jess Ravin (Jesus Rios Ayala), 6-1
One Sweet Runaway (Santiago Mendez), 20-1

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqharacing.com.