West Texas Derby Trials Draw 62 Three-Year-Olds

Believe Me Irene headlines seven 400-yard heats at Sunland Park.


Believe Me Irene, a Grade 1-placed filly and finalist in last year's $3-million All American Futurity, is one of 62 sophomores entered in Friday's West Texas Derby trials at Sunland Park.

Believe Me Irene, a Grade 1-placed daughter of Valiant Hero owned by Diamond Racing Stables LLC, is among the 62 sophomores entered in Friday’s 400-yard West Texas Derby (G3) trials at Sunland Park.

Believe Me Irene will be making her first start since December 31, when the Arizona-bred filly ran second, a neck behind winner Despain GL, in the 400-yard, $200,000 Sunland Juvenile Championship Stakes at Sunland Park. She has earned $133,800 from six outs, and her resume includes a second-place finish in the Grade 1, 440-yard Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1) at Zia Park in December.

Believe Me Irene drew post 7 and will be ridden by Jose Luis Enriquez for trainer Jose Luis Muela in the third of seven trials.

Other prominent 3-year-olds entered in Friday’s trials include A Passion For Flashn and Jessica Alexandra. A son of champion First Moonflash, A Passion For Flashn is trained by Martin Orona Sr. for owner RC Racing LLC. The colt has earned $274,596 from 12 outs, and his two stakes wins include a neck victory in last year’s 400-yard, $300,000 New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) at Zia Park.

A Passion For Flashn drew post 5 and will be ridden by Jose Luis Enriquez in the seventh trial.

Jessica Alexandra is a homebred daughter of Apollitical Jess trained by Donna McArthur for owner Joyce D. Erickson. The filly is coming off of a 2-year-old campaign during which she banked $58,815 from eight outs and ran second, three-quarters of a length behind winner Papaws Paint, in the 400-yard, $202,000 Hobbs America Futurity (G2) at Zia Park.

Jessica Alexandra drew post 7 and will be ridden by Bonifacio Perez in the second trial.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the $65,000-added West Texas Derby final on March 31.

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