Lotta Blues Man, Cartel Sixes Top Southern California Derby Trials
Lotta Blues Man, under jockey Cesar DeAlba, dominated the closing Southern California Derby trial Friday night to set the fastest qualifying time.

© Scott Martinez
Lotta Blues Man, Cartel Sixes Top Southern California Derby Trials

LOS ALAMITOS, CA—DECEMBER 1, 2017—Lucky Seven Ranch’s homebred Lotta Blues Man dominated the fifth and final trial to the Grade 2, $175,300 Southern California Derby after posting a 1 ¾ length victory in the fastest qualifying time on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

With Cesar De Alba in the saddle for trainer Mike Casselman, Lotta Blues Man broke nicely from the rail and flew to take an early daylight advantage over the field.

He was 1 ½ lengths ahead of his rivals with 110 yards left in the race before crossing the wire nearly two lengths in front of runner-up Staggering Stride. Lotta Blues Man covered the 400 yards in :19.793, about a length faster than the second fastest qualifier.

Cartel Sixes, under jockey Jesus Ayala, defeated Renewed (#2) in the fourth trial. © Scott Martinez
Lotta Blues Man won the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity was second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and third in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity in 2016. He is now finishing 2017 in a big way. In his previous start before his scintillating trial victory, the Favorite Cartel gelding dominated the Town Policy Handicap on November 11.

He also finished second in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap and made the field to the Golden State Derby final. He’ll be looking to wrap up his sophomore campaign with a big effort in the Southern California Derby final on Friday, December 15.

Thirty-three horses competed in the Southern California Derby trials and the 10 fastest will return in two weeks. Lotta Blues Man will be joined in the final by a familiar rival in P and J Racing Ltd’s Cartel Sixes, who also made the finals of the Los Alamitos Two Million, Golden State Million, and Ed Burke Million last year, and fellow Los Alamitos Two Million finalist Kissed By An Eagle, the winner of the Vandy’s Flash on June 25.

Kissed By An Eagle (#5) battles Midori Sparkle (#6) in the opening trial. © Scott Martinez
Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Jaime Gomez, Cartel Sixes won the fourth trial by a half- length in a time of :19.919. This was his first victory since winning his Golden State Million Futurity trial eight races back on October 30, 2016. The Corona Cartel gelding also qualified to the Golden State Derby this year, a race in which he finished in sixth place and ahead of Lotta Blues Man.

The big surprise of the night came in trial number two after John Andreini and Vince Genco’s Hootin For Hotlips won at 21-1 odds by a nose over Mr Apollitical Dash.

Bannister (#4), under jockey Cesar DeAlba, was the only qualifier from the third trial. © Scott Martinez
Ridden by Jairo Rangel for trainer Jose Flores, Hootin For Hotlips, a filly by Fantastic Corona Jr, covered the distance in the third fastest time of :19.967.

Mark and Peggy Brown’s homebred Kissed By An Eagle won the opening trial in a time of :19.974 to give him the fourth fastest qualifying time. Kissed By An Eagle is by One Famous Eagle and out of Dreaming Of Kisses. He’s a half-brother to Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Jess My Kiss, who also races for the Browns.

For the complete list of qualifiers to the Southern California Derby, heir times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE.

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