Preview Racing

Powerful Favorite Heads Star-Studded Trial To $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby On Sunday
California's top juvenile colt Ali Babe Foose will be back in action in Sunday's $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby trials at Los Alamitos Race Course.

© Scott Martinez
Powerful Favorite Heads Star-Studded Trial To $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby On Sunday

LOS ALAMITOS, CA—MARCH 8, 2019—Four trials to the $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby are on tap for Sunday night headed by a spectacular third trial featuring Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Powerful Favorite, PCQHRA champion 2-year-old colt Ali Babe Foose and Golden State Million Futurity third place finisher Apollitical Pence.

First post time for the eight race card is 6:05 p.m. with the trials making up the Late Pick Four sequence of races 5, 6, 7 and 8.

A total of 25 horses will be in action in the trials with the horses with the 10 fastest times advancing to the Grade 3 El Primero final on Sunday, March 31. The multiple champion Kvn Corona won the El Primero last year on the way to being named AQHA champion 3-year-old colt.

Cesar Dabdoub's Ali Babe Foose picked up some hardware at the PCQHRA Awards Banquet on January 24 as California's top juvenile colt. The Dr. Steve Burns-bred runner finished second to AQHA champion Flash And Roll in the Grade 1, $1,878,000 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and won the $30,000 Ed Burke Juvenile Invitational Stakes.

He also qualified to the Grade 1, $977,000 Golden State Million Futurity and the Grade 2, $365,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. Ali Babe Foose won four races and finished second in three other of his 10 starts. He earned $408,613 last year. Trained by Jaime Gomez and to be ridden by Jose Nicasio, Ali Babe Foose will start from post number three in his El Primero trial. The son of Foose enters this race after working 220 yards in :12.20 on February 19.

"He's looking outstanding and I'm excited about his upcoming campaign," trainer Jaime Gomez said. "I loved the way he worked two and half weeks ago. I'm looking forward to his race."

Rosenthal Ranch's Powerful Favorite has made every dance so far in his career. The gelding by Powerful Favorite has competed in five trials and has made all five of those finals. He'll look to make it a perfect six for six when he competes in this star-studded trial.

As good as Ali Babe Foose and Powerful Favorite have been, Matthew Dunn's Apollitical Pence has often been the most impressive of the three in stakes trials.

The Monty Arrossa-trained gelding by Apollitical Jess won his trial to the Ed Burke Million by 1 1/4 lengths and then his trials to the Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million by 3/4 lengths and half-length, respectively on the way to being one of only two horses - along with Powerful Favorite - to qualify to the Ed Burke, Golden State and Two Million last year. His best finish in those finals was a third in the Golden State to Flash And Roll.

Apollitical Pence will enter this race after recording a beautiful 220-yard drill in ;12.0 on February 19. Leading Quarter Horse rider Jesus Rios Ayala will be aboard the Dunn Ranch/Womack Cavender Farms-bred runner.

The opening derby trial will feature Martha Wells' Winter Derby runner-up Red Hawk Cartel and Ruth Barbour and Colten and Wendy O'Dell's Tac Me Up, the winner of the Autumn Handicap and a finalist to the Grade 2 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity and Governor's Cup Futurity last year. Trained by O'Dell, Tac Me Up won four of eight races last year.

EG High Desert Farms' Bail Czech is another talented runner to watch in this trial. He won an allowance test in his last start by a half-length and crossed the wire first before being disqualified in his trial to the Winter Derby. Cruz Mendez will ride the son of Corona Czech for trainer Jesus Nunez.

In addition to Ali Babe Foose, Jaime Gomez will saddle three other standout sophomores on Sunday night. His Majestic Mr Perry will be in action in the opening heat (against Red Hawk Cartel, Tac Me Up and Bail Czech), while Grade 2 John Deere Juvenile Challenge winner KR Hi Five will headline the second trial.

Gomez will also saddle Howard Nichols' Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Dexxter, who’ll be in action in the fourth and final trial. Sired by Corona Cartel and out of Charger Bar Handicap winner Tres Of Linda,

Dexxter worked 220 yards in :12.30 on February 19. Keith Nellesen's Holiday Handicap winner Corona By Corona will also compete in this trial.

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