After finishing second in three stakes races since late August of 2012, Steve Burns’ Attack The Cartel scored her first stakes win thanks to a 1 ¼ length victory in the Native Empress Handicap for distaffers on Friday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Mike Casselman, Attack The Cartel led the 350-yard race from start to finish and covered the distance in :17.458. The daughter of Corona Cartel out of Separate Tac improved her record to three wins in 13 outings. The 4-year-old mare had previously finished second to Tres Of Linda in the Garden Grove Handicap last month and as a 3-year-old she was second in the Junos Request Handicap and also the Adequan California Derby Challenge. She earned $8,250 for the win to take her career bankroll to $42,395.
The Steve Burns-bred mare has been busy since her runner-up effort in the Garden Grove held on March 3.
“We took her to (Burns Ranch) between starts and they flushed an embryo out of her by One Sweet Jess. They then bred her back and hopefully she’s in foal to TR Dasher right now. She came back to Los Alamitos and we galloped her a few times and entered her to this race. She’s always very good out of the gate and often the key is if she likes the track. She stumbled pretty badly a few starts ago and until tonight her best two races were posted over off tracks.”
One of those solid efforts was a second place finish in a trial to the 2011 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity over a wet fast track. She also won her trial to the 2012 Southern California Derby over a track labeled as good on December 2. Her victory in the Native Empress came on a clear night over a fast track.
Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez’s Check N Fetch was bumped at the start of the Native Empress, but she finished strongly to run second. The 5-year-old Check Him Out mare earned $3,375 for running second. Ramon Sanchez piloted her for trainer Paul Jones. Tom Atwood’s Curlie Cue earned $1,875 for running third for trainer Jose Hernandez Jr. and jockey Gregorio Arriaga. Shesa Stylish Chic, Check Rosie Out and Tac It To Heart completed the field.
Sired by the Thoroughbred Dancing Dervish, Native Empress loved to win races. The mare won 28 races in her career and was a track record holder at 400 yards at the Los Angeles County Fair in 1974. She also excelled as a broodmare. She’s the granddam of 1994 All American Futurity winner Noblesse Six and champions Treacherously, Silvered Eyes and Pure D Dash.