Javier Molina’s Feature Malinche continued her outstanding racing form, as she flew out of the gate from the outside post number seven and then held off the game Sfr Stuck On You by a neck to win the $25,000 La Pacifica Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Santiago Mendez for trainer Guillermo Morales, Feature Malinche has hit the board five straight starts, a streak that includes a maiden victory on February 15 and a second place finish by a nose in the La Primera Del Ano Derby on April 6. Feature Malinche lugged in right shortly after the start in the La Pacifica, but she never lost the lead on the way to earning $13,750 for the win. The daughter of Feature Mr Jess out of A Reason To Run has now made $58,500 in her career. She’s won two of 13 starts, but has hit the board in 10 of those outings.
“She is a good filly, but she does like to go inside,” Mendez said. “She’s done that in the past, but she always gives you a good effort. She battled the entire race.”
“She flew out at the start,” Morales added. “She has a mind of her own sometimes. She thought she won the La Primera because after that race she was feeling great about herself. I thought she looked better tonight than on the night of the La Primera. She was prancing and being happy the entire time. She’s making me look good right now.”
Denny and Kris Hill’s Sfr Stuck On You earned $5,625 for her runner-up finish. Ridden by Gregorio Arriaga for trainer Bret Vickery, Sfr Stuck On You came into this race following a runaway allowance victory on March 30. She ran in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes earlier this year. Robert Williams’ Watch Linda Ballet, a finalist in the Grade 1 Ed Burke and Golden State Million futurities, finished third. Saddled by Juan Aleman and ridden by Francisco Rubio, the filly by Mr Jess Perry earned $3,125. Sassy Cartel, Joy Roses Eagle Sa, Forgotten Dynasty and Buy Buy completed the field. Jewel First Cat Sa was a late scratch.
Three races for freshman sprinters were also contested on Saturday night with Randall Dees’ Race Day Delight, Hector Hernandez’s Tres Pescado and Ed Allred’s Our Man John scoring their maiden victories. Trained by Cody Joiner for jockey Cruz Mendez, Race Day Delight was outstanding in winning the second race by ¾ lengths on Saturday. The Teller Cartel gelding was always in command while covering the 300 yards in one of the fastest times of the season by a 2-year-old of :15.393.
“It was exciting race and I’m very proud of this horse,” Dees said. “He ran a little in and out, but he is so quick that he is able to take the lead and be out there by himself.”
Out of the mare Buckshot Delight, Race Day Delight came into his debut after a pair of impressive morning workouts. He had the second fastest of 74 drills on March 12 (:12.20 at 220 yards) and the second fastest of 55 drills on April 25 (:12.10 work). Lucky Seven Ranch’s Dashes Blue, a full brother to 2007 World Champion Blues Girl Too, finished second. Anna and Rod MacPherson Jr’s Senor Gold Solo ran third.
Cruz Mendez was back in the winner’s circle following dominating victory by the Jose Flores-trained gelding Tres Pescado in the fourth race. The son of Tres Seis was third at the start, but he exploded from there en route to an outstanding 1 ¾ length victory in a time of :15.526. The gray gelding was making his second career start after running second in a maiden effort to Turbulent Times on April 26. Tres Pescado had also posted some solid morning workouts prior to his debut, including the fifth fastest of 50 drills (:12.40) on March 23. Spackman Racing’s Up Your Corona finished second with Martha Wells’ Dash To Tell running in third place.
Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Scott Willoughby, Our Man John broke his maiden following a great looking 1 ¼ length victory in the sixth race on Saturday. Our Man John had finished fourth in his previous start before winning against a group of $10,000 claimers.
It was a weekend of hat-tricks for Thoroughbred rider Alex Jimenez at Los Alamitos. Jimenez won three races on Friday evening and followed that up with another triple on Saturday. His wins on Saturday came aboard Charles Treece and Felipe Carlos’ Office Hours in the first, S. Kory Porter’s Aiming Fluid in the third and Jerry Wallace’s Alphonso in the seventh. On Friday, Jimenez found the winner’s circle with Jimmiann and Alexis Farris’ Mine Fever, Two The Max Investment and Jim Hanson’s SS Tribal Girl and William Branch’s Fast Tracking. Jimenez has now won 36 races aboard Thoroughbreds this season, which tie him with Ramon Guce for the top spot in the standings heading into Sunday’s program.