Javier Molina’s Feature Malinche, the only filly among the 10 starters in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap, defeated the boys to win the $25,000 dash for 3-year-olds at 400 yards on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Francisco Rubio for trainer Guillermo Morales from post number eight, Feature Malinche lugged in at the start, but she was flawless from there on the way to a ½ length victory over multiple stakes winner High School Secrets. The Feature Mr Jess filly covered the distance in :19.622 while picking up her third win in 14 career starts. Bred by Balgo Racing Team, Feature Malinche came into this race off of a victory in the La Pacifica Handicap on May 11 and a second place finish in the La Primera Del Ano Derby on April 6.
“I was worried about this race because she had been facing nothing but fillies in her last few starts,” Morales said. “We were trying to avoid facing the boys, but she was ready to run and had been doing well. When this race came up we decided to go for it.”
Out of the mare A Reason To Run, Feature Malinche earned $13,750 for winning the Vandy’s Flash to lift her career earnings to $72,250. She has finished in the money in 11 of her 14 career outings.
“She can be hard to ride,” the trainer added. “I told Francisco before the race to just let her switch leads. He told me after the race that once she switched leads that he was able to get after her and she responded. She’s been hard to figure out, but it’s been worth it because she’s very talented.”
Her connections will keep looking for handicap events like the La Pacifica and Vandy’s Flash for Feature Malinche.
“We’ll keep looking for spots like this for her,” Morales added. “If we can’t then we’ll give her a break.”
Racing for James Azevedo and Boyles Family Trust, High School Secrets earned $5,625 for running second in the Vandy’s Flash. The gelding by No Secrets Here had previously won the Dillingham Handicap and James Smith Memorial Handicap. He also raced the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby earlier this year. Ridden by Cesar De Alba for trainer Paul Jones, High School Secrets has $81,016 in career earnings. He has finished in the top two in seven of 14 of his starts.
Spackman Racing and Lin Melton’s Dynasty Red pocketed 3,125 for finishing third. He was back at Los Alamitos after running second in the Bitterroot Derby at Les Bois Park on May 25. He was third in the Holiday Handicap and Wild West Futurity here last year. Melton saddled the FDD Dynasty gelding, who was ridden by Jay Conklin. Tell Of The Past, Tres Primeros, French Fury, Mane Event, Chaotic Cartel, Sugarbear Sax Man and RM Looking For Fame completed the field.