When Amber Bock ran in a trial to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby, the son of TR Dasher led most of the way before fading to finish fifth in the 400-yard event. Juan Humberto Moya’s Amber Bock did not let Sunday’s $15,000 Separatist Handicap become a repeat of that trial race, as the colt was first at the start once again and continued powerfully on the way to an impressive daylight victory at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Amber Bock enjoyed a big lead the entire race and eventually crossed the wire a length ahead of Valentin Zamudio’s Spender. Carvers Cold was third while 2014 Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Discontent lugged in at the start on the way to running fourth. First Down Tiny Man completed the field while Los Alamitos Winter Derby finalist Face The Mark was scratched.
Amber Bock has now posted three victories from 10 career starts and the $8,250 he earned in this race took his lifetime mark to $27,779. The victory provided Flores with a great deal of optimism for the Steve Burns and Carroll Hooper-bred runner.
“I think he’s going to be a pretty good derby horse,” Flores said. “We made an equipment change for this race after he lugged out in the Winter Derby trials. He still drifted out a little bit. We just need him to run straight. He has a lot of talent. I’m grateful that the owner gave me the opportunity with his horses. I have a couple of 2-year-olds for him and some 3-year-olds as well. He loves being a horseman and he loves his horses.”
Amber Bock covered the 330 yards in :16.733.
Workouts for 2-year-olds will begin at Los Alamitos on the morning of Saturday, March 7 and Flores is ready to see what the babies might have in store for his racing operation.
“I have some babies for the Kindergarten Futurity that we’ll start qualifying,” he said. “Hopefully we can do well again in the Kindergarten.”
Flores saddled Old Girl to victory in last year’s Kindergarten.
“Old Girl is going to make her next start in the trials to the La Primera Del Ano Derby (on March 14),” he added. “She’ll need the start, but hopefully she can make the La Primera final.”