By Sonja Eschenburg - Los Alamitos Publicity
Kip Didericksen, one of top Quarter Horse jockeys in the history of Los Alamitos Race Course was known for his strong work ethic. Didericksen was always determined and had a lot of genuine try. And in fact, that same try is the exact quality that helped First Prize Chicks win the $16,000 Kip Didericksen Handicap at Los Alamitos on Friday night.
Up until that night, the three year old sorrel filly had not yet won any of the races she had been entered to run in this season. According to one of her owners from Five Livestock Company, “(First Prize Chicks) shows a lot of promise. She always runs her heart out and honestly gives it her all every time. (We) really can’t ask for much more.”
With long 17-1 odds, First Prize Chicks, ridden by jockey Cruz Mendez, picked the perfect night to enjoy her first win of the year. Trained by Monty Arrossa, the Weetona Stanley-bred filly posted a half-length victory over 15-1 longshot Million Dollar Kiss and big favorite For Sweet Jess, which ran third. The victory was described by her connections as “exactly what this filly needed,” and “a nice confidence booster all around.”
Sired by Spit Curl Jess and out of the mare First Prize Chic, the Oklahoma-bred filly earned $8,800 for the win to take her career earnings to $21,988. This was her fourth win in 16 career starts. Her last victory prior to this one also came at Los Alamitos dating back to early October 2015 when she won her trial to the Wild West Futurity.
First Chicks Prize was not the only one celebrating her win Friday night, though. Didericksen, originally from Preston, Idaho, was not able to visit Los Alamitos this year, but had family and surrounding connections who made the special trek for Friday’s race. Presenting the trophy in the winner’s circle was Kip’s father, Duayne Didericken.
“We couldn’t be happier with the way the night turned out,” Duayne Didericksen said. “This race is so important to us. We are so glad we could make it.”