LARC NEWS Posted: 12/6/2017 5:55:05 PM

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          Michael Pohl’s homebred Jess Paint Your Lips, winner of the Grade 1 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows on October 14, will make her first start at Los Alamitos when she takes on four male rivals in the $30,000 First Down Dash Handicap on Saturday night.

            To be ridden by Jorge Torres for trainer Juan Aleman, Jess Paint Your Lips arrived in California after winning the Merial Distaff by 3/4 lengths after leaving the gate last among the nine mares in the race. She took off once she found her stride, catching the leaders with about 100 yards left in the 400 yard race. The Jess Louisiana Blue mare was picking up her seventh win in eight career starts. Previously trained by Stacy Charette-Hill, Jess Paint Your Lips has won five straight starts.  

            “Mr. Pohl shipped this great mare in early November,” Aleman said. “I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to train her. We were hoping to get one race in her at Los Alamitos to get her used to the track and the lights before pointing her to the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap in early January. She’s done well getting used to Los Alamitos. She’s a pretty calm mare and pretty laid back. She’ll start from post three. I would have liked to have seen her start from the inside or outside post because this is her first start at Los Alamitos, but she’s shown that she can win from any spot.”

              Jess Paint Your Lips will take on a field that includes eight-time winner Viento Negro (photo), the winner of the First Down Dash in 2016, who also hails from the Aleman barn. The gelding by First Moonflash has won two of four starts this year. He’ll start from the outside post five. Unclaimed Dividend, winner of the A Ransom Handicap 12 months ago. Chicks Fayvorite, and Katies Easy Moves will also compete in the 400-yard race.

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