LARC NEWS Posted: 12/16/2017 2:49:45 AM

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         The final derby of the 2017 Quarter Horse meet at Los Alamitos – the Grade 2, $175,300 Southern California Derby - was won on Friday night by sorrel colt named Mr Apollitical Dash sired by the late great Mr Jess Perry, who was laid to rest a month ago at the age of 25.    

Mr Jess Perry was a multiple AQHA champion and a winner of 12 of 21 starts but it was in the breeding barn that he became a household name in the racing industry. His progeny earned over $52 million and in Mr Apollitical Dash he adds another name to a list that now numbers close to 140 stakes winners.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Juan Aleman, Mr Apollitical Dash was third at the start, but was swift into his stride to take the lead. Owned and bred by Rancho el Cabresto Inc, Mr Apollitical Dash had a half-length advantage at the midway point of the 400-yard race and held off the late charge of Mark and Peggy Brown’s Kissed By An Eagle to win the 30th running of the Southern California Derby.

For Juan Alberto Tirado Lizarraga of Rancho El Cabresto, the victory was a sweet one because of the winner’s family bloodlines. Mr Apollitical Dash is out Apollitical Dash, a daughter of Tirado Lizarraga’s great champion mare Apollitical Time, who won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby, Grade 3 Town Policy Handicap, and Governor’s Cup Derby among her major stakes wins here. She was voted the AQHA champion 3-year-old filly in 2005, AQHA champion aged mare in 2006, and AQHA Broodmare of the Year in 2010. Her Broodmare of the Year title was the result of her Apollitical Jess’ outstanding sophomore season that included his wins in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions in a track record time at 440 yards and in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby on the way to being named the AQHA world champion. Apollitical Jess was sired by none other than Mr Jess Perry.

“It’s the same bloodlines,” Tirado Lizarraga said. “Mr Apollitical Dash’s granddam is Apollitical Time and she’s the mother of Apollitical Jess. We claimed Apollitical Time at Los Alamitos and ran her here and she did well. She was a champion and now she’s giving us a family of horses. Apollitical Jess has also been a great blessing. He’s doing well as a sire thanks to the help of a lot of people that have believed in him and supported him as a stallion by breeding their mares to him. It’s a great victory, especially because of the family connection to Apollitical Time.”  

And the great late sire Mr Jess Perry as well.  

“I’m thrilled,” the owner added. “(Mr Apollitical Dash’s win) was a surprise. I’m so happy to have won this race. I feel blessed because of all the enjoyment I’ve had in racing and being able to share it with my family. Juan and I started in this sport together, him as a trainer and me as race horse owner. We’ve now been together for 19 years. We’ve been blessed. We’ve done well. We’ve formed a good team and have enjoyed it a lot.”    

Sent off at 29-1 odds, Mr Apollitical Dash was a surprise in the Southern California Derby, as most of the attention prior to the race went to the 2-5 favorite Lotta Blues Man. The fastest qualifier in the trials to the Southern California Derby, Lotta Blues Man broke well from the outside post number 10, but couldn’t keep up with Mr Apollitical Dash during the early going. In the end it was Kissed By An Eagle, the second choice in the wagering at 7-2 odds, that crossed the wire in second place, with Lotta Blues Man settling for third. As for Mr Apollitical Dash, he earned $73,626 for the win to take his career earnings to $201,124. The California-bred runner finished fifth in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million and was third in the Old Habits Handicap on September 23.

“You need a little luck,” Aleman said. “When he broke I knew this horse was going to be tough. This horse has always shown some ability. We put him in the flipping halter because he had been acting a little studdy in the gates and that really helped a lot. It showed that in his last race when he ran second by a nose in the trials. We knew this horse could run. He was fifth in the Two Million last year. He had some ability and got a jump on the good ones and was able to hold on. Carlos Huerta is starting to ride for me and his first ride on him was in the trials. Carlos fits him perfectly. He qualified him and he liked the horse. He said that if the horse could break a little better that he could finish with the best of them.”

Aleman added that Mr Apollitical Dash is paid to the 2018 Los Alamitos Winter Championship. The trials will be contested on Sunday, January 21.

Trained by Roman Figueroa and ridden by Ramon Sanchez, Kissed By An Eagle earned $29,801 for finishing second. Sired by One Famous Eagle, Kissed By An Eagle was third in the Los Alamitos Super Derby and fourth in the Golden State Derby. One Famous Eagle stands at Four Sixes Ranch, the home of Mr Jess Perry during his brilliant stallion career.

Lucky Seven Ranch’s Lotta Blues Man earned $21,036 for his third place finish. The Favorite Cartel gelding is getting closer and closer to becoming a millionaire. His career earnings currently stand at $931,021. In addition to this top three finish, Lotta Blues Man won the Town Policy Handicap and was second in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap earlier this year. He also qualified to the Golden State Derby.

The top three finishers in this race all competed in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year. The complete order of finish is as follows: Mr Apollitical Dash, Kissed By An Eagle, Lotta Blues Man, Midori Sparkle, Bannister, Well Good, Renewed, Cartel Sixes, Seared, and Hootin For Hotlips.

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