LARC NEWS Posted: 8/6/2018 1:30:30 AM

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            Jesstacartel (left) had his four-race win streak snapped when he finished second to A Political Lady in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap at Los Alamitos on July 1. A month later, it was a Jesstacartel’s turn to stop a streak, as he defeated a field that included A Political Lady to end the filly’s six-race win string, on the way to posting the fastest qualifying  while posting the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 2, $221,300 Golden State Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos Race Course.

            Owned and bred by Lesley Joyner, Jesstacartel defeated a tremendous field that in addition to A Political Lady also included 2017 Wild West Futurity winner Moonie Blues and 2018 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Jess My Kiss. Racing in the second of two Golden State Derby trials, Jesstacartel broke sharply from post seven and finished powerfully in the 400-yard race to post the fastest qualifying time of :19.507. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Mark Skeen, Jesstacartel finished a half-length ahead of Lisa Anderson’s Moonie Blues, the runner-up in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year. Parsons Ranch’s A Political Lady ran third and Jess My Kiss was fourth.

            In the opening trial, Reliance Ranches’ SC Vapor Trail enjoyed a winning return to Southern California, as she posted a half-length victory over Brazilian star Yahira Vista in a time of :19.857. Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Mike Robbins, SC Vapor Trail was making her first start at Los Alamitos in nearly a year. Her last outing here was also a winning one in the John Deere California Juvenile final on August 19, which is the date of this year’s Golden State Derby final. Could August 19 become SC Vapor Trail’s favorite date of the year?  

            She’ll have to deal with that strong cast that competed in the second derby trial headed by fastest qualifier Jesstacartel. The Utah-bred gelding by One Sweet Jess and out of Stolmeacartel has won five of seven career starts and entered the trials after a solid runner-up debut in the aforementioned Vandy’s Flash. Prior to that effort, Jesstacartel was unbeaten in his final four races of 2017. That included a pair of stakes victories headed by a 2 ¼ length romp in the Corona Chick Handicap on November 18. He also won the Autumn Handicap on October 14.

            Trained by Jaime Gomez, Moonie Blues posted the second fastest qualifying time of :19.606. The Anderson-bred filly by Freighttrain B had a superb season in 2017, winning five of eight starts and earning $355,369. She was the Intermountain Horse of the Year at the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Annual Awards Banquet. Moonie Blues has continued her good work in 2018, as she’s finished third in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and third in the Grade 3 La Primera Del Ano Derby.  

            Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Chris O’Dell, A Political Lady saw her six-race win streak come to an end on Sunday. A three-time stakes winner in 2018, A Political Lady had won her previous five starts this year. She also won her final start of 2017. After bumping at the start of Golden State Derby trial, A Political Lady ran a solid race to finish with the third fastest qualifying time of :19.749. She’ll look to start another win streak here in two weeks.

               Headed by trial winners Jesstacartel and SC Vapor Trail, the following 10 horses will return for the Golden State final on August 19. Jesstacartel (:19.507), Moonie Blues (:19.606), A Political Lady (:19.749), Jess My Kiss (:19.810), SC Vapor Trail (:19.857), Apollitical Stone (:19.889), Perfect Louisiana (:19.912), Yashira Vista (:19.938), Twenty One Gunz (:19.945), and Devil In A Blue Suit (:19.948).

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