LARC NEWS Posted: 6/24/2018 12:26:20 AM


         Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Thermonuclear Energy has now won at least one race at 400 yards in each of her four years on the track after collecting a half-length victory in the $35,000 Ivan Ashment Handicap on Saturday at Los Alamitos.


Making her first start since running second in the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap on January 7, Thermonuclear Energy was fifth at the start, but she quickly began to make her customary run. By the halfway point of the race, the Walk Thru Fire filly was right next to early leader Jess Mas. Thermonuclear Energy took command shortly after on the way to picking up her eight victory in 22 career starts. Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Chris O’Dell, Thermonuclear Energy covered the 400 yards in :19.821 while earning $19,250 for the win.


Bred by the Parsons, the 5-year-old Thermonuclear Energy has won four races at 400 yards. She won the 400-yard Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational Stakes as a 2-year-old in 2015. She won her trial to the Southern California Derby at 400 yards in 2016 and was 1 ½ length winner in the Las Damas Handicap – also contested at 400 yards – in 2017. The California-bred mare had a nice start in her 2018 debut in the Charger Bar, but lugged in during the race and finished second to major multiple stakes winner Kiddy Up Cowgirl in  that winter race.


“She’s gained weight since the Charger Bar and now looks so much more seasoned,” Nicasio said. “She’s been training great. Now that she’s an older mare, there are no more stakes trials and that should help. She runs well fresh.”


Thermonuclear Energy, who is now a winner of $295,257 in her career, could make her next start in the California Breeders Matron Stakes on July 28. She also figures to be one of the top contenders in the Grade 1, $125,000 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap on Sunday, September 23. Her dam, Terrific Energy, won the Mildred Vessels in 2009. Terrific Energy has since become one of California’s top broodmares. Her daughter, Designs By Dynasty, won a race honoring her, the Terrific Energy Handicap, on March 3 and finished fifth in this race. Another one of her daughters, the 2-year-old filly Terrific First Down broke her maiden a few races prior to the Ivan Ashment at Los Alamitos.


 “Along with (Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist) Powerful Favorite, Terrific First Down is one of my favorite 2-year-olds from Chris O’Dell’s barn this year,” Nicasio said.


Oscar Andrade and Steve Burns’ Jess Mas flashed some early speed in the Ivan Ashment, but couldn’t hold off the late train named Thermonuclear Energy. Trained by Elena Andrade, Jess Mas earned $7,875 for her second place finish. Ruben Lozano piloted the 4-year-old daughter of One Sweet Jess from post number eight.

“Her problem has always been the gates,” Andrade said. “She can’t stay too long in the gates. Her best races have been when she can load and go. Her (previous) race put her on tilt since she didn’t really get to run. She’s been feeling really tough. When she’s on her game, she can run with the best.”


Jess Mas’ company lines includes a win in a trial to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby, where she finished ahead of eventual Super Derby winner Chazaq and 2018 Vessels Maturity fastest qualifier Tarzanito. Jess Mas has earned $183,917 in her 23-race career.


Ed Allred’s Tough To Figure, the third place finisher in the Miss Princess Handicap, broke superbly from post six and had the lead on both Thermonuclear Energy and Jess Mas on the way to another third place finisher. The runner-up in the 2017 La Primera Del Ano Derby, Tough To Figure earned $4,375 for her nice effort. Strawfinders Jessee, Designs By Dynasty, One Hot Habit, One Sweet Runner, and Zendaya completed the field.



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