LARC NEWS Posted: 3/11/2019 12:25:04 AM


            Rosenthal Ranch’s Powerful Favorite improved his 2019 record to a perfect three for three after outfinishing Matthew Dunn’s Apollitical Pence by a nose to post the fastest qualifying time to the $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Twenty-five sophomore males competed in the trials with the horses with the 10 fastest times advancing to the final on Sunday, March 31. Powerful Favorite, who has now qualified to six major stakes races at Los Alamitos from just 12 career starts, covered the 400 yards in :19.638.

Bred by James Markum and Dr. Steve Burns, Powerful Favorite won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on February 9 and the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year while also qualifying to three Grade 1 futurities here last year – the Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million. Powerful Favorite rallied to win his derby trial even though he stumbled at the start.

“He’s starting to really get my attention and amaze me,” trainer Chris O’Dell said. “He’s overcoming little trouble points, whether it’s getting out of the gate or getting bumped. That’s what makes a true racehorse. He’s really maturing into a super, super horse. The Rosenthals are walking on air. It’s hard to describe him. He’s just turned into a super horse. We have his younger half-brother in the barn. I hope he can run just half as good and we’ll be okay.”

Eduardo Nicasio piloted the gelding by Favorite Cartel.

            Martha Wells’ Red Hawk Cartel, who finished second to Powerful Favorite in the Winter Derby, continues to impress after winning his El Primero trial by a neck over EG High Desert Farms’ Bail Czech. Ridden by Erasmo Gasca for trainer Matt Fales, Red Hawk Cartel covered the distance in :19.681.

            “The best part is that he’s still colt,” Wells said. “He’s bred well. He’s smart. He’s professional and Matt has done a great job training him. He’s good in the gate. He’s just a good boy. It’s fun to have a colt that’s good. The last colt I had was Woodstock Brown and he was never like (Red Hawk Cartel). I came close to (gelding) him after his second out. We ran him on California Breeders Champions Night and he was a good boy in that race. I said ‘okay, we’ll let you pass this time.’ He’s been very good ever since.”

This was Red Hawk Cartel’s second career win in nine starts. He’s also finished in the money in six of those outings.

Howard Nichols’ Dexxter won the final trial from post number one when crossing the wire a length ahead of Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Jess Bein Me. Jose Nicasio piloted the McColee Land & Livestock LLC-bred Dexxter to a winning time of :19.798

“In the Two Million he was in the one hole and he nearly (fell) to his knees at the start,” Nichols said. “He came back (in the race) and ran eighth. This is the first time he’s ran since the Two Million. He had two good works (since the Two Million). I think it helped him. We wanted to give him a race, but we had to wait. Sometimes it’s just better to wait. He had a good finish (:09.51 in final 220 yards). It’s all in the break. It’s all about the start at the gates with these kind of horses. We are happy.”  

Jaime Gomez trains the Corona Cartel gelding, whose dam in the Charger Bar Handicap winner Tres Of Linda.

            Thomas Bradbury and Lisa Beauprez’s homebred Teller Hez Famous scored his second career victory and first since winning his racing debut on May 6. Seven outings after that winning debut and Teller Hez Famous visited the charmed circle for the victory photograph. Jesus Rios Ayala piloted the son of One Famous Eagle for trainer Paul Jones.    

“We just gelded him not too long ago,” Jones said. “I think it really helped him. He’s starting to pay attention and he’s concentrating. I think it’s made a difference. We just lost Tom Bradbury. He was a great guy and loved the horses. I’m glad that his family – his daughters, sons and his wife - are keeping (their racing stable) going. Hopefully we can make it payoff and make Tom happy and proud up above.”    

Teller Hez Famous posted the sixth fastest qualifying time of :19.838.

            The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Powerful Favorite (:19.638), Apollitical Pence (:19.640), Red Hawk Cartel (:19.681), Bail Czech (:19.719), Dexxter (:19.798), Teller Hez Famous (:19.838), Jess Curlin (:19.850), Ali Babe Foose (:19.862), KR Hi Five (:19.886) and Tac Me Up (:19.896).



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