LARC NEWS Posted: 9/11/2022 1:30:18 AM


     Five Livestock Company and Steve Wright’s Favorite Honey will look to become only the fifth runner to sweep the PCQHRA Breeders Series after posting the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 2 final on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, Favorite Honey (left) held off a late rush from Los Alamitos Oaks winner Sweet Tess to win the first of three trials at 400 yards. Twenty runners were in action in the trials with horses with the 10 fastest times advancing to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby final on Saturday, October 1. Favorite Honey, a gelding by Favorite Cartel out of Coronas Fast Honey, won his trial by a neck over Sweet Tess while covering the distance in :19.779. Edward and Theresa DeNike’s homebred filly Sweet Tess finished with the second fastest qualifying time of :19.812. Jesus Avila’s Benevolent and Valeriano Racing Stables’ Sweet Dasha Fire were the other trial winners. They both qualified to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby final as well.

A winner of the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year, Favorite Honey will set his sights on completing the PCQHRA Breeders Series and in the process become the first runner since Ima Chickie Two accomplished the feat in 2011-12. The others to win both the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and Derby are Hawkish (2003-04), Make It Anywhere, (2000-2001), and A Zure Hope Too (1985-86). Purchased for $34,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Favorite Honey has won eight of 14 starts in his career while earning $362,388. His most recent stakes win came in the Governor’s Cup Derby on July 31.

Trained by Pat Visscher and ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Sweet Tess was fourth at the start but flew during the second half of this race to finish second. With an affinity for the 400-yard distance, the Apollitical Jess filly won the rich $438,000 Oaks earlier this year. The Oaks was also at 400 yads.

Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Adan Farias, Benevolent (photo) was fast out of the gate, established an early ¾ length lead, and went on to win the second trial by a half-length and in time of :20.031. The gelding by Fly Thru The Fire also won his 400-yard trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year, although he did not qualify for the final. In two previous starts this year, Benevolent was third to Da Special One in an allowance event before running fourth to that rival in the Jens List Memorial Stakes. Farias trained S-Quarter K LLC’s Ima Chickie Two to her PCQHRA Breeders Futurity win back in 2011.

Owned by Valeriano Racing Stable and bred by S-Quarter K LLC, Sweet Dasha Fire (left) posted a half-length victory in her derby trial to score her first win since her Two Million trial in November 2021. The Walk Thru Fire filly out of Dasha Freda was fourth to Favorite Honey in the Governor’s Cup Derby. She was also fourth to Sweet Tess in the Oaks. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Sweet Dasha Fire covered the distance in the third fastest qualifying time of :19.823. By the way, Flores saddled  Ima Chickie Two to her PCQHRA Breeders Derby win in 2012. Howard Nichols’ Jess Being A Friend, the runner-up in last year’s Two Million, finished second in this trial.  

Valeriano Racing Stable purchased Sweet Dasha Fire from her breeders earlier this year. Valeriano is having a tremendous summer of racing. At Ruidoso Downs, the racing operation won the All American Derby and Rainbow Derby with A Pollitical Candy V. They also finished second with Sicario V in the All American Futurity.

The complete list of qualifiers to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby follows:  Favorite Honey (:19.779), Sweet Tess (:19.812), Sweet Dasha Fire (:19.823), Jess Being A Friend (:19.877), Look Up (:19.883), Favorite Habit (:19.918), Insider Information (:19.942), Corona Yo (:19.965), Benevolent (:20.031), and Over Again (:20.101).


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