LARC NEWS Posted: 3/5/2023 3:14:09 AM


       Trials to the first running of the Grade 1 $461,500 Los Alamitos Oaks featured some powerful performances thanks in large part to Streaks Of Power and Candys Special Power, a pair of fillies sired by the Thoroughbred stallion Power Jam. Ken O’Brien, who owns Power Jam in partnership with Dunn Ranch, campaigns both winning fillies, who were among the standouts in the 400-yard trials held here on Saturday night.

       The O’Brien-bred Streaks Of Power (left) finished with the fastest qualifying time of :19.881 after shaking off a bit of trouble at beginning of her trial before pulling away to win by ¾ lengths. O’Brien’s Candys Special Power, who was bred by Pv Quarter Horse Farms LLC, broke nicely and soon took command in route to a ½ length victory and the fourth fastest qualifying time of :19.962. Streaks Of Power was recording her first ever win in three career starts, while the also lightly raced filly Candys Special Power was picking up her second career win from just three starts.    

         A total of 30 fillies completed in the trials with those with the 10 fastest times advancing to the final to be held here on Saturday, March 25. In addition to Streaks Of Power and Candys Special Power, the other trial winners on the night were J. Francisco Diaz’s two-time futurity finalist Quirky Bitty Jess and Larry and Bobbies Rice’s multiple stakes winner Cartel Kisses.

         Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, the Louisiana-bred Streaks Of Power arrived at Los Alamitos after a very troubled journey in a maiden race at Will Rogers Downs. Prior to that, the dashing gray filly was disqualified from first and placed ninth in a futurity trial at Delta Downs last May. At Los Alamitos, Streaks Of Power came in and bumped a rival, but recovered from there to win the opening trial of the night.

        “I think Power Jam needs a little more opportunity and we’re going to see some great results from him,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s the same thing with this filly. She just needed a little more of an opportunity and if you believe in them and keep moving forward with them, put the time and the effort and get the right connections around them I think you end up with great things. She’s lightly raced. I like the idea of racing the 2-year-olds lightly and bring them back for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds and Dr. Allred has done such an amazing job with all the races for the 3-year-old fillies and mares that it’s something that you don’t want to miss out on. We’re going to be doing that with all our fillies moving forward. I think Dr. Allred has put together the most perfect situation for 3-year-old fillies and mares.” “

        It was a glorious return to Los Alamitos for O’Brien, who enjoyed a lot of success at the Orange County oval in the late 1990s and in the early 2000s but had campaigned just one horse here since 2010.    

       “It made my heart smile when I walked in tonight and saw so many familiar faces,” O’Brien said.

        Candys Special Power gave O’Brien many more reasons to smile after she won the final trial of the night with Cervantes up for Arrossa.

        “I would say that she’s probably one of my favorite horses that I’ve ever owned right behind BCR My Main Man who I had with my dear friend Paul Jones,” O’Brien said. “He’ll always be the most precious horse that I ever had.”

        BCR My Main Man finished fifth in the 1996 Champion of Champions and was a multiple stakes winner for O’Brien. And while, he’s O’Brien’s all-time favorite, Candys Special Power has quickly endeared herself to her owner.

        “She’s the best 3-year-old filly that I’ve seen in my life. I’ve always loved her,” O’Brien added. “She just has a special thing about her. I like the way she is put together. She’s got low hocks to the ground, long hips and longer body like the Gentry family (of mares) has, which I think is the best family in our the business. They’ve always been my favorite. We’re looking forward to seeing what she can do this campaign and hopefully at Los Alamitos as a 4 and 5-year-old and raise some babies too. She broke well and ran a good race tonight, but we all start from the same spot in the final. We’ll see how it goes. My wife, Nina, her favorite horses is Streaks Of Power, so we’ll have a little discussion tonight. We’ve been very blessed and fortunate to have what we had tonight.”

        Larry and Bobbie Rice’s Cartel Kisses (photo below) posted the second fastest qualifying time after winning her Los Alamitos debut by ¾ lengths in a time of :19.901. A stakes winner at Ruidoso Downs and Remington Park, Cartel Kisses was picking up her eighth win in 11 career starts.

       “First out here at Los Al, you never know how they’re going to adjust and travel,” trainer Heath Taylor said. “She hadn’t been here a long, long time. She had one work. She’s professional and had a good year last year. It’s hard for any 2-year-old to win seven races. She did so (while racing) at several different tracks. With this being a Grade 1 races and a really nice purse, we paid her late at the last payment - $12,000 – and shipped after that. Really good with her first effort across the track and certainly if she comes back healthy, she’ll have room to improve simply because we didn’t give her an overnight races. We saved it and used the trials preparatorily to get her ready for the final. Hopefully she comes back healthy and makes a good account for herself.”

        Having qualified to the Oaks with Cartel Kisses, Larry and Bobbie Rice will now turn their attention to the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on Sunday night. They will be represented in that race by the Taylor-trained Political Royalty.  

       “They had never (been) to Los Alamitos and were excited to visit the Vessels Club and things they’ve been hearing about Los Al. I’ve been pressing them and pressing them about paying (Cartel Kisses) late,” Taylor added. “They supported Los Alamitos and bought a horse at the Equine Sale for the first time. It was good that they got to come out. They are class people. They let you do your job and I’m blessed to have them.”

        Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo piloted Cartel Kisses, an Oklahoma-bred sired by Kiss My Hocks and out of the mare Midnight Cartel.

        Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Lindolfo Diaz, Quirky Bitty Jess won the remaining trial by 1 ¾ lengths and in the third fastest time of :19.925. The Apollitical Jess filly ran in the Ed Burke Million Futurity and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year.

        The complete list of qualifiers is as follows; Streaks Of Power (:19.881), Cartel Kisses (:19.901), Quirky Bitty Jess (:19.925), Candys Special Power (:19.962), Budder Off Friends (:20.006), Fearless Moon (:20.014), AJ Run For Cash (:20.024), AJ Born Runnin (:20.035), BF Lizzierageous (:20.043), and Midknight Flash (:20.057).


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