LARC NEWS Posted: 7/24/2023 2:25:01 AM


     Jeryl Hartley’s Hes Chickless has set his sights on a second graded derby win this year after posting the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 2, $206,200 Golden State Derby at 400 yards on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

      Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Sergio Morfin, Hes Chickless flew out of the gate from the outside post number eight and never looked back while scoring a terrific ¾ length trial win in the fastest time of :19.772 for the August 13 final. Bred by Hartley and her husband, the late Ron Hartley, Hes Chickless will look to add the Golden State Derby to his upset victory in the El Primero Del Ano Derby in late March. The colt by Hes Relentless also improved his career record to seven wins from 15 career starts.

      “What a nice race,” Morfin said. “That horse is an amazing horse. He tries hard all the time. This time he got a better post position, and he really loved the post position. This horse is so professional. He doesn’t make any mistakes from the gate and he tries really hard every time.”

       For the second time this season, owner David Hinkins had one of the fastest qualifiers to a derby final. Earlier this year it was Price Fixer who topped the trials to the El Primero. This time it was Hinkins’ filly Budder Off Friends, as she posted the second fastest qualifying time to the Golden State Derby thanks to a hard-fought nose victory over Eleazar Gonzales’ Mahomes Magic in the opening trial of the night. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Adan Farias, Budder Off Friends led from gate to wire while stopping the clock in :19.827. The FDD Dynasty filly came into this race after running second to the Grade 1 winner Famous Shining Star in the Check Her Twice Stakes on June 11.

       “I thought this was a really tough race especially having the filly in that race,” Farias said. “For the first time she broke really good out of the gate. She got the lead; they almost took it away from us, but she was able to hang on. (The Check Her Twice) gave me a lot of confidence especially after she ran :15.27. I was like ‘maybe my filly is the real deal too.’ I was a little more confident tonight because the mare that beat us last time came back and ran a heck of a race again. David called me right after the race. He was excited, happy and he can’t wait to come to California for the final. He’s a happy man.”

       Budder Off Friends, who also qualified to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Oaks earlier this year, improved to three wins from 18 starts.

       JGA Racing Stables’ Party Politics, winner of the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity and Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity last year, finished second to Hes Chickless to finish with the third fastest time of :19.894. He’s hit the board in each of his 11 career starts.

     The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Hes Chickless (:19.772), Budder Off Friends (:19.827), Mahomes Magic (:19.829), Party Politics (:19.894), AJ Born Runnin (:19.942), Good Wagon SA (:19.946), Tena Rena (:19.976), Chicks First Flash (:19.980), Wise Lady Dawn (:20.004), and El Aventurero (20.015).



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