LARC NEWS Posted: 3/4/2024 12:43:25 AM


           Lance Bland and Jimmy Barton’s Asscher followed her impressive winning effort in the Holiday Handicap with a sensational victory in the first of three trials to the Grade 1, $404,000 Los Alamitos Oaks on Sunday night.

            The Los Alamitos Oaks is the richest race of the meet for 3-year-old fillies and among the best in the countries for this division. A Grade 1 stakes race for the second year in a row, the Oaks is also offering a final purse of $400,000 or more for the fourth year in a row. The 400-yard final will be held on Saturday, March 23.          

Ridden by Christian Ramos for trainer Marc Jungers, Asscher (left) flew away from post four and extended her lead at the midway point, going from a ¾ length advantage to a full-length lead. The filly by FDD Dynasty cruised home from there, winning the 400-yard dash by a half-length while posting the fastest qualifying time of :19.871.

Sired by FDD Dynasty and out of the multiple graded stakes winner Astica, the New Mexico-bred filly also advanced to the second Grade 1 stakes final of her career. Bred by MJ Farms, she qualified to the $1 million Rainbow Futurity final at Ruidoso Downs last year.

Asscher has now won three of seven career starts, including the Holiday Handicap over males during this meet’s opening night back on December 30. On that night, Asscher needed her shoe repaired while in the paddock before looking splendid in the late going to win the $20,000 race for juveniles. The victory was Jungers’ first at Los Alamitos and his first visit in this winner’s circle since his time as a groom of the Champion of Champions winner Denim N Diamonds. Jungers now trains as sparkling filly of his own in Asscher.

J. Francisco Diaz’s Checkn Cartel, who followed Asscher in this trial, was the second fastest qualifier in a time of :19.954. Ed Allred’s In The Mode, who was the third place finisher in this heat, posted the third fastest time of :20.036. This trial produced half of field of 10 to the Oaks, as Steve Burns, Mark and Marta Winslow and Jose Flores’ Silver Bac had the eighth fastest time of :20.203 and Levings Racing LLC’s Favorite City had the 10th fastest clocking of :20.324.

Ramiro Lozano’s Hubba Hubba was the surprise package of the night, as the Foose filly defeated Grade 2 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity winner Double Down 123 in the third trial of the night. Sent off at 14-1 odds, Hubba Hubba led this trial from start to finish, crossing the wire a neck ahead of Double Down 123 while posting the fourth fastest time of :20.10. Trained by Elena Andrade, the Allred-bred filly ran third in the Governor’s Cup Futurity final last year.

Taos River Ranch and Randy Young’s Double Down 123, voted the PCQHRA champion 2-year-old filly last year, advanced to the Oaks finals with the fifth fastest time of :20.143. She’ll be one of the three fillies from the barn of trainer Monty Arrossa, who also qualified Dunn Ranch’s  Southern Devine and the previously  mentioned Favorite City.

Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala, Southern Divine won the second trial by a neck thanks to a very quick start and good job holding off the late charge of Gentry Farms’ Separate Heart. Southern Divine was the sixth fastest qualifier in :20.159 while Separate Heart was the seventh fastest in :20.195.

Steve Burns, the AQHA champion breeder, owns the talented filly Market Analyst, who ran third to Hubba Hubba in the trials and finished with the ninth fastest time of :20.254. Twice an eye-catching winner at Los Alamitos, Market Analyst is a filly by Favorite Cartel and a half-sister to the stakes placed Mornings With Maria. Burns is also part owner of Silver Bac, who qualified out of the productive first trial of the night.

The complete list of qualifiers to the Oaks final is as follows: Asscher (:19.871), Checkn Cartel (:19.954), In The Mode (:20.036), Hubba Hubba (:20.10), Double Down 123 (:20.143), Southern Divine (:20.159), Separate Heart (:20.195), Silver Bac (:20.203), Market Analyst (:20.254), and Favorite City (:20.324).







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