Preview Racing

Twenty-Eight To Race In Southern California Derby Trials On Sunday Night
Governorís Cup Derby winner Future Version is one of 28 sophmores entered the Grade 2 $162,700 Southern California Derby Sunday night at Los Alamitos Race Course.

© William Zuazo
Twenty-Eight To Race In Southern California Derby Trials On Sunday Night

LOS ALAMITOS, CA–NOVEMBER 23, 2023–Trials to the final derby of the year, the Grade 2 Southern California Derby, will feature many of the top sophomores at Los Alamitos with a lineup headed by Governor’s Cup Derby winner Future Version and Grade 1 stakes runner-ups Good Wagon SA and Aint He Tempting.

Three trials will be contested with a total of 28 runners participating in the 400-yard heats. The horses with the 10 fastest times will move on to the $162,700 Southern California Derby final to be held on the meet’s closing night, Sunday, December 17.

Owned by Rojas Racing and Juan H. Moya, Future Version has enjoyed a strong 3-year-old season. Bred by Ed Allred, the gelding by Favorite Cartel out of the top mare Make Over has won three of five starts this year, with the win in (Restricted Grade 2) Governor’s Cup Derby victory being the highlight of his season.

Trained by Jose Flores, Future Version dominated the race, leading by daylight right from the start and going on to win by two lengths. He only finished fifth in his trial to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby, but in the race against the clock to qualify, he was fast enough to make the top 10.

Future Version went on to face eventual winner Jeriko, (G1) Rainbow Derby winner Sicario V, and multiple (G1) winner Party Politics in the $985,650 final, but a rough start eliminated him from contention right away as he went to finish eighth. Cruz Mendez will be aboard Future Version when he takes part in race number nine, which is the second Southern California Derby.

J. Francisco Diaz and his son, trainer Lindolfo Diaz, had a terrific Los Alamitos Two Million trials night, as Lindolfo qualified a pair of runners to the meet’s richest race, including Checkn Cartel for his father. The two will look to advance to another graded final in December with Randy and Stacy Hill-bred runner Good Wagon SA, who by the way represented the father and son team in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million final.

While a winner in only one his seven starts this season, Good Wagon SA will face Future Version in the second trial after posting a 1 ¼ length victory in the Town Policy Handicap from along the rail. However, the son of Good Reason SA has had a strong campaign, as his resume also includes runner-up efforts in both the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and Grade 2 Golden State Derby. Oscar Peinado will pilot Good Wagon SA from post two.

Dunn Ranch’s Aint He Tempting is another top name here and will join Future Version and Good Wagon SA in the star-studded trial number two. Like Good Wagon SA, the son of Tempting Dash scored a solid stakes victory in his previous start, as cruised to a ¾ length victory in the Cerritos Handicap with Armando Cervantes up for trainer Monty Arrossa.

Aint He Tempting was also winning for only the first time this year after spending his summer running in trials to the Rainbow Derby and Grade 1 All American Derby. Last year, the McColee Land & Livestock-bred runner finished second to Party Politics in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity and also won his trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million.

The trials to the Southern California Derby will include Zynda Racing’s Wasting Light, who ran in last year’s Golden State Million final, EG High Desert Farms’ Marcelo, who looked good in winning his trials to the Los Alamitos Super Derby, Frivolous, the winner of last year’s Governor’s Cup Futurity, and MWM Racing and Steve Burns’ Mornings With Maria, who was second in last year’s Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

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