11/04/2010 9:55AM

Apollitical Jess well-rested for Los Alamitos Super Derby


INGLEWOOD, Calif. − Three times in his career, Apollitical Jess has been the fastest qualifier for a major Quarter Horse race. He held that honor for the Los Alamitos Two Million last December and the All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs in September but finished second in the final of those races.

For Saturday’s $1,052,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby over 400 yards, Apollitical Jess is back in the familiar position of leading qualifier. For this race, time may be on his side. There is a three-week break between the Oct. 17 trials and Saturday’s final, which may work to Apollitical Jess’s advantage, trainer Juan Aleman said.

“The extra week of rest will help him,” Aleman said.

Apollitical Jess zipped through his time trial in 19.19 seconds Oct. 17, recording his sixth win in 12 career starts. Owned by Juan Alberto Tirado Lizarrago, Apollitical Jess overcame a stumble to win the trial by 1 1/2 lengths over Divide the Cash, another qualifier to the final.

The trial time might have been faster and could have challenged Freaky’s track record of 19.15 seconds if jockey Eduardo Nicasio had not stopped urging Apollitical Jess about 50 yards from the final. Still, Apollitical Jess was timed in 9.15 seconds for the 220 yards of the trial.

“Apollitical Jess could have gone a lot faster,” Aleman said. “There’s no doubt about that and he definitely has the ability to go faster.”

The 10 finalists for the Super Derby include Runnning Brook Gal, the winner of the 2009 All American Futurity; Princelike, who was second in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and Golden State Derby earlier this year; and Forrest Fire, who set the second-fastest qualifying time of 19.39 seconds. A Game, second in a division of the trials, had the slowest qualifying time of 19.62 seconds.

Runnning Brook Gal has one victory in six starts since the 2009 All American, the Southwest Juvenile Championship at Zia Park last November. The only filly in the Super Derby field, Runnning Brook Gal was third behind Forrest Fire in the trials after bumping with a rival at the start.

“She needed the race, and this was her first time out at Los Alamitos,” trainer Paul Jones said. “She ran a pretty good race, and I think her next race will be better. The main thing was to qualify, and we did that.”