12/28/2014 5:25PM

Daytona B fastest qualifier for Hialeah Maturity

Coady Photography
Daytona B, with Yardonis Amaro aboard, completes 440 yards in 21.517 seconds in trials for the $100,000 Hialeah Maturity.

Daytona B, winner of the Grade 3, $200,000 American Quarter Horse Association Derby Challenge at Prairie Meadows this fall, narrowly posted the fastest qualifying time Sunday at Hialeah Park for next month’s rich Hialeah Maturity for Quarter Horses.

Ridden by Yardonis Amaro for trainer Rolando Almanza, Daytona B covered 440 yards in 21.517 seconds in the second of four heats for 3-year-olds. That was slightly faster than the 21.519-second time turned in by first heat winner El Mucho Prieto Boy, a horse-for-the-course with 3 wins and 2 seconds in 5 starts at Hialeah.

The top 10 qualifiers will square off in the $100,000 Hialeah Maturity for 4-year-olds on Jan. 18.

Trainers Judd Kearl and Anna Marie Crowson qualified two horses apiece. Crowson will have Royal Fast Jess (21.711) and Quick Dynasty (21.738). Kearl’s finalists are Max Cartel (21.748) and Jessies First Down (21.818).

In Sunday’s $25,000 Orange Blossom Stakes, the 550-yard first leg of the Hialeah distance series, favored Emperor Valerian ($5) won by 1 3/4 lengths, completing the distance in 27.09 seconds under jockey Alex Baldillez Jr.