01/27/2013 2:50PM

Hialeah: Two fillies among fastest qualifiers for South Florida Quarter Horse Derby


A pair of fillies who went off at double-digit odds were among the fastest qualifiers during Saturday’s four trial heats for the South Florida Quarter Horse Derby at Hialeah Park.

The 10 fastest qualifiers, a group led by the gray colt Carverson, will return for the $100,000 finals for 3-year-olds going 440 yards on closing day, Feb. 17. Carverson won the last of four heats by daylight in 21.75 seconds.

Mi Angela, a filly coming off a maiden win on Jan. 12, posted the second fastest qualifying time when she outran her 16-1 odds to finish a length behind Carverson with a time of 21.912 seconds.

The third fastest qualifier was another filly, Panther Speed, a 15-1 outsider who got up by a neck over James On the Run in 21.914 seconds. James On the Run also qualified for the finals with his time of 21.94. Panther Speed was coming off a ninth-place finish in the Hialeah Lassie Futurity, a race in which she was pinched back at the start.

Carverson, ridden by Manuel Gutierrez for trainer Rogelio Martinez, established himself as the favorite for the closing-day feature with his impressive win. He had won a trial for the Hialeah Laddie Futurity, but finished fourth in the finals on Dec. 30 after stumbling at the start.

The horse who finished directly behind Carverson in last month’s futurity final, Hey List, also came back to win a qualifying heat. Hey List posted the day’s fourth fastest qualifying time when he prevailed by a half-length in 21.918 seconds.

Jockeys Agustin Silva, Manuel Gutierrez, Freddie Martinez, and Raul Gutierrez will all have their pick of mounts in the derby, as all four rode two qualifiers each.