08/09/2013 1:24PM

Los Alamitos: The August Heat back in Golden State Derby trials


A knee injury diagnosed in January left the 3-year-old Quarter Horse The August Heat sidelined for the first half of 2013. Fortunately for owner and breeder Bobby Cox of Fort Worth, Texas, the majority of the top 3-year-old races at Los Alamitos are in the later months of the year.

Sunday, The August Heat returns after a break of more than six months in a division of the Golden State Derby trials at 400 yards. The final, worth a projected $250,000, will be run Aug. 25.

The August Heat has won 2 of 10 starts and $392,288. A gelding by Corona Cartel, The August Heat was second by a nose in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last December, the richest race at Los Alamitos.

For his comeback, The August Heat had a required workout July 23 – 350 yards in 17.7 seconds from the gate – that left trainer Jaime Gomez confident heading into Sunday’s race.

“I’ve had him for a month,” Gomez said Thursday. “He worked super good. I expect a good race from him.”

Earlier this year, The August Heat went through early training with Texas trainer John Buchanan. Last year, The August Heat was third in the Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park when trained by Buchanan.

The August Heat starts in the second of three time trials Sunday. The horses with the 10 fastest times, regardless of finishing position, will qualify for the final.

The August Heat has the highest earnings of the trial race runners.

In the seventh race, Revv Me Up, who won the El Primero Del Ano Derby at Los Alamitos in April, breaks from the outside post. Trained by Paul Jones, Revv Me Up was third in the Governor’s Cup Derby on July 27.

Tell of the Past and Tres Primeros, third and fourth in the El Primero, challenge The August Heat in the eighth race.

The final division is led by Amore La Blue, who was third in the Golden State Million last November. Amore La Blue has not started since finishing third in the Los Alamitos Two Million trials.

Gomez starts Jess Being Valiant, who is unraced since finishing fifth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile, the consolation to the rich final last December.

“I’ve just had him for two weeks,” Gomez said. “He’s got a lot of class.”