03/23/2012 11:18AM

Los Alamitos: This Boogie Fires sharp for finals of La Primera Del Ano Derby


Springtime racing at Los Alamitos seems to bring out the best in the Quarter Horse filly This Boogie Fires.

Last year, she beat maidens in her debut in April, won a division of the time trials for the Kindergarten Futurity on May 8, and finished third in the final two weeks later.

On March 17, days before the official start of spring, she made her second start of 2012 in the time trials for the $214,300 La Primera Del Ano Derby and set the fastest qualifying time of 19.78 seconds for the 400-yard race. The final is on April 6.

“We’ve always felt that she was a good one,” co-owner Mike Abraham said. “It’s nice when a horse runs like you expect that they will run.”

A winner of 3 of 6 starts for Abarham, Carlos Lopez and trainer Jaime Gomez, This Boogie Fires will be favored in the final, the only Quarter Horse Derby at Los Alamitos restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

This Boogie Fires has room for improvement. She was fractious at the start of the Huntington Beach Handicap in February and did the same to a lesser extent in the March 17 trial, which she won by a half-length.

In the final, This Boogie Fires faces trial race winners Flame Flash, who was fourth in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Feb. 18, and Natalie Dash, who was sixth in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Breeders Association Futurity last October.

Before 2000, when Los Alamitos went to a year-round Quarter Horse schedule, the La Primera Del Ano Derby and El Primero Del Ano Derby for colts and geldings were the season’s first major stakes for 3-year-olds. On the current schedule, they are part of the second round of such races, preceded by the Winter Derby.

The El Primero Del Ano Derby will be run on April 7, a day earlier than scheduled. The track announced last week that there will be no racing on the evening of Easter Sunday, April 8. As a result, the finals of both derbys were pushed forward one day.

Kobe, the winner of the Los Alamitos Winter Derby, qualified for the El Primero Del Ano Derby despite stumbling at the start of a division of the trials, and finishing third.

The fastest qualifier for the $151,750 final is New Look, who has held that position before this year. Trained by Dan Francisco for Mimi Wells, New Look was the fastest qualifier for the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes in February, but was seventh in the final of that race.