01/18/2012 1:56PM

Los Alamitos: Dash Back Perry provides a boost


After one of the worst weekends of his training career, Bear Bassett had a much-needed piece of good news earlier this week.

Dash Back Perry, who Bassett saddled to win the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap on Jan. 8, will remain in training this winter for a start in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship trials on Jan. 29. The $200,000-estimated final is Feb. 19.

After the Charger Bar, Bassett thought owner Johnny Trotter would opt to breed Dash Back Perry, via embryo transfer, this winter and then put her back in training for the second half of the year. As of Tuesday, the breeding plans remain in place, but will be delayed until after the Winter Championship.

Trotter, of Hereford, Texas, must pay $12,000 to supplement Dash Back Perry to the Winter Championship, but it may be an investment worth making. The winner of the Winter Championship receives an automatic berth to the $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

For Bassett, 28, Dash Back Perry’s continued presence in the stable in coming weeks is a welcome relief. On Jan. 13, I Like the Odds, who gave Bassett a second career victory in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in December, was euthanized as a result of laminitis. The illness is believed to have been caused by a spider bite I Like the Odds suffered in the days after the Two Million Futurity.

“It’s amazing how you can go from the pinnacle of what we do to the bottom, the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows,” Bassett said on Tuesday. “It doesn’t seem real.”

Bassett has just five horses at Los Alamitos, so keeping the 5-year-old Dash Back Perry in training for another month is a boost in itself. She won the Charger Bar for her fourth win in 19 starts and second consecutive stakes win.

“She ran a beautiful race,” he said. “Hopefully, she’ll make it to the Champion of Champions.”

Bassett has stakes-quality horses pointed for other races at Los Alamitos in coming weeks. Oceanik, third in the Ed Burke Million Futurity last June, and Dash too Blue, seventh in the Los Alamitos Juvenile last month, are candidates for the trials of the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on Feb. 4. The race is restricted to horses who were maidens as of Dec. 1. The $150,000-estimated final is Feb. 26.

“I’ve got some big races coming up,” Bassett said.