09/15/2011 2:32PM

Los Alamitos: Fovee makes second start of comeback in Vessels Memorial


If Fovee runs back to her dazzling comeback win last month, Saturday night’s Grade 1, $150,000 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap for Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos could turn into a race for second. In all, a field of 10 fillies and mares will start in the 400-yard dash that provides its winner with a berth into the Grade  1, $750,000 Champion of Champions.

The Mildred Vessels drew a strong group that includes multiple Grade 1 winner Stylish Jess Br, Grade 2 winner Fall For It, and Remington Park import Fredaville. But Fovee is the one to beat based on her performance in the Grade 3 Los Alamitos Distaff on Aug. 19.

She led throughout in the 400-yard race, and won by 1 1/4 lengths in her first start in about a year. For her second race back, Fovee will break from the rail under regular rider Eduardo Nicasio. Juan Aleman, who trains Fovee for her breeder, Robert Gentry, would love to see the filly duplicate her comeback effort.

“We’re hoping,” Aleman said. “She’s training real well.

“We were hoping to get an outside post because she ran such a great race from an outside post last time, but it is what it is. You get what you get. We’re hoping for a clean start.”

Aleman said a foot issue had kept Fovee on the sidelines. She picked up her first stakes win in her comeback, but earlier in her career had placed in two graded stakes in which she faced male rivals. She is a 4-year-old by Cuvee.

“She’s always been a great filly,” Aleman said. “Even as a 2-year-old she showed she had a lot of talent, a lot of potential.

“Now that she’s more mature, she looks like she’s peaking at the right time.”

Aleman has two other starters in the Mildred Vessels, Chalala, a 12-time winner who comes off a statebred stakes score July 30, and Fredaville, who will be seeking her fourth consecutive win Saturday.

“Chalala is a veteran mare,” Aleman said. “She’s a win machine. She has had some trouble at 400 yards, but she made it look pretty easy her last out in the Matron on California night. After about 300 yards she kicked into another gear, which is something we’re not used to seeing [at 400 yards]. She usually has trouble after 350 yards.”

Chalala once won six races in a row at Los Alamitos, at distances of 220 to 300 yards.

Fredaville is making her first start for Aleman.

“She shipped in about a month ago,” he said, noting she has raced in the past at Los Alamitos.