04/10/2007 11:00PM

Los Alamitos: Gomez has swiftest, Jones has the numbers


Trainer Jaime Gomez saddles the fastest qualifiers to Friday's Grade 1, $205,200 El Primero Del Ano Derby and Saturday's Grade 1, $218,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby, but five-time defending national champion trainer Paul Jones has the numbers, with seven qualifiers in the two 400-yard stakes at Los Alamitos.

The El Primero Derby is for colts and geldings, while the La Primera Derby is the filly counterpart.

Gomez's El Primero Derby fastest qualifier, Not a Full Moon, a brother to 2001 champion 2-year-old Your First Moon, has won 3 of his last 4 starts, including his sole stakes win in the Grade 3 AQRA Turf Paradise Futurity. He won the third of three El Primero trials in 19.640 seconds for 400 yards.

"He's improving every day," said Gomez. "He'll be a very good 3-year-old."

Leading the Jones foursome in the El Primero is Trisk, a full brother to reigning world champion Wave Carver and two-time champion Ocean Runaway. Those two brothers won the last two runnings of the Grade 1 Champion of Champions. Trisk has not reached that level, but has won 2 of his latest 3 starts. In his derby trial, he defeated Lassen County, runner-up in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Gomez saddles the promising Jess Sass Me, a daughter of two-time Grade 1 winner Sassy Smith, in the La Primera Derby. She has been on the board in each of her eight starts, with four wins, including the Holiday Handicap. She was third in the Winter Derby.

Jess Sass Me ran a professional race to win her La Primera trial by a half-length in 19.750 seconds, the fastest time from four trials.

Jones has the stakes-tested Corona Deluxe among his three La Primera qualifiers. She was third in the Grade 1 Kindergarten, and sixth in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million and the Grade 1 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

Corona Deluxe finished second by a nose in her La Primera trial behind the undefeated second-fastest qualifier Fancys First Affair.

Fancys First Affair, from the Joe Bassett barn, has won her three starts against lesser competition. She returned from an extended layoff for chip-removal surgery to narrowly win her La Primera trial in 19.755 seconds.