09/28/2011 12:43PM

Los Alamitos: Hot Hitter has another stakes win in sights


Hot Hitter will be favored to win his second stakes of 2011 in Friday’s $168,500 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders’ Derby at Los Alamitos, a race that also includes three runners owned by Vessels Stallion Farm.

Hot Hitter won the Governor’s Cup Derby at Los Alamitos in July, but was a troubled second in a division of the PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby over 400 yards on Sept. 16. Hot Hitter was bumped at the start and finished a half-length behind Enjoy the Walk, who set the fastest qualifying time of 19.39 seconds.

Enjoy the Walk was seventh in the Governor’s Cup Derby earlier this year.

Hot Hitter is trained by Felipe Quintero for Arnold Gonzalez, and has won 5 of 12 starts and $490,857, the most of the 10 finalists in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby. Hot Hitter is one of only three males in the final.

Vessels starts Onemoreglassofwine, Sheza Fast Habit, and Sheza Shy Shahayla, who is a filly co-owned by Atwood Ranches. Onemoreglassofwine and Sheza Fast Habit won divisions of the time trials, while Sheza Fast Shahayla was third behind Onemoreglassofwine.

There were four trial races on Sept. 16. Natalias Got Moves won the first division in 19.45 seconds in her first start of 2011. She was second to The Goodbye Kisser in the 2010 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity.

Long Gone gets another chance

Saturday’s program at Los Alamitos is highlighted by the $500,000-estimated PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity over 350 yards, a race led by Long Gone, the disqualified winner of the Governor’s Cup Futurity in July.

A winner of 3 of 5 starts, Long Gone set the fastest qualifying time of 17.376 seconds in time trials for the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity on Sept. 10. In the Governor’s Cup Futurity, Long Gone finished first, but was disqualified and placed ninth for causing interference.

The disqualification did not surprise owner Armando Leon. “I’ve watched the replay of that race many, many times, probably too many times, and I understood the decision,” he said. “On the good side, I knew right after that race that we had a horse to keep going [with] after the big races.”

Other top contenders for the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity are trial winners Kindly Fellow and Mr TR Dasher, who, along with Long Gone, are the by the stallion TR Dasher. Earlier this year, Kindly Fellow was fourth in the Kindergarten Futurity and second in the Ed Burke Million Futurity.