08/18/2011 12:44PM

Los Alamitos: Joiner hits stride with huge weekend


Trainer Cody Joiner has never had a three-day span similar to last weekend when he won six races with eight starters at Los Alamitos.

Joiner, 31, has been training on his own in earnest for the last two years, after assisting his father, Mike, and training a few horses of his own since 2005. Along the way, Joiner had won two races on the same weekend a few times, but never experienced such a level of success.

“I thought we had a really good chance in most of the races,” he said on Wednesday. “I thought that everything had to go right for each of those horses and they did. They ran the way I thought they could.”

The list of winners comprised a pair of 2-year-olds who qualified for the John Deere California Regional Challenge on Aug. 26, the winners of three maiden races, and a victory by Pushing Dazies in a division of the trials for the $238,250 Golden State Derby on Aug. 28.

In the John Deere Challenge, Joiner will start trial race winners Lil Sharky and Tac It Ease E Man, who must beat fastest qualifier FDD Moon. Last month, FDD Moon was sixth in the Governor’s Cup Futurity.

Pushing Dazies is a top contender in the 400-yard Golden State Derby, which could provide Joiner with his biggest win.

The Golden State Derby was only Pushin Dazies’s fifth start in a career plagued by sore shins last summer and an accident on a walker last fall. The shin injury was detected after Pushin Dazies qualified for the Ed Burke Million Futurity. The accident on the walker, an injury to two of Pushin Dazies’s vertebrae, Joiner said, happened five days before time trials for the Golden State Million Futurity last October.

“If there is truly a hard-luck horse, she’s been the case,” Joiner said. “Fortunately, she’s coming into her own. We’ve gotten her back up and she’s fairly live.”

Owned by Double Bar S Ranch, Pushin Dazies was timed in 19.63 seconds in the Golden State Derby trial, the fifth-fastest time, but approximately 1 1/4 lengths slower than fastest qualifier Filthy Fast, who won the third and final trial in 19.42 seconds.

The trial race was Pushin Dazies’s second start of the year, and the first for Filthy Fast since a fourth in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February.

“I think Pushing Dazies will improve considerably,” Joiner said. “She’ll have to to beat Filthy Fast.”