04/11/2012 12:27PM

Los Alamitos: New Look, Flame N Flash to get a break


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – It’s becoming automatic. Each spring, the winners of the El Primero Del Ano Derby for Quarter Horse colts and geldings and the La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies earn a vacation.

This year’s winners – Flame N Flash in the La Primera last Friday and New Look in Saturday’s El Primero – will have lengthy breaks. Flame N Flash will not race again until September, or more likely October, trainer Juan Aleman said. New Look will return for the Governor’s Cup Derby trials in July, according to trainer Dan Francisco.

That is similar to the schedule of past winners. The El Primero and La Primera stakes are part of the second round of derbys each year, preceded by the Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February. The Winter Derby is close enough to the major stakes for 2-year-olds that is is easy to keep a prospect in training into the new year.

The next derby on the Los Alamitos schedule is the Governor’s Cup Derby, which has trials on July 13 and a $250,000-estimated final on July 28. There are a few minor stakes for 3-year-olds in between.

New Look, who is expected to make his next start in the Governor’s Cup Derby trials, has won three of his last four starts.

Owned by Mimi Wells and trained by Dan Francisco, New Look won his first stakes in the El Primero. He was Francisco’s second career win in the El Primero, 38 years after a win by Triple Beat.

Flame N Flash, owned by Robert Williams of Utah, will not take part in the Governor’s Cup Derby.

For Flame N Flash, Aleman is focusing on the $1 million Los Alamitos Super Derby, which has trials on Oct. 14 and a final on Nov. 3. There is a possibility that she could start in the $150,000 Millie Vessels Handicap for fillies and mares on Sept. 30.

Her vacation comes after the best race of her 11-race career, which includes five wins and earnings of $173,726.

“You’ve got to keep them fresh,” Aleman said. “They can turn on you in a second.

“We’ll let her be a horse. She’s proven she can come back.”