04/03/2017 10:07AM

Stelfast gives trainer first major stakes victory


CYPRESS, Calif. - Stelfast, purchased privately over the winter, gave trainer Valentin Zamudio his first major stakes win in Sunday’s $224,100 El Primero Del Ano Derby for 3-year-old Quarter Horse males at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Cruz Mendez, Stelfast ($17.20) overcame a bumping incident at the start to win the 400-yard race by three-quarters of a length over That Rico, a 6-1 shot who was the fastest qualifier in time trials March 12. That Rico is trained by Paul Jones, who previously trained Stelfast.

The longshots Thats a Good Reason (18-1) and Try Again (51-1) finished in a dead heat for third. Katella Deli, the 8-5 favorite, broke slowly and was last in a field of 10.

Stelfast was timed in 19.88 seconds. A colt by Stel Corona, Stelfast has won 3 of 15 starts and has earned $164,582. The colt was purchased over the winter by Eva Corrasco.

Zamudio, 43, has a 40-horse stable at Los Alamitos and has been training for a decade. He had qualifiers in major stakes in the past, but had never won a six-figure race. Zamudio had three of the 10 finalists in the El Primero Del Ano Derby. Maximo finished sixth, while Jess Kan Fly was ninth.