03/02/2011 3:07PM

Tr Eddie blossoming for Aleman

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Trainer Juan Aleman is unlikely to match his 2010 success this year. Last year, he trained Quarter Horse World Champion Apollitical Jess, who won the Los Alamitos Super Derby and Champion of Champions in the fall to clinch the coveted title.

This year, Aleman has another 3-year-old with a lucrative stakes win – Tr Eddie in the $138,250 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes last Saturday – but nothing of the caliber of Apollitical Jess, who has been retired to stud.

“It’s going to be hard filling that void, but we have a couple that are pretty good,” Aleman said.

The trainer has 36 horses at Los Alamitos, 23 of which are 2-year-olds who will begin their careers as early as next month.

Aleman expects to have a quiet March and may send Tr Eddie to owner George Lucas’s Vinewood Farm in Visalia, Calif., for a break in the spring and early summer. The other option is to start Tr Eddie in time trials March 18 for the $200,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby on April 8 and then rest the gelding.

“We probably won’t bring him back until late summer, if we give him time off,” Aleman said.

Tr Eddie has won three consecutive starts, a maiden race on Jan. 7 and a trial and the final of the Maiden Stakes, which was restricted to horses that had not won a race as of Dec. 1, 2010. Bred by Vinewood, Tr Eddie has won 3 of 9 starts and $89,945.

In the Maiden Stakes, Tr Eddie broke well, led by a head midway through the 350-yard race, and won by that margin over 30-1 Jumpn Jet and 24-1 Teller No Lies, who finished in a dead heat for second. Blazin Son, the 6-5 favorite, finished sixth after a poor start.

“He’s always had talent and been right there,” Aleman said of Tr Eddie. “Ever since he broke his maiden, he’s pulled it together.”

There were hints last year that Tr Eddie had ability. He qualified for the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Futurity in October by running a fast third in a division of the trials but finished a troubled sixth in the final.

Regardless of when Tr Eddie is rested this year, Aleman has two lucrative goals for the gelding in the fall – the $1 million Los Alamitos Super Derby in November and the $200,000 Southern California Derby in December.