04/12/2006 12:00AM

Volcom heads El Primero


Volcom, winner of five of his last six starts, should be favored to gain his first Grade 1 victory in the $129,400 El Primero Del Ano Derby for colts and geldings on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Volcom for long has shown the potential to be a Grade 1 winner by winning six trials to Grade 1 futurities or derbies. However, his trial-winning time has not been fast enough to qualify for the finals three times, he was third in the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity and fifth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby. In his El Primero Derby trial - his sixth Grade 1 trial appearance - he ran the 400 yards in 19.515 seconds, the fastest time of two trial races on March 24.

A member of the national champion Paul Jones stable, Volcom won the Los Alamitos Prep Handicap, an overnight stakes, on Sept. 19, his sole stakes win.

Just a nose behind Volcom in their El Primero Derby trial was second-fastest qualifier Wanta Dubloon, who ran third in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and fifth in the Los Alamitos Million.

Jumpn Chic won the other El Primero Derby trial by 1 3/4 lengths in 19.606 seconds, the third-fastest qualifying time.

Upsetters back in derby

Corones Dream and Love to Finish First, double-digit upset winners in their trials, will try to validate their surprising wins in the Grade 1, $160,300 La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies at Los Alamitos on Saturday night.

Corones Dream, at 12-1, won the first of two trials by a half-length over 3-5 favorite Love My Corona. It was the first win for Corones Dream since she won her maiden on June 23. Love My Corona was a close second in the Grade 1 Kindergarten last year.

Corones Dream has the fastest qualifying time of 19.700 seconds for 400 yards.

Love My Corona is the second-fastest qualifier with a 19.765-second time.

In the second La Primera Derby trial, Love to Finish First, a 15-1 shot, upset 3-10 favorite Separate Encounter by a neck with the third-fastest time of 19.855 seconds. Love to Finish First won her maiden two starts ago. Separate Encounter was a troubled last-place finisher in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Sunland: Top qualifiers battle

Speedy Strawfly and Mightys First Call, who finished in a dead heat in their trial, thus sharing fastest-qualifier status, will challenged by eight other promising New Mexico-bred juveniles in the Grade 1, $293,415 New Mexican Spring Futurity on Sunday at Sunland Park.

Speedy Strawfly raced to his second win in as many starts with the dead-heat finish in 15.131 seconds for the 300 yards. In his career debut, he drew off to a 1 3/4-length win in a 300-yard maiden race with a 15.33-second time.

Mightys First Call, one of three finalists from the Blane Wood stable, came off a third-place finish in a maiden race to share the trial victory with Speedy Strawfly.

Wood will also saddle trial winners Mister WW and Blushing Thoughts.