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LOS ALAMITOS : Koriner's Stock Moves Up Fast


Trainer Brian Koriner, already one of the most successful young trainers at Los Alamitos, added to his reputation by winning two stakes races last weekend.

Koriner, 28, won the $50,000 AQHA Challenge Distance Championship on Friday night with Speedy Lunch, for the second consecutive year, then returned on Saturday and won the $63,000 PCQHRA Breeders' Derby with Daily Triple.

Speedy Lunch had won the inaugural running of the Challenge Distance Championship race last year, when it was run at Sunland Park in El Paso. And Daily Triple's performance in the Breeders' Derby marked the third year in a row that Koriner has had a horse in the top three in that race.

Koriner, who grew up in the Diamond Bar area, has been training racehorses for only about six years. He started in the racing business working on the starting gates at Fairplex Park in Pomona with Tucker Slender, who is now the starter at Santa Anita. Gradually, he moved up to trainer.

"I loved horses," Koriner said. "My dad always took me to the races as a kid. That's what I always wanted to do."

Koriner has trained the 7-year-old Speedy Lunch since the gelding was 3.

Owned by Victor Rodas of Redondo Beach and Pat Marckesano of Rancho Palos Verdes, Speedy Lunch has won 11 stakes races and earned nearly $300,000.

After finishing third in the Table Tennis Handicap, his only other California start this year, Speedy Lunch proved he was at his best Friday night. Under the guidance of jockey Guillermo Gutierrez, Speedy Lunch dueled with three-time distance champion Griswold before pulling ahead and winning the $50,000 race by 1 3/4 lengths.

"Earlier in his life, he was a nervous horse," Koriner said of Speedy Lunch. "As he gets older, he's maturing and getting better."

Daily Triple, with Ralph Seville up, broke well in the PCQHRA Breeders' Derby on Saturday, battling the Charles Treece-trained Barryme before winning by a head. The triumph was the second stakes victory of the meeting for Daily Triple, who also won the Governor's Cup Derby in September.

"I was real confident going into the finals," Koriner said. "If (Daily Triple) broke clean, I thought we could win the race."

Koriner is fourth among the leading trainers at Los Alamitos.


Jockey Kenny Hart, who has spent most of his career at Los Alamitos, will be trying for victory number 2,000 there Friday night when he rides Meter Me Gone in the $36,800 QHBC Far West Futurity.

Hart has ridden such horses as champion Florentine when she won the Grade I Go Man Go Handicap and champion Special Leader when he won the Champion of Champions. His mounts have earned more than $26 million, and he has won 3,000 races in a career that has spanned three decades.

Meter Me Gone, owned by the Vessels Stallion Farm, is trained by former jockey Danny Cardoza. Cardoza, with 2,528 victories, is the all-time leading jockey at Los Alamitos.

The two riding legends, Cardoza and Hart, teamed up in the trials of the Far West Futurity, taking Meter Me Gone to a 1 1/2-length victory over Duardo in his division. The winning time of 17.76 seconds made Meter Me Gone the fastest qualifier.

Meter Me Gone, a 2-year-old colt, has won four of eight starts this season, including a trial for the All-American Futurity. He finished third in the San Diego Handicap, second in the Malibu Handicap and won a $7,000 allowance race, all with Hart in the irons.

The Far West Futurity could provide the first stakes victory for Meter Me Gone, who has already earned more than $12,000.


Missy Bug Special broke down and died during last Friday's AQHA Claiming Stakes Challenge Championship. Preliminary veterinary reports indicate the filly apparently burst a major artery to the heart.

Jockey Richard Vaughn was not seriously injured in the spill. Kenny Hart rode Kczartessa to victory in the race, followed by Jolenas High and Lika Fast.


Southern California Derby winner Artesias Special Gal won the final start of her career in the $10,000 American Airlines Challenge last Friday.

The 3-year-old filly is being retired with a record of nine victories in 18 starts and $108,892 in earnings. She will be bred to leading sire First Down Dash.

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