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One Dashing Eagle Tops Ed Burke Trials

De Le Torre brothers enjoy more success at Los Alamitos.

June 11, 2012

With the likes of Grade 1 winner One Sweet Jess and now 2-year-old One Dashing Eagle, the De La Torre brothers have certainly enjoyed great luck racing colts out the Allred Brothers’ outstanding broodmare One Sweet Dash.

Running for Gustavo and Jose De La Torre and San Gregorio Racing Stables, One Dashing Eagle became the fastest qualifier to the $1,041,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) following an outstanding three-quarter length victory in the ninth of 13 trials on Sunday at Los Alamitos. The sorrel colt will now headline the Ed Burke Million final to be held on Sunday, June 24. The Ed Burke Million serves as the first leg of the Los Alamitos $1-Million Cash Bonanza, which is the track’s version of the Triple Crown. The winner of the Ed Burke Million stands to win a $1-million cash bonus if he or she can go on to win the Golden State Million Futurity (G1) in November and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) in December. No horse had ever won the Los Alamitos $1-Million Cash Bonanza.

Ridden by Adrian Loza for trainer Eloy Navarro, One Dashing Eagle would love to be the first after covering the 350 yards in :17.555 to break his maiden in his second career start. The colt by freshman sire One Famous Eagle is a half brother to the 2010 Golden State Million Futurity winner One Sweet Jess, who also raced for the De La Torre brothers.

“We bought One Sweet Jess for $37,500 at the Ruidoso Yearling Sale,” said Jose De La Torre. “We paid just a little more for One Dashing Eagle. We gave $41,000 for this colt, but he’s worth every penny. You can’t go wrong when you buy a horse out of One Sweet Dash. She’s a full sister to the great Walk Thru Fire and that’s all we needed to know when we first started looking at her babies. She’s a great producer and we’ve loved racing her sons. We were crushed when we heard that Jerry Allred had passed away a few months ago. They are all gone now, but we think about the Allred Brothers a lot because of the horses. We’ve been blessed to have been able to own some nice horses from their great breeding operation.”

One Sweet Dash was a three time futurity winner in the Allred Brothers’ home state of Arizona. In 1998, One Sweet Dash won the Grade 3 Phoenix Futurity, Grade 3 Prescott Downs Futurity and the AQRA Lassie Sakes. She moved to Los Alamitos during the fall and she was able to finish fifth in that year’s PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G1). As a 3-year-old, One Sweet Dash ran second in the Charger Bar Handicap to Queen Of Appeals, who would also go on to have a fine future as a broodmare. Queen Of Appeals is the mother Good Reason SA, the winner of the 2009 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and 2011 Champion of Champions (G1). As for One Sweet Jess, he now stands at Burns Ranch in Menifee, California, where he bred around 120 mares after retiring from racing last year according to Gustavo De La Torre.

The owners are hoping that One Dashing Eagle’s big win is the sign of things to come.

“As far as our horses were concerned, it had been a bad season for us, but it just picked up right now thanks to One Dashing Eagle,” Gustavo added. “You just have to keep trying the best you can. That’s the important part.”

Runner-up Fires Blazin also qualified to the Ed Burke Million with the sixth-fastest time after covering the distance in :17.705 in this trial. The complete list of qualifiers to the Ed Burke Million Futurity is as follows: One Dashing Eagle (:17.555), Mr Ease Cartel (:17.569), Super Long Straw (:17.613), Joy Roses Eagle SA (:17.691), Streak Hitter (:17.697), Fires Blazin (:17.705), Jess Being Valiant (:17.728), Watch Linda Ballet (:17.739), Starlite Delight (:17.743) and High School Secrets (:17.745).

Trainer Jose Flores saddled the second- and third-fastest qualifiers in the colt Mr Ease Cartel and the filly Super Long Straw. Both runners came into the trials after running in the Grade 2 Kindergarten Futurity. Mr Ease Cartel was the third-place finisher in the Kindergarten, while Super Long Straw finished sixth. The great Corona Cartel sired both of these now multiple futurity finalists.

“Mr Ease Cartel ran like a monster,” said Flores of the Tremor Enterprises LLC-owned colt. “He did everything right. We added a tongue tie after the Kindergarten because we felt he could run even better than he had been running. He was great in the gate tonight. He never moved. He just didn’t break in the Kindergarten.”

Cruz Mendez piloted Mr Ease Cartel, who won the 12th trial by 1 ¼ lengths over another Kindergarten finalist in Revv Me up. Bonanza Racing Stables’ Super Long Straw, meanwhile, scored an impressive 1 ½-length victory over maiden winner Airplane Gold in the fifth trial.

“This filly does everything well,” Flores said. “She’s very intelligent. She doesn’t give me any problems. As a trainer, that’s all you can ask from a horse. She’s as nice as one can be. All I hope for in any race is that my horse gets away clean and doesn’t stumble. I am fine if my horse gets beat by a better horse. The frustrating part is when you get bumped around and you lose all chance to compete with a good horse. In the Kindergarten, she got pushed around. She was starting from the rail and we were hoping for a clean break because she’s not a big filly. The good thing is that she came out of the race okay. I feel fortunate to have two nice horses in this final.”

Racing for the late Gianni Samaja, Joy Roses Eagle SA scored a three-quarter length victory in the opening trial to earn the fourth-fastest qualifying time. Ramon Sanchez piloted the filly by One Famous Eagle out of Gather The Rosesfor trainer Paul Jones.

“I trained her mother and she was a pretty good runner who has become a very good broodmare,” Jones said. “I’ve always liked Joy Roses Eagle SA. She had some of the fastest morning workouts for us. She did not have a chance in her first start, but then came back and ran a pretty good second in her next start. Now that (she’s in the final), I hope that some of Gianni’s grandkids are able to come out for the final.”

The Ed Allred-bred Streak Hitter got the job done in the second trial to advance to the Ed Burke Million finale. Purchased for the sale topping price of $190,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Streak Hitter is by Walk Thru Fire and out of the California champion broodmare Chickasis. Streak Hitter is a full brother to Governor’s Cup Derby (RG1) and Futurity (RG2) winner Hot Hitter and a half brother to Hard Hitting, who also swept the Governor’s Cup series. Felipe Quintero saddled the colt, which was ridden by Carlos Huerta.

James Azevedo and Boyle Family Trust’s High School Secrets won the third trial while hanging on to the 10th and final qualifying time. The No Secrets Here gelding was ridden by Ramon Sanchez and saddled by Paul Jones.

“This is so exciting because it’s been a long time since we’ve made a race as big as this one,” said James Azevedo. “We’ve been running horses since 1994 and we’ve had a great time doing it. This will be our first big one since Finding Nemo made some futurities in 2005. We had to wait our turn for a long time, but I guess it’s now our turn to run in a big one. We didn’t think that his time would be good enough to qualify, but Paul told us that it was actually a pretty good time and that he had a chance to make it. We stayed positive the entire night and we are now very excited with the way things ended. To even finish in 10th place in this race is a good thing.”

Howard Nichols waited for many years to make a million-dollar futurity and it finally happened with Oceanik in last year’s Ed Burke. Oceanik went on to finish third in that race and later in the year Nichols was part of the ownership that won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity with I Like The Odds. Nichols’ turn came up again in this year’s Ed Burke Million courtesy of Jess Being Valiant. The colt by Valiant Hero and out of local stakes winner Jess Sass Me is now a perfect two-for-two in his racing career.

“I bought him for $47,000 at the Ruidoso Sale last year,” Nichols said. “He came through for us.”

Big things were expected from the barn of trainer Juan Aleman because of his many impressive maiden winners that were participating in the Ed Burke Million trials. After the dust settled, Aleman qualified two horses to the final in the impressive Watch Linda Ballet and the talented Starlite Delight. Aleman’s horses also had their share of bad luck, as trial favorite Bon Accord was scratched after getting fractious in the gate and another betting favorite, Cartel Karma, reared at the start of her trial and never contended. The Aleman-trained Tres Especial won her trial, but she was bumped hard leaving the gate and just missed qualifying by less than 2/100ths of a second.

“What a night,” Aleman said. “It’s been a night of ups and downs, but all around it was more downs and up. This is racing. What can you do? Bon Accord’s scratch was the vet’s decision and there’s nothing we could do about it. I saw him back at the barn and he had cut on his ear and a small scratch on his ankle. Maybe he could have run in the trials, but you have to respect the vet’s decision. The horse is okay and there will be other races.

“Starlite Delight impressed me,” he added. “Watching him run I thought that his time would be around :17.60, but instead it was :17.74. I’m just glad we got in. Watch Linda Ballet was way behind at the start and it looked like she was going to be out of it. She fought back and was unbelievable at the end of the race. It looks like the longer the race gets the better she will be. She’s a great talent. Tres Especial got smashed leaving the gate. That kept her from getting into the Ed Burke. What else can I say?”