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Three Trials Set for Vessels Maturity

Final winner earns a berth in the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos.

June 16, 2012

Twenty-three runners will be in action in three trials to the $200,000 Vessels Maturity on Sunday at Los Alamitos. The horses with the 10 fastest times will advance to the Grade 1 final to be held on Sunday, July 8, and the winner of that race will earn a berth to the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1). The prestigious Champion of Champions will be contested at Los Alamitos on Saturday, December 15.

The first 400-yard trial will feature the matchup between El Aguila Real and Senor Toby, regarded by many as two of the top older horses on the grounds. The Corona Czech gelding El Aguila Real already has a starting berth to the Champion of Champions thanks to his victory in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) on February 19. The 4-year-old brown sprinter won that race thanks to a powerful three-quarter length victory over the talented Senor Toby. To be ridden by Eduardo Nicasio and saddled by Francisco Vallejo, El Aguila Real will start from post number seven.

Senor Toby, meanwhile, will leave the gate from post number one. The gelding by Mighty Invictus had won seven straight races before running second in the Winter Championship final. Senor Toby broke in and bumped at the start of the Winter Championship and by then it was too late to challenge El Aguila Real, who was flying on all cylinders on the way to victory. The opening Vessels Maturity trial will also feature 2010 champion 2-year-old filly Flying Fig and PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G3) finalist Onemoreglassofwine. The 10-year-old veteran Precisionist RM could challenge younger foes in this race.

Back on the track, Harems Last Dash will make his first start in over a year when he makes an appearance in the second Vessels Maturity Trial. The royally-bred stallion ran second to 2011 Champion of Champions winner Good Reason SA in last year’s Winter Championship. He had previously won the 2010 Southern California Derby (G1). BF Farm Boy also figures to challenge based on a couple of impressive efforts this season. The Hawkinson stallion was impressive when running second in his Winter Championship trial heat and after finishing ninth in the final he came back with an easy allowance victory. In his last start, BF Farm Boy ran sixth after a troubled trip in the Kaweah Bar Handicap (G3). Katella Handicap winner Forrest Fire will headline the third trial. He’ll be facing a field that includes 2011 Golden State Derby (G1) winner Docs Apollo and champion and former track record holder Little Bit Of Baja.