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Golden State Million Futurity

Runforyourlife gives his connections their first-ever win in a million-dollar race.

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Third-fastest qualifier Runforyourlife, a Favorite Cartel gelding owned by Rosenthal Ranch and trained by Chris O'Dell, was a prompt 2-1 favorite in Sunday's $1,038,850 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Runforyourlife recovered from a bump with Geothermal at the start and led at every call en route to a nose victory from Circle City. The sorrel gelding covered 400 yards in :19.924 and banked the $436,317 winner's share of the purse from his first career stakes win.

Runforyourlife's victory gave Rosenthal Ranch and O'Dell their first-ever win in a seven-figure race.

“We are so happy about tonight,” O’Dell said. “I’ve never won one of these big ones. I’ve run seconds and thirds in million dollar races. I’ve won futurities and derbies, but I’ve never won a million-dollar race.

"I wish my dad, Jim O’Dell, was here," the trainer added. "It’d be nice for (him) to see what I’ve accomplished. He trained and so did my grandpa. It was a big family affair. When I was a jockey, they were always there. My family had a lot of horses. My dad used to come out when I had Catchmeinyourdreams. He came down a couple of times from Missouri to watch him run.”

Runforyourlife was bred in California by Dr. Steve Burns. The gelding is out of Remember Me Rose, a daughter of Corona Cartel who won three graded stakes from 2006-08, including the 2007 Ruidoso Derby (G1), and was a finalist in No Secrets Here's '06 All American Futurity (G1).

Runforyourlife is a full brother to Powerful Favorite, a three-time graded derby at Los Alamitos this season. O'Dell trains both Runforyourlife and Powerful Favorite, one of the favorite for next weekend's Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby, for Rosenthal Ranch.

Rosenthal Ranch purchased Runforyourlife for $100,000 at last year's Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. The gelding has won four of seven races and has banked 506,502, and his record includes a second-place finish in the July 27, 350-yard Governor's Cup Futurity (RG2).

“This horse has improved in every single race,” Nicasio said. “I was a little nervous in the gates because the filly next to us, Geothermal, was moving. My horse was in the gates for a long time. He didn’t break the same as he usually does, but after about 200 yards, he was coming on fast.

"He’s an incredible horse," he added. "I told Chris after the trials, ‘Hopefully we get the one (post) in the final.’ I really love the number one post. I’ve won a lot of big races from that post.” 

A Lucky Ladies Man finished third, a half of a length behind Runforyourlife, and was followed by fastest qualifier Up And Atem, Kiss Thru Fire, Southern Wagon, Geothermal, Terra Fire, Budderlicious, and Mr Racy Eagle.

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