Five Bar Cartel Chases Bonanza

Grade 1 winner goes for two.

Q-Racing Journal
November 1, 2013

San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Five Bar Cartel tries to take the next step toward becoming the first horse to win the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza when he faces a deep field, including five horses from the Jose De La Torre barn, in the $1,044,700 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

The Bonanza goes to the connections of any horse that wins the Ed Burke Futurity (G1), Golden State Million and the $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million (G1).

Five Bar Cartel (Corona Cartel-Five Bar Molly by Dash Ta Fame) is undefeated from four starts and became the only horse to have a chance at the Bonanza when he fought to a nose win in the $1,171,000 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity (G1) over Unchangeable on June 23.

The Danny Montes-trained colt was then pointed at the Golden State Million and the next step along the Bonanza path. He did not start again until the Golden State Million trials and he responded to adversity and came through with a qualifying win. After stumbling and being bumped on both sides, he showed his talent by accelerating to a 1 1/4-length win, with the third-fastest qualifying time of :19.640 for 400 yards from 10 trials.

The other four top-five qualifiers are each from the De La Torre barn, led by fastest-qualifier Turbulent Times (Furyofthewind-Streakin La Tac by Streakin La Jolla). He also saddles second-fastest qualifier Fire Up Willie (Walk Thru Fire-Willie Swings by Willie Wanta Dash), fourth-fastest qualifier Highest Fire (Corona Cartel-Higher Fire by Walk Thru Fire), fifth-fastest qualifier A Corona Sunset (Corona Cartel-Sonoma Sunset by Check Him Out) and ninth-fastest qualifier Mr Corona Cartel (Corona Cartel-Adashin Runaway by Adash For Cash).

Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Turbulent Times topped the qualifiers’ list in impressive fashion when he dominated his trial by 1 1/4 lengths, with a :19.586 time.

Turbulent Times is three-for-four and suffered his only defeat when he was fourth behind Five Bar Cartel as the 17-10 favorite in the Ed Burke Million. He also then waited until the Golden State Million trials.

Jose and Gustavo De La Torre’s Fire Up Willie, an Ed Burke Futurity finalist, has been busy since that effort with three starts and two wins in her most recent races. After the Ed Burke, the filly dropped into a non-winners-of-two allowance race and responded with a 1 1/4-length win. She then backed up that performance with a 1 1/4-length trial win as the even-money favorite, with a :19.626 time.

Alberto Valdes’ Highest Fire, a son of champion Higher Fire, won his maiden back in June and raced to his first trial win when he took his Golden State Million trial by a half length. He showed a late run to gain the win in :19.674.

Owned by Gustavo and Jose De La Torre with John Haagsma, A Corona Sunset also raced to his second win and initial trial victory. His head win in the trial came with a :19.683.