angle-left Governor's Cup Derby Trials

Governor's Cup Derby Trials

Cole Man 47 tops the runners for the Governor's Cup Derby at Los Alamitos.

text size

Steve McIntyre and Marin Jones’ Cole Man 47 led from start to finish on the way to winning the first of three trials to the $195,000 Governor’s Cup Derby in the fastest qualifying time, while Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Powerful Favorite will be going after his third derby victory of the year following his trial victory on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Paul Jones, Cole Man 47 covered the 400 yards in :19.819 while defeating multiple stakes winner Tac Me Up by a length in the first heat. Eduardo Nicasio then piloted the Chris O’Dell-trained Powerful Favorite to another impressive victory, this one a 1 ¼ length decision in the second fastest qualifying time of :19.823. The third trial of the night went to Dr. Steve Burns’ Stel A Gambler, who record a neck victory on the way to posting the third fastest clocking of the trials in :19.959. 

The complete list of 10 qualifiers to the Governor’s Cup Derby final to be held at the Southern California racetrack on Saturday, July 27, is as follows: Cole Man 47 (:19.819), Powerful Favorite (:19.823), Stel A Gambler (:19.959), Tac Me Up (:19.969), Hot Little Kiddy (:19.988), Galloping Goddess (:20.006), Wicked Affair (:20.011), Jess Bein Me (:20.026), No Telling (:20.033), and You Caught My Eye (20.067). 

Cole Man 47 won the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and the John Deere California Juvenile Challenge last year. He followed it up by running second in his trial to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby before a troubled journey led to his ninth place finish in the Winter Derby final. He ran second to aged horse Chance To Fire in an allowance event on June 7 – his last effort prior to this strong trial victory from post number six.
"We were really happy drawing the outside post with this horse,” Jones said. “He got away a little sluggish, but got away clean and had a lot of running room. He’s a nice horse and he finished well. Carlos (Huerta) did a nice job with him. He usually comes back pretty good (after the trials). He won the Breeders Futurity last year. He is a real solid horse. He’s real honest. He’s just a nice runner.” 
Bred by Steve McIntyre, the Utah-bred gelding by Stel Corona improved his record to four wins in 14 career starts. He’s finished in the money an impressive 12 times.  

One night after Runforyourlife posted the second fastest time to the Governor’s Cup Futurity, his full brother, Powerful Favorite, improved his 2019 record to a perfect five for five following his runaway trial win. The gelding by Favorite Cartel won the Winter Derby earlier this year and then the Grade 3 El Primero Del Año Derby. Moonist holds the record for most derby wins in a single season at Los Alamitos with four. Powerful Favorite also won the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Connie Rosenthal of the efforts posted by the brothers. “It’s amazing. Chris kept saying it was going to happen (about Runforyourlife). It took a while to see it happen, but it did. They’re like two peas in a pod now.” 

Bred by Dr. Burns, Powerful Favorite improved his record to eight wins in 14 career starts. His trial earnings of $3,300 took his lifetime earnings over the $500,000 mark. He’s now made $500,135 in his outstanding career.  

Huerta also piloted Stel A Gambler to victory in the third trial. The Stel Corona filly was third in the La Primera Del Año Derby final earlier this year. She won her trial to that derby as well. Mike Casselman saddled the Dr. Burns-bred runner.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit