Walk Thru Crystal Wins Ed Burke Million Futurity

Daughter of Walk Thru Fire scores three-quarter length victory in Grade 1, 350-yard stakes on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Walk Thru Crystal kept her perfect record intact following her three-quarter length victory in the $980,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

Ridden by Alejandro Luna, Walk Thru Crystal covered 350 yards in :17.562 while scoring her fifth win in as many starts. Yanet Rodriguez prepped the sorrel daughter of Walk Thru Fire for owner Enrique Gonzalez’s EG High Desert Farms, who acquired the filly for $60,000 at last year’s Los Alamitos Equine Sale.

Walk Thru Crystal recorded the third-fastest qualifying time on June 7, when she won the 11th of 13 trials by one length in :17.708. The filly’s resume includes a victory in the May 17 Kindergarten Futurity (G2), and the $420,000 winner’s share of the Ed Burke Million purse pushed her bankroll to $551,720.

“She’s tough,” said Gonzalez of Walk Thru Crystal. “I was a little nervous before the race because she was going against a tough field. Any of those nine horses could have won this race.

“Watching the race I saw the gates open, and I noticed that she was quick out of the gate,” he added. “At that point I see that I have a chance. She’s a small filly, but she keeps going the longer the race. She’s good at 350, and she can run 400. When I saw that she just kept going I started getting happy. Next for her will be the Golden State Million. We’ll see if she comes back in good form. She’s already done a lot.”

Walk Thru Crystal was bred by La Presita LLC and Armando Leon. The filly’s sire, Walk Thru Fire, is a winning 18-year-old son of First Down Dash and a full brother to One Sweet Dash, a Grade 3 winner and the dam of world champion One Dashing Eagle.

Walk Thru Crystal’s dam, the stakes-winning Corona Cartel mare Corona Crystal, ran second in the 2007 Charger Bar Handicap (G1) and was a finalist in the ’05 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1). Walk Thru Crystal is a full sister to 2009 AQHA Oklahoma Juvenile Challenge (G3) winner Crystal Sola.

Rodriguez is a second-generation trainer who has been training exclusively for EG High Desert Farms this season. Her father, Santiago Rodriguez, was a Quarter Horse trainer at Los Alamitos through the 1990s and early 2000s.

Walk Thru Crystal’s win puts the filly in line for the Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza bonus, which pays a $1-million bonus to the connections of a horse who wins the Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million (G1), and Los Alamitos Two-Million (G1) futurities.

“We’ll take it one day at a time,” said Yanet Rodriguez. “She got the job done. She’s been improving, and time will say what’s next. We’ll give her some time off, but she’ll stay here at the track.

“We’ll keep a good eye on her,” she added. “We kept the same routine with her after the Kindergarten. Why change anything? It’s worked great so far.”

Fastest qualifier Docs Best Card finished second and was followed by Sale Topper, We Like Corona, Budder Think Twice, Toughie, Bookish, Rolll Tide, and Thru The Night.

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