Chazaq Tops Ed Burke Qualifiers
Gelding sparkles in million-dollar race qualifier.
June 4, 2016
Owned by Denny Boer and James Streelman of Dutch Masters III, Chazaq was the star of the night in the trials to the $1.1 million Ed Burke Million Futurity after a spectacular 1 ¾ length trial win on Sunday night which earned the Kindergarten Futurity runner-up the fastest qualifying time to the June 19 final at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Alejandro Luna, the winning jockey of last year’s Ed Burke Million with champion Walk Thru Crystal, Chazaq covered the 350 yards in :17.366 for trainer Jaime Gomez. His winning time was 25/100ths of a second faster than the next fastest qualifier, Lotta Blues Man’s :17.618.
Led by Chazaq, the horses with the 10 fastest time in Sunday’s trials will move on to the Ed Burke Million final. A total of 123 juveniles participated in the 13 trials.
Here is the complete list of qualifiers:
otta Blues Man (:17.618),
AJs Anna Smoke (:17.639),
Fire Fast Corona (:17.640),
Cartel Sixes (:17.649),
Heza Famous Dasher (:17.668),
King Candy (:17.689),
Racy High Roller (:17.717),
Worth Doing (:17.721).
“I was talking to Denny (Boer) a little earlier and he said ‘:17.70 is the bubble; they’re flying tonight.’" Streelman said. "I said ‘But Denny, we’ve gone :17.40 and :17.50 and I think we could do it again.’ I talked to Luna before the race and said ‘Luna, get us :17.50.’ I just told him (after the race), ‘You didn’t have to go that fast!’ He’s a nice colt. All the credit goes to Jaime and his grooms. We’ve been blessed. We’ll just continue taking care of these animals and the people that take care of them. We love them.”
Chazaq is by the great Corona Cartel and out of 2004 Ruidoso Futurity winner All About Ease. The bay gelding was bred in Texas by two-time AQHA champion owner Bobby Cox. Chazaq has won two of four starts with both victories coming in futurity trials. He has also been second in his other two outings, including his runner-up effort in the $428,000 Kindergarten Futurity on May 15. The win also gave trainer Jaime Gomez the fastest qualifier to the Ed Burke Million for the second straight year. Gomez saddled Docs Best Card to the top time last year, but the trainer will be looking to do better this year after Docs Best Card ran second in the final to Luna and Walk Thru Crystal.
Eight of the 10 finalist are geldings. Cartel Sixes is the lone colt to make the final, while Heartbeat is the only filly. Corona Cartel (Chazaq and Cartel Sixes), Walk Thru Fire (Fire Fast Corona and Worth Doing) and One Famous Eagle (Heza Famous Dasher and Racy High Roller) each sired two qualifiers. The stallions Favorite Cartel, Separatist, One Sweet Jess and Tres Seis had one qualifier each.
Favorite Cartel is the sire of second fastest qualifier, Lotta Blues Man. Racing for Lucky Seven Ranch and trained by Mike Casselman, Lotta Blues Man is a half-brother of Tres Friends, the winner of a pair of million dollar races last year. Tres Friends won the $1.152 million Texas Classic Futurity and the $1 million Rainbow Futurity last year. Lotta Blues Man will now look to make his dam, Lotta Love For Robyn, the broodmare of two different winners of million dollar races. Lotta Love For Robyn participated in million dollar races during her career on the track. Racing for Wayne Barton, Lotta Love For Robyn ran fourth in Ochoa’s All American Futurity win in 2011 and then was also part of the field of Ochoa’s All American Derby victory in 2012. Cody Jensen piloted Lotta Blues Man in his Ed Burke Million trial.
“He is special at the end of it,” said Russell Stooks of Lucky Seven Ranch about their homebred, Lotta Blues Man. “He can really roll. It takes him a little time to get rolling, but he can go. We are proud of him.”
Bred in California, Lotta Blues Man in a perfect two for two in his career after edging Ed Burke Million qualifier King Candy by a nose in the eighth trial.
The only runner in the trials with an undefeated record after three starts is Anna MacPherson’s AJS Anna Smoke, a gelding by Separatist which picked up win number three by ¾ lengths in the sixth trial. Trained by John Cooper and ridden by Cesar De Alba, AJS Anna Smoke had previously won his Kindergarten trial by ¾ lengths and his maiden race by 1 ¼ lengths. He missed qualifying to the Kindergarten back on May 1.
“He’s a nice colt,” said Cooper, who earlier this year saddled One Proud Eagle to victory in the Kindergarten. “He had a little trouble last time in the trials. He beat them, but just wasn’t fast enough that day going 300 yards. I knew he’d run this distance. This is a nice colt. He’s been nice since day one. I’ve liked him. What can I say, I’m happy.”
AJS Anna Smoke is the first foal out of the stakes placed mare Annas Babe, the third place finisher in the 2013 Lanty’s Jet Handicap won by 2014 champion aged mare Significant Heart. The gritty Annas Babe hit the board in 14 of 28 career starts – all of them at Los Alamitos.
The fourth fastest qualifying time went to Fire Fast Corona, a Walk Thru Fire gelding out of Coronas Fast Honey. Second to fastest qualifier Chazaq in tonight’s trial, the Monty Arrossa-trained Fire Fast Corona posted solid workout times prior to his debut, but he struggled during his first two career starts. He was fractious when fourth in his debut and then had a very troubled trip while still running third in his Kindergarten trial. Racing for the partnership of Christiansen, Jensen, and Young, Fire Fast Corona was seventh at the start of this race, but he came flying late to finish second while earning a spot in the Ed Burke final. Fire Fast Corona was purchased for $52,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale last year. Out of the young broodmare Coronas Fast Honey, Fire Fast Corona is from the great family of First Carolina, First Prize Robin, and First Prize Leesa. Fire Fast Corona’s third dam is First Prize Dash, a sister of the legendary First Down Dash.
Owned by Pam and Jim Williams’ P and J Racing Ltd., Cartel Sixes was fifth in his career debut, but he came back in style to win the third trial in the fifth fastest time. The only colt to advance to the final, Cartel Sixes is a full brother of Eye For Corona, the winner of the 2007 Golden State Million Futurity. The outstanding Eye For Corona was also the runner-up in both the Ed Burke Million final and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity final in ’07 and second in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby in 2008. Bred by Johnny Trotter, Cartel Sixes is out of Eye For The Sixes, the third place finisher in the 2000 Rainbow Derby. The mare also qualified to the 1999 Heritage Place Futurity and the 2000 Dash For Cash Derby.
Pam and Jim Williams of Boerne, Texas (near San Antonio) got involved in horse racing after going to the track on Date Night at Retama Park. Pam, a high school classmate of trainer Tooter Jordan, and Jim came across Jordan at Retama Park on that night. The Williams claimed a horse soon after and they’ve been hooked ever since. The couple now owns several broodmares and just two days they qualified Pj Runaway Bunny to the $365,000 Mountain Top Futurity for New Mexico-breds to be held at Ruidoso Downs on June 18. The Ed Burke Million final will take place here on the following day.
The biggest surprise of the night came in trial number three when Quarter K, Inc’s 22-1 longshot Heza Famous Dasher won the fourth trial of the night in the sixth fastest time of :17.668. The Washington-homebred was saddled by Jose Flores and ridden by Cruz Mendez. The gelding by One Famous Eagle is out of First Down Dream is a half-brother of Ima Chickie Two, the winner of the 2011 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and 2012 PCQHRA Breeders Derby. The connections of Don and Kathy Meneely, Flores, and Mendez won the 2014 Ed Burke Million Futurity with reigning AQHA world champion Heza Dasha Fire.
“He’s been green,” said Don Meneely. “He worked :13.1 and went straight to the rail and then worked :12.1 so we knew he had a little talent. He’s not used to a lot of things. They’re young horses. You don’t know what you’re going to get. We were hoping he would improve. We didn’t expect him to win. That was exhilarating. That was fabulous.”
Balgo Racing Team’s King Candy is out of Stars R Blue, a half-sister of 2007 AQHA world champion Blues Girl Too. The Mike Abraham-bred runner posted the seventh fastest time for jockey Rodolfo Arvizu and trainer Guillermo Morales. The eighth fastest time was recorded by Gentry Farms’ Heartbeat, the winner of the opening trial of the night for trainer Juan Aleman and jockey Eduardo Nicasio. Heartbeat is a half-sister to 2005 champion aged stallion Fredricksburg and 2012 champion aged mare Fredaville. Heartbeat is also a half-sister of 2004 Ed Burke Futurity finalist Dasha Freda, which is also the dam of champions Heza Dasha Fire and Ima Fearless Hero.
“She drew the inside and was in there for a while,” Aleman said of the filly’s career debut. “She acted up a little bit, veered in pretty bad, but liked the way she closed. We had a good break tonight. She finished strong and she won.”
Trained by Chris O’Dell for Abigail Kawananakoa, Racy High Roller finished with the ninth fastest time after running third to Chazaq. Bred in Missouri by Sunflower Supply Co., Racy High Roller is by One Famous Eagle and out of First Down Racy, which is a half-sister of 2011 AQHA champion 3-year-old filly and Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Miss Racy Jess. This is also the family of Los Alamitos Winter Championship winner Volcom, Ed Burke Million finalist Kiddy Up, and stakes winner Miss Racy Eyes. Tony Guymon piloted Racy High Roller.
The 10th final time when to Fawna Knight’s Worth Doing, which improved his record to two wins in as many starts after winning the 13th and final trial by a half-length. His winning time of :17.721 was 1/1000ths of a second faster than the 11th fastest qualifier, Staggering Stride. Sired by Walk Thru Fire, Worth Doing is out of All American Derby finalist Callan Rocks. Worth Doing’s full brother, Bookish, qualified to the Ed Burke Million Futurity last year. Also ridden by Guymon, Worth Doing is trained by Mark Skeen.
There are 10 different owners and nine different trainers represented in this year’s Ed Burke Million final. Jaime Gomez is the only trainer with more than one qualifier after saddling both Chazaq and Cartel Sixes. The winner of the Ed Burke Million will earn $449,400.
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.