Lotta Blues Man Tops "Deuce" Qualifiers

The Grade 1 winner leads the way to the December 11, $1.95-million final at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Lucky Seven Ranch's Lotta Blues Man won the fifth of 14 Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity trials on Sunday. All 10 qualifiers to the December 11, $1.95-million stakes came from the third-through-sixth heats. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Lotta Blues Man, a homebred Favorite Cartel gelding and winner of the October 30 Golden State Million Futurity (G1), is the fastest qualifier to the December 11, $1.95-million Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity (G1).

Ridden by Cody Jensen for trainer Mike Casselman, Lotta Blues Man won the fifth of 14 400-yard trials by 1 1/4 lengths on Sunday. The gelding stopped the timer in :19.713 while scoring his fifth win in six outs and increasing his earnings to $551,395.

Lotta Blues Man has won his last three starts. The gelding is out of Lotta Love For Robyn, a 7-year-old winning and multiple stakes placed daughter of all-time leading sire First Down Dash, and he is a half brother to multiple Grade 1 futurity winner Tres Friends. He is also one of three horses to qualify to all of the million-dollar futurites at Los Alamitos this season; the others are Worth Doing and Cartel Sixes. 

“(Lotta Blues Man) is peaking,” said Russell Stooks of Lucky Seven Ranch. “As of right now he has no issues. He’s lightly raced. This is only his sixth race this year. He’s had some breaks and has aquatreaded so he should be fresh.

"We’re pretty fortunate," Stooks added. "He’s beaten some good horses. Trials (were) tough tonight. He stumbled a little bit coming out and lost his rear end, but recovered and really ran strong on the end." 

Casselman has won the Golden State Million the past two years, first with Little Talks and then with Lotta Blues Man, but he’ll now look for his first Los Alamitos Two Million victory. The Stooks, meanwhile, won the Los Alamitos Two Million in 2006 with champion Blues Girl Too. 

“Mike has done an incredible job,” Stooks said. “Every horse has a program tailored to that horse’s needs. That’s what’s so good about Mike. Whether he has to drive to Banning to pick up special feed for a horse or anything else, he does it. He has a chart on the wall for every horse’s need.

"His barns are immaculate," he added. "You could eat off the floor of his barn. His help is the best and Cody Jensen is riding as good as anybody. (Lotta Blues Man) is not real big, but he’s not real hard on himself. He’s an easy keeper and sleeps a lot in the barn. We just need to get one more race out of him this year.”

“We’re really happy with the way he ran,” said Casselman. “He slipped pretty hard leaving away from there. It took him a second to get his footing. Cody said he ran really easy from there. He’s real fresh. He hasn’t had a lot of outs. That was the plan with him and so far it’s working okay.”

Mark and Peggy Brown's Kissed By An Eagle, the second-fastest qualifier, won the fourth trial by a half of a length from third-fastest qualifier Katella Deli in :19.726. Cesar DeAlba rode the homebred One Famous Eagle gelding for trainer Rafael Orozco.

“I called Mark Brown on my way to the winner’s circle, and he was shaking and I was shaking and we’re so proud of how he ran,” said Brenda Figueroa Schvaneveldt, who along with Orozco runs the Schvaneveldt Racing Stable.  “(Kissed By An Eagle) got it all together tonight and ran great. We’ve been standing him a lot and we knew he was talented.

"He’s not a big horse, but he’s gutsy and he can run," she added. "We knew he had talent. We’re so thankful to Mark and Peggy. They stayed home in Idaho to watch the trials.”

Kissed By An Eagle has won four of his eight starts, including the August 20 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge Stakes, and he has earned $44,628.

Katella Deli is trained by Jaime Gomez for owners Paul Blanchard and Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III.

“I’ve always liked Katella Deli,” said Gomez. “He hit the gate in the last trials and we missed qualifying. He makes his own problems, but tonight he ran a good race. I’m always happy to have a horse in the final for Dr. Streelman, but now also for Paul Blanchard who runs the track in Albuquerque.”

The winner of the Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity will earn $801,381. All 10 qualifiers came out of trials 3-6.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers. Click here for a complete list of qualifiers to the December 11, $30,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational Stakes.

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 www.aqharacing.com.