Little Talks Heads 2 Million Trials.
Major futurity winners line up in Los Alamitos Two Million trials.
November 19, 2015
Major futurity winners Little Talks, Walk Thru Crystal, Ima Fearless Hero, and Phoebes Dynasty plus All American Futurity finalist Crooked Path and three-time major futurity runner-up Docs Best Card are among the 89 juveniles that will compete in the trials to the Grade 1 $1,957,175 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Sunday night. First post time is 5 p.m.
The horses with the 10 fastest times in the 400-yard trials will qualify to the Los Alamitos Two Million final to be held on Sunday, December 14. The winner of the Los Alamitos Two Million will earn $801,433 or $2,003.58 per yard.
The sixth trial appears to be the strongest of the night as it will feature Dr. Steve Burns’ Little Talks and Jaime Gomez’s Docs Best Card, the first and second place finishers in the $1,049,000 Golden State Million Futurity on November 1, and also Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Phoebes Dynasty and Golden State Million finalist Gotcha Bella. To be ridden by Cesar De Alba for trainer Mike Casselman, Little Talks had back-to-back hard fought races with Docs Best Card. In the Golden State Million trials, Docs Best Card edged Little Talks by a nose, but the table was reserved in the final with Little Talks scoring a neck victory over Docs Best Card. The victory gave Burns, Casselman, and De Alba their first in in a million dollar race.
“It was nice to get one of those,” Casselman said. “We’ve come close a couple of times before.”
Casselman is excited about seeing the filly by Favorite Cartel return to action after her glorious moment in the Golden State.
“She’s looking very good,” he added. “We stood her in the gate on (November 12) and we tracked her one time. De Alba took her out on Tuesday morning and she went really well. It does not seem like the Golden State Million took a lot out of her. She’s been eating great and looks ready to go. We’ll walk her into the race now.
Docs Best Card has had a tremendous campaign. A winner of three of nine starts, the colt by Corona Cartel has also finished second in three top futurities at Los Alamitos. He ran second to Walk Thru Crystal in the Kindergarten Futurity and Ed Burke Million Futurity and also the aforementioned Golden State Million.
“He’s always good and he’s a very brave horse,” Gomez said. “He never comes back tired. He’s sound. This is an interesting trial because it’s a tough trial. I hope he breaks well and runs his race.”
Parsons Ranch’s Phoebes Dynasty won his first four career starts including the Governor’s Cup, but he finished sixth in his Golden State Million trial after a troubled outing.
“He’s facing a lot of good ones in this trial,” O’Dell said. “In his last race he stumbled a bit and got out behind several horses. He had never been behind horses before because he had always been in front. He didn’t respond. We’ll see how he does on Sunday.”
EG High Desert Farms’ Walk Thru Crystal, the winner of the Kindergarten and Ed Burke Million, will be in action in the third race on Sunday. Fourth in the Golden State Million, she’ll face Salvador Pineda’s El Karma and recent allowance winner Love Ya KK, which is owned by Lila Kessinger. Walk Thru Crystal will go after her sixth win in eighth career start. She’s earned $623,695 in her career. Yanet Rodriguez will saddle the filly, which will be ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala.
Another highlight on trial night will be the matchup between PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Ima Fearless Hero, a half-brother to champion Heza Dasha Fire, and Reliance Ranches LLC’s Big Lew, a winner of his trials to the All American Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity. Owned by S-Quarter K and trained by Jose Flores, Ima Fearless Hero has won his last three in impressive fashion, including the PCQHRA Breeders final by a half-length. The gelding by Valiant Hero will be making his first start since October 3.
“We made a decision to geld him earlier in the year and also made a decision to skip the Golden State Million trials,” said owner Kathy Meneely. “We’re hoping that he benefits from the time off.”
In his Los Alamitos debut, Big Lew posted a 3/4 length trial win, but just missed qualifying to the Golden State Million final.
“Big Lew loves long distances,” Gomez said. “He won his 440-yard All American trial and ran a good race in his first start at Los Al. I think he has a good chance in these trials.”
The stallion Favorite Cartel is represented by two outstanding juveniles in the form Urschel 3-D Ranch LLC’s Rite Regal and Burns’ Crooked Path. From Flores’ barn, Rite Regal has been an eye-opening performer in the past two months. Second in his career debut at Remington Park back on May 11, Rite Regal arrived at Los Alamitos in the summer and then posted a tremendous 1 ¼ maiden victory as a first time gelding. He followed it up with a ¾ length win that saw him explode to an uncatchable advantage in the final 100 yards of the race. Cruz Mendez will be aboard the Burns-bred gelding, who’ll be in action in the fourth trial.
Burns campaigns Crooked Path, the sixth place finisher in the All American Futurity. Crooked Path debuted at Los Alamitos before racing in the trials to the Ruidoso and Rainbow Futurity. Everything came together for her in midsummer, as she broke her maiden on July 27 before posting a two length win in her qualifying effort to the All American Futurity. She now returns back home with an eye on the Two Million final.
“She’s been doing well since coming back to Los Alamitos,” trainer Paul Jones said. “We’re excited to run her back since the All American. She’s a Favorite Cartel filly (like Little Talks) and his babies have been doing nice this second half of the year. Hopefully we can do some good with Crooked Path.”
Crooked Path will race in trial number seven against a group that includes Ed Burke Million and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist Bookish, Golden State Million finalist Favorite Kiss, and John Deere California Juvenile Challenge winner Luv On The Run.
“Luv On The Run had a bad start in his Golden Million trial,” trainer Sergio Fiscal said. “This will be like his first start at 400 yards because he never had a chance in that trial race. We believe that he should relish the distance.”
The later trials will also feature Ed Allred’s Sale Topper, the third place finisher in the Ed Burke Million Futurity, in the ninth heat and Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Fire At Will, a three-time futurity finalist, in the 10th race.
“(Sale Topper) drew post number eight and I think that’s perfect for him,” trainer Scott Willoughby said. “He ran second in an allowance race in his last start and I think that race set him up great for this trial race. He was the favorite to win the Governor’s Cup Futurity two races ago, but he had a lot of trouble in that final. He ducked in at the gap. It was a very troubled trip.”
Fire At Will was scratched out of the Golden State Million Futurity after he flipped in the gate.
“He got fractious pretty good in the gate,” O’Dell explained. “It wasn’t his fault. Two or three other horses acted up first and then he started up. I hope it doesn’t affect him mentally.”
Other top names in the 10th trial include Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Rolll Tide, an Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist, and Rancho El Alacran Ic’s Mi Viejo, a Golden State Million finalist.
The four other trials are among the most competitive of the night with the first heat featuring a rematch between Reliance Ranches LLC’s Flash N Bling and Muller Racing LLC’s Betsomemoneyhoney, which finished 1-2 when squaring off in their Golden State Million trial. The second trial will be headed by Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Thermonuclear Energy, the third place finisher in the Golden State Million final, taking on Ed Burke Million finalist We Like Corona and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist Senor Gianni. The fifth trial will be headed by multiple futurity finalist Thru The Night, while the eighth trial will be headed by Time For Jess, Obi Juan Kanobi, Eternity, Dukes Encore, and Rip Tide. All five of these runners have hit the board in a futurity trial this year.
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.