Romantic Fire Hopes to Light Up PCQHRA Futurity
Talented youngsters headline a big Los Alamitos weekend.
October 2, 2015
Back in 2006, trainer Charles Treece warned a new partnership group of owners with dreams of buying a racehorse that if they stuck with the sport for at least five years, they would be hooked forever.
Ten years later and that group of owners, headed by Linda Cannon, Laurie Marine, Cindy Davidson and several others, is still going strong. This year, their prized pupil is Romantic Fire, who enters Saturday’s $385,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2) as the fastest qualifier to the 350-yard race.
“And we’re looking to buy another one at this weekend’s Los Alamitos Equine Sale,” Treece said. “These owners love racing. We’ve been lucky over the years. We started with Bikers Bono (the third place finisher in both the Governor’s Cup and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity). We also had (multiple stakes winner) Hard Hitting, (stakes winner) Stel Hawk, Romantic Fire, and a few others.”
“Romantic Fire ran a great race on the night of the trials," he added. "He just needs to get out there cleanly and I think we have chance. It’s a strong field of horses. Chris O’Dell’s Fire At Will is very tough and there are many other horses that are very strong like Ima Fearless Hero, Docs Best Card, Bookish, Senor Gianni and more. A length separated these horses in the trials so it’s going to be a great race.”
Bred by Ed Allred, Romantic Fire finished powerfully in the trials to post a ¾ length victory and the fastest qualifying time of :17.704. He’ll be ridden by Cesar De Alba from Post 4 on Saturday night.
"Before the night started I was wishing that the trials were at 400 yards because this horse can run all day," Treece said. "He's big and he can finish."
The partnership acquired the Walk Thru Fire gelding for $32,000 at the 2014 Los Alamitos Equine. The price seemed like a bargain even back then for Treece.
"I thought he would go for $15,000 more," Treece said. "I was thrilled to buy him."
S-Quarter K LLC's Ima Fearless Hero will enter the futurity final after posting the most eye-catching win of trial night. A half brother to champion and stablemate Heza Dasha Fire, Ima Fearless Hero won his trial by 1 ¾ length while posting the second fastest time of :17.707.
"The best thing is that he ran straight and did not try to go towards the rail," owner Kathy Meneely said. "One of the biggest things is that we gelded him and (trainer Jose Flores) has noticed a big turnaround since that moment. Jose has also tried different things to help him. He cut back his blinkers so that he would see the other horses around him. He also changed bits three times on him. Jose and his crew have done a lot of work to get him where he's at right now.”
Cruz Mendez will pilot Ima Fearless Hero from the outside post number 10.
Trainer Paul Jones has two solid contenders in the futurity final in the form of trial winners Much Better Reason and Senor Gianni.
"We gelded both of these horses and it's really made a difference," Jones said. "They both showed talent, but they were too rank. They pay more attention now and that's helping them really show their talent. They were also both sired by Good Reason SA (winning sire of this year's All American Futurity) featuring the bloodlines of (Eclipse Award winner) Favorite Trick."
Trainer Felix Gonzalez has two talented juveniles in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. Salvador Pimienta's Bookish won the eighth and final trial, while Alipio Burgos' Chalala Jess won the second trial of the night.
"This race will be a special one for my family and friends because it’s held during the weekend of the sale," Pimienta said. "I have lots of friends that get together for the sale, but now we'll also have this race to enjoy. It's tough to qualify to a futurity. We've been fortunate in that this is his second final after running in the Ed Burke Million earlier this year."
Roberto Hernandez, who rode Bookish and Chalala Jess in the trials, will pilot Bookish in the final. Eduardo Nicasio will take over the riding duties aboard the filly Chalala Jess.
"Chalala Jess came to my barn late in the year," Gonzalez said. "She showed talent right away and she's improved in every race. I think she can keep doing better and better."
Jaime Gomez's Docs Best Card has finished second or better in all six of her career starts heading into this race. That includes runner-up efforts in both the Ed Burke Million Futurity and Kindergarten Futurity - both times he faced the brilliant filly Walk Thru Crystal.
The field will also feature half brothers owned by Muller Racing LLC and trained by Denny Ekins. The pair is headed by Our Dicey FFM, who is a full brother to 2006 All American Futurity winner No Secrets Here. His half-brother in this race is Betsomemoneyhoney, out of multiple stakes winner Dicey Secret and sired by Mr Jess Perry. Cody Jensen will ride Betsomemoneyhoney, while rising young star Jesus Rios Ayala will pilot Our Dicey FFM.
The field will be completed by Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Fire At Will, already a three-time winner this year and a participant in the Governor’s Cup Futurity. Chris O’Dell has enjoyed a solid meet in 2015 and a victory in this race will give the trainer his second futurity of the year after winning the Governor’s Cup Futurity with Phoebes Dynasty.
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