Chazaq the Horse to Beat in Ed Burke Million Futurity

The fastest qualifier, Chazaq is the morning-line favorite Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Dutch Masters III's Chazaq is the 6-5 morning-line favorite for Sunday's Grade 1, 350-yard Ed Burke Million Futurity at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Fastest qualifier Chazaq is the 6-5 favorite for Sunday's 350-yard, $1.11-million Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Trained by Jaime Gomez for Dr. James Streelman's and Denny Boer's Dutch Masters III partnership, Chazaq is coming off of a 1 3/4-length win in the ninth of 13 trials on June 5. The Corona Cartel gelding drew post 6 and will be ridden by Alejandro Luna.

"Everything is 100 percent with Chazaq; I couldn't be happier," said Gomez. "He is eating great and is very sound and looks great. I love his post position number 6. I'm just hoping for a good break and racing luck. We'll see how things unfold."

Chazaq brings earnings of $78,915 from four outs into the Ed Burke, the first leg of the Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza. The gelding ran second, one length behind winner One Proud Eagle, in the 300-yard, $428,400 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity (G3) in May.

"The most important thing is that Chazaq's owners are happy," said Gomez, who will be seeking his fourth Ed Burke Futurity win. "They're enjoying this horse a lot. This is the happiest I've seen Dr. Streelman, and that's the best thing I can think of about this experience. Those two gentlemen are two of my best friends."

Chazaq's nine opponents on Sunday include fourth-fastest qualifier Fire Fast Corona, a graded stakes placced Walk Thru Fire gelding trained by Monty Arrossa for owners Brad Christiansen, Dennis Jensen, and Randy Young. Fire Fast Corona posted solid workout times prior to his debut and came into his own in his second-place finish to Chazaq in his Ed Burke trial.

"Fire Fast Corona ran a great race; I'm tickled with the way he ran in his trial," Arrossa said. "He's getting better with each start, and I'm glad that we were in a fast trial with Chazaq. I think our horse is on the improve. He's maturing, and it's a dream come true to have a horse in a million-dollar race at Los Alamitos."

Arrossa said that he is dedicating Fire Fast Corona's Ed Burke race to his late father, Pete Arrossa, who died about a year ago.

"My dad trained horses, both flat and chariot," Arrossa said. "He was a great horseman, and I know he'll be watching over us Sunday night. He's the reason I'm at Los Alamitos. He knew that my dream was to train here, and he encouraged me to come down here."

The complete lineup for the Ed Burke Million Futurity, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Ajs Anna Smoke (Cesar DeAlba), 8-1
King Candy (Rodolfo Arvizu), 12-1
Heza Famous Dasher (Cruz Mendez), 12-1
Heartbeat (Eduardo Nicasio), 30-1
Cartel Sixes (Carlos Huerta), 15-1
Chazaq (Alejandro Luna), 6-5
Racy High Roller (Rodrigo Aceves), 15-1
Lotta Blues Man (Cody Jensen), 9-2
Fire Fast Corona (Ramon Sanchez), 10-1
Worth Doing (Tony Guymon), 5-1

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