Bannister, Henry Craig Headline Wild West Futurity

The 350-yard, $118,200 stakes will be contested Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Denny and Sandy Weigt's Bannister, pictured here winning his trial on October 2, is the morning-line favorite for Sunday's $118,200 Wild West Futurity at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

A full field of 10 juveniles, topped by fastest qualifier Bannister and the undefeated Henry Craig, has been entered back in Sunday's 350-yard, $118,200 Wild West Futurity at Los Alamitos.

The Wild West Futurity trials were held on October 2 and were restricted to 2-year-olds who have started at an Intermountain region track.

Bannister is a son of Maknmoves trained by Monty Arrossa for owners Denny and Sandy Weigt. The gelding has earned $43,597 from seven outs, and his five wins include a 1 1/4-length victory in the 300-yard, $69,000 Beehive Futurity (R) at Weber Downs in Ogden, Utah, on May 20.

The Weigts acquired Bannister for $6,200 at last year's Heritage Place Yearling Sale.

"I really liked the horse's family," said Arrossa of Bannister. "It includes some excellent horses like Sky Chicks, Dutch Schultz, and Spike It And Fly."

Bannister's season record includes a third-place finish, one length behind winner Kissed By An Eagle, in the 350-yard, $45,000 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge on August 20. The gelding rebounded from that race with a clear 2 1/4-length victory in his Wild West Futurity trial.

According to his trainer, Bannister was not at all pleased by his third-place run in the Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge.

"When he came back after (that race), the groom started walking him back to the barn," Arrossa recalled. "Bannister wasn't happy at all. He started tugging on the chain and wanted to go in the opposite direction. He wanted to go to the winner's circle to have his photo taken. He wasn't happy that he'd lost that race."

Made the even-money morning-line favorite by track linemaker Ed Burgart, Bannister drew post 2 and will be ridden by Tony Guymon.

Henry Craig made his Los Alamitos debut with a head victory in his Wild West trial. The homebred One Sweet Jess gelding races for Cedric Hayden's Cedar Creek Tree Farm Ranch and Racing from the barn of trainer Hector Magallanes.

Henry Craig has won all five of his races and has banked $28,079, and his resume includes a nose victory in the 350-yard, $32,000 Grants Pass Firecracker Futurity in Oregon, and a neck win in the 300-yard, $29,000 Pot O' Gold Futurity at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington.

Perhaps best known for his position as an Oregon State Representative, Hayden has also been racing Quarter Horses for the past two decades.  His love for horses dates back to when he was a child growing up on his parents' farm.

“We grew up adopting wild mustangs from Oregon’s Bureau of Land Management," Hayden recalls. "One thing led to another and eventually we settled on Quarter Horses.  They are an overall great breed to work with.”

A son of One Sweet Jess, Henry Craig is out of Copa Show Girl, a daughter of Corona Cartel. Copa Show Girl has previously foaled two half-brothers to Henry Craig who are also undefeated. Hayden said that while Henry Craig has shown potential, there is always room for improvement.

“He is used to tracks in Oregon where the grandstands are much smaller and there are no night races," Hayden said. "He is still a little distracted when he comes out of the gate (at Los Alamitos), but I expect him to still be just as competitive.”

The complete lineup for the Wild West Futurity, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Alegendinmytime (Carlos Huerta), 30-1
Bannister (Tony Guymon), 1-1
Bos On Time (Jesus Rios Ayala), 10-1
Oh So Fancy Fancy (Jesus Canales), 7-2
Stellur (Armando R. Cervantes), 30-1
Jess Klas (Alejandro Luna), 15-1
Buckshot Cartel (Ramon Sanchez), 12-1
Queen Of The Kartel (Cesar DeAlba), 30-1
Stolin Diamond (Cruz Mendez), 30-1
Henry Craig (Eulices Gomez), 3-1

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