Chazaq, Lotta Blues Man Headline Golden State Derby Trials

Q-Racing Journal

Dutch Masters III's Chazaq, pictured here winning last year's Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity, will make his second start of his sophomore campaign in Sunday's Golden State Derby trials. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

A pair of Grade 1 winners at the track, Chazaq and Lotta Blues Man, are among the 32 3-year-olds entered in Sunday's 400-yard Golden State Derby (G2) trials at Los Alamitos.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the August 20, $259,900 final. The Golden State Derby has a rich history that dates back to 1971, when Hadan Livestock Co.'s Ruby Khan earned the winner's share of a $135,415 purse at Bay Meadows. Past winners of the race include champions Tolltac (1984), Eastex ('85), Florentine ('87), and Separatist (2000).

Chazaq races for Dutch Masters III from the barn of trainer Jaime Gomez. An earner of $538,015 from eight starts, the bay son of Corona Cartel has won five races, including last year's 350-yard, $1.11-million Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1).

Chazaq had some surgery to remove bone chips after his 2-year-old season. The gelding made his season debut with a clear two-length victory as the 2-5 favorite in a 300-yard allowance dash on July 9. Chazaq will be ridden by Rodrigo Aceves from post 7 in the first of four trials.

"I've been doing this for almost 40 years, and I haven't had good luck (with horses) coming back after surgery," said Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III. "But Chazaq showed us so much (in his 2017 debut).

"His injuries were minor, very tiny, like a cloud of bone chips," he added. "He was ready for his season debut."

Lotta Blues Man is trained by Mike Casselman for owner Lucky Seven Ranch. The homebred Favorite Cartel gelding won last year's 400-yard, $1.016-million Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and ended his 2-year-old campaign with a second-place finish, a head behind winner Worth Doing, in the 400-yard, $1.95-million Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity (G1).

Lotta Blues Man will be ridden by Cody Jensen from post 4 in the fourth trial.

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