The Racing Journal Logo

Grade 1 Futurity Winners Headline Saturday’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity Trials

November 20, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

Eddie Garcia brings Tres Passes into the winner's circle after the Golden State Million Futurity on November 1, 2008.
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
By Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

Each of the major futurity winners of the 2008 Los Alamitos racing season will gather for one spectacular night of trials to the $2,000,000 guaranteed Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Saturday night. The nine trials at 400 yards will feature Golden State Million Futurity winner Tres Passes, Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Foose, PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Sixish, Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Hard Hitting and Kindergarten Futurity winner Revv It Up. The horses with the 10 fastest times will return for the “Deuce” final on December 12.

All-time leading Quarter Horse trainer Blane Schvaneveldt will begin his quest to win the $2,000,000 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity for the first time when he saddles Golden State Million Futurity hero Tres Passes in Saturday’s trials to the richest guaranteed event in Quarter Horse racing. The trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity have attracted seventy-eight of the top two-year-olds in the country with the likes of the spectacular Foose and three other Grade I-winners in Sixish, Revv It Up, and Hard Hitting also joining in the fun.

The action heats up in trial number one when two of the leading juveniles in Southern California face off in a deep nine-horse field. Leading the way is Janet McKinnerney’s Tres Passes, an impressive winner of the Golden State Million Futurity in his last out. Already a three-time winner with earnings in excess of $600,000, he also captured the Ed Burke Juvenile Stakes earlier this season in June. Although he lugged in throughout the race, the outcome of the Golden State Million was essentially never in question, as this highly talented gelding began to pour it on early and often, taking the $1,341,500 contest by an easy length and a quarter.

Despite how impressive Tres Passes was in his most recent start, Jaime Gomez also sends out a dangerous contender with Sixish, a winner of the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity in early October. Never worse than second in his six-race career, he has been as tough as nails all season long, taking three trial events, a $500,000 stakes race, and running a strong pair of seconds in two other Grade I events. He turned in a very fast stakes record clocking of 17.22 in last month’s 350-yard Breeders’ Futurity and was geared down late to win by three-quarters of a length. He has also had the benefit of a seven-week rest since that score and has proven to run well off the layoff, as his win on September 13th indicates.

Also competing in this contest are two other horses with stakes experience in Easily Amazed and Separate Peace. A winner of two of his last three starts, Easily Amazed was a recent qualifier to the Breeders’ Futurity on October 4th. Jaime Gomez also has a chance with the gifted gray Separate Peace, who was a finalist in the Governor’s Cup Futurity in late July and has looked good all year long. Separate Peace was purchased at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale last month. Bettors could also be attracted to two talented fillies in this race, including Suger Mama and Brittney Broquet.

In her most recent start, Suger Mama shocked the betting public with an 18-1 upset victory in her trial to the Golden State Futurity and looks like a horse that has yet to turn in her best effort. Brittney Broquet could also improve off of her poor trip in last month’s Autumn Handicap, where she was sent off as the post-time betting favorite, but found herself out of the race early after breaking slow and being bumped.

Another stellar showdown is in store in trial number two, as Paul Jones will send out two top juvenile talents in Foose and Winners Version. One of the most talked about horses of the meet thus far at Los Alamitos, Foose appears to be as talented as any two-year-old in the nation despite suffering his first career defeat in the Golden State Futurity. After breaking slowly and finding himself behind early, Foose picked up the pace and hustled back into contention, passing every horse in the race with the exception of Tres Passes. Prior to that, he put together four consecutive victories by nearly seven lengths, including a powerful length-score in the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June.

Winners Version could also pose a threat. He qualified to all three legs of the Triple Crown this year at Ruidoso Downs, running in the Ruidoso Quarter Horse Futurity, the Rainbow Futurity, and the All American Futurity.

Since coming to Los Alamitos, he made his first trip to the winner’s circle in his trial to the Golden State Million and turned in a highly respectable fourth in the finals. He has demonstrated some improvement in his last two local starts and will be ridden for the first time tonight by jockey Cesar DeAlba.

The Paul Jones-trained duo will likely receive a challenge from three other runners in Double Out, Ima Quick Runaway, and Beyond The Smiles. Double Out has qualified to two different futurities so far this season, including the Grade II Bank Of America Northwest Juvenile Challenge at Les Bois Park and the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity here at Los Alamitos. This prior stakes experience will undoubtedly aid him in his quest to qualify to the highly prestigious Two Million Futurity. Dennis Ekins’ Ima Quick Runaway could also pose a threat. He ran fourth in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes in his last start and enjoyed some success earlier this year at Ruidoso Downs before shipping out West. Beyond The Smiles should also compete. She defeated allowance opposition in her last start and comes from an extraordinarily nice female family.

Another intriguing race is trial number three. Headed by the Charles Treece-trained Hard Hitting, this should be a very competitive event.

Earlier this meet, he captured the Governor’s Cup Futurity and ran a solid fourth in October’s PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity. His opposition will likely come from Hulapai and Inseperable. After qualifying to June’s Ed Burke Million Futurity, Hulapai has enjoyed a five-month vacation from the racetrack, but has worked strongly for his return in tonight’s event.

Inseperable could also be a handful. He was a strong third in the Grade I Rainbow Futurity behind Stolis Winner and has run well here at Los Alamitos in limited starts.

Two final horses to watch throughout the evening are Zoomin Fool and Louisiana Senator. Danny Montes’ work throughout this season with Zoomin Fool has turned out to be one of the most interesting story lines of the season, as this gelding has taken huge strides forward with each and every start. A gritty-second in last month’s Breeders’ Futurity, he’ll try to earn his first lifetime victory in Saturday’s trials. Finally, Louisiana Senator merits consideration. A three-time winner from only four lifetime starts, this gorgeous colt captured his first stakes win in his most recent start, when victorious in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes by an easy length. He also scored two visually impressive wins at Remington Park earlier this meet and has been highly touted all year long.