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All You Need to Know about Tonight's Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity

December 11, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

Trials Report

Owned by Dr. Gianni Franco Samaja, John Andreini and Vince Genco, Fantastic Corona Jr posted the fastest qualifying time to the nation’s richest Quarter Horse race of 2008—the Grade 1 $2,038,250 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Saturday, November 23. In the process, the son of Corona Cartel set up a dream match up for the “Deuce” final against the likes of Golden State Million Futurity winner Tres Passes, Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Foose, and the now five-time Grade 1 futurity finalist Winners Version. The Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will also include A Tempting Dash, a First Down Dash gelding owned by Ron and Denise VanAmburgh and former major league baseball player Jeremy Giambi and his wife, Naia.

A total of nine trials were contested at 400 yards with the horses with the 10 fastest times returning in three weeks to contest the final to the richest race ever held in the 58-year history of Los Alamitos Race Course on Friday, December 12. The complete list of qualifying order is as follows:

Fantastic Corona Jr (:19.45)
Janet McKinnerney’s Tres Passes (:19.50)
A Tempting Dash (:19.54)
Chad Richard’s Winners Version (:19.545)
Ed Allred’s Beastly King (:19.57)
EG High Desert Farms’ Hawkins Cash (:19.57)
Allred and Paul Jones’ Foose (:19.595)
Gustavo De La Torre’s Jess Is Gorgeous (:19.60) and Suger Mama (:19.62)
Dutch Masters III and Kelly Spackman’s Double Out (:19.64).

The winner of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will earn $820,785. Second place is worth $332,223, while third place will take home $234,510. There’s also $84,000 in nominator’s awards.

A highly regarded young sprinter the entire year, Fantastic Corona Jr delivered an impressive effort in the fifth trial to the “Deuce,” winning the 400-yard heat in a time of :19.45. The colt had previously recorded the top qualifying time to the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June, an effort that was followed by a fifth place finish in the finale against Foose. Trained by Paul Jones, Fantastic Corona Jr took some time off from there, coming back to finish third in a trial to the Golden State Million Futurity. The disappointment of not qualifying to the Golden State Million is only a distant memory now for his owners that Fantastic Corona Jr scored the swiftest time to the “Deuce.”

“I’ve never had a horse qualify to this race until now,” said John Andreini, who has been racing and breeding Quarter Horses for more than 20 years. “I’ve had horses in the Kindergarten and in some of other top races but never in this race. It’s a dream to see (Fantastic Corona Jr) with the fastest qualifying time but I wouldn’t have cared if he had been the second, third or 10th fastest. I’m just happy that he’s (made it) to the race.”

Bred by Samaja, one of Brazil’s top horsemen, Fantastic Corona Jr had to come from behind to catch EG High Desert Farms’ Hawkins Cash. The latter had a half-length advantage early on before Fantastic Corona Jr powered his way in the second half of the race to a 3/4 length victory. Hawkins Cash, a filly from the first crop of champion Hawkish, finished with the fifth fastest time of :19.57.

“I’ve been friends with Vince Genco (Samaja’s equine manager in the United States) for a long time and I’ve visited Brazil, where I had a chance to meet and become good friends with Gianni,” Andreini explained. “When the opportunity came up to own a piece of this horse I jumped at the chance. I ended up buying 40 percent; Vince bought 20 percent and Gianni kept the other 40. I liked this horse when I first saw him and I liked his breeding.”

The American Quarter Horse Racing Association recently presented Andreini with the 2008 Gordon Crone Special Achievement, an award that is given annually to an outstanding man involved in American Quarter Horse racing. A current AQHA Director and racing committee member and a former member of the AQHA Foundation Committee, Andreini is also part of the California Horse Racing Board.

A resident of Sao Paulo, Samaja is one of Brazil’s most influential and respected figures in Quarter Horse racing. Back in the spring, Samaja conducted a horse sale in Brazil where more than 50 yearlings were sold. He is also the breeder of Fantastic Corona Jr’s mother, Special Queen Sa, who ran seventh to First Place Queen in the 2002 Los Alamitos Million Futurity and second to Morning Snow in that year’s Ed Burke Million Futurity.

Vince Genco, a native Californian from San Jose, is an agent for a number of leading Brazilian Quarter Horse owners including Benny Rosset and Samaja. Genco worked alongside the late AQHA President Bill Verdugo to stimulate and expand racing ties between the U.S. and other countries. He then took over the bulk of this effort when Verdugo passed away in 1998. Genco picked out eventual 2006 All American Futurity No Secrets Here for Rosset at the 2005 Los Alamitos Equine Sale.

Hall of Fame trainer Blane Schvaneveldt had never won a million dollar race prior to the Golden State Million. Tres Passes could now give his trainer a win in a race worth over $2 million. Owned and bred by Janet McKinnerney, the gelding by Tres Seis will look to become the fourth horse to win this race and the Golden State. Dashing Knud (2000), First Place Queen (2002) and Ocean Runaway (2004) are the others that have accomplished this futurity double.

“I wouldn’t trade places with anybody in this race right now,” Schvaneveldt said. “Tres Passes is getting better each time. He’s starting to level a lot better in his races. He’s become a heck of a horse. He’s in great shape right now. He’s been doing really well since the summer.

“The three weeks between the trials and the final helps a lot,” Schvaneveldt added. “This horse is really sound and the extra week will only help him. With that extra week, we can track him a couple of more times if we want to. It’ll give us more of a chance to stand him in the gate. We stand this horse a lot in the gate.”

Eddie Garcia, who earlier this year became the track’s all-time leading Quarter Horse jockey, won the Los Alamitos Million Futurity with Corona Cartel in 1996. The veteran rider will be chomping at the opportunity to win the track’s richest race ever.

“I’m getting to know this horse a lot better,” said Garcia, who in his first time aboard the horse guided him to victory in the Golden State Million. “The more you work with a horse, the better you feel. I know the horse now and we get along a lot better. The way I ride him, it’s whatever (Tres Passes) says and I’ll go along with it.”

Breaking from post six, Tres Passes won the first trial of the night by 3/4 lengths ahead of fellow qualifier Suger Mama in the second fastest time of :19.50. “I was right next to (Suger Mama) but I was also keeping my eye on the three horse (Sixish),” Garcia added. “We were going and going but she was right there with us. I kept saying ‘stay with her, stay with her, stay her.’ When I saw that she wasn’t making a move away from us, I let him loose.”

Suger Mama held off PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Sixish by a length while posting the ninth fastest time of :19.62. The filly by Corona Cocktail is one of two runners that made the final field for owner Gustavo De La Torre and trainer Danny Montes.

The second trial was a Paul Jones exacta, which is not exactly a big surprise at Los Alamitos. The surprise was the order of finish in that exacta, as it was Chad Richard’s Winners Version on top following his upset win over Ed Allred and Jones’ Foose. Sent off at 6-to-1 odds, Winners Version defeated the 1-to-5 favorite Foose by a half length on the way to posting the fourth fastest time of :19.545. Foose also managed to qualify, in his case with the seventh fastest clocking of :19.595.

“(Winners Version) tends to wait to break a little bit but tonight he ran a big race,” Jones said. “I’ve never had a horse qualify to five Grade 1 futurities before this colt. I wonder if there’s ever been a 2-year-old that’s done that.”

A Texas-bred son of Holland Ease bred by Jerry Windham, Winners Version was fourth to Tres Passes in the Golden State Million Futurity. He also ran in all three Grade 1 futurities in New Mexico—the Ruidoso Futurity, Rainbow Futurity, All American Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity. By the time it’s all said and done, Winners Version could run for combined purses worth $6,377,920 in five Grade 1 futurities.

Foose, meanwhile, is the only horse to qualify to all three races worth over a million dollars held at Los Alamitos this year. To go along with is Ed Burke Million win, Foose also ran second to Tres Passes in the Golden State Million Futurity. The son of Stel Corona was second throughout in this trial, beating the 10th fastest qualifier Double Out by a neck.

“Foose ran well but the other horse was better tonight,” said jockey Ramon Sanchez. “I got after him, but Winners Version just ran a little faster. There’s nothing else to it. No excuses.”

Sanchez was the only jockey to qualify two horses to the “Deuce.” In addition to Foose, he also won with fastest qualifier Fantastic Corona Jr.

The New Mexico-bred Jess Is Gorgeous was the surprise package of the night, as he won the sixth trial by 3/4 lengths at odds of 19-to-1. The gray colt’s pedigree is noteworthy, as he is closely related to One Famous Eagle, the winner of 2007 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Jess Is Gorgeous’ dam, Plum Gorgeous, is a full sister to One Famous Lady, the dam of One Famous Eagle. In addition, Jess Is Gorgeous and One Famous Eagle also share the same sire in the outstanding champion Mr Jess Perry.

Trainer Danny Montes, who picked up the De La Torre barn earlier this year, is having the meet of his life right now, especially when it comes to futurities. Earlier this year, Montes saddled Zoomin Fool to a second place finish in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. He now has two horses in the richest race for Quarter Horses in 2008.

“I loved the racing form on this horse,” Montes said. “He had raced at 440 and 400 yards at Ruidoso Downs so I knew that the distance wouldn’t bother him. I liked him so much that I put $20 across the board on him.”

Montes’ hunch paid him a nifty $760.

“The owner was not able to make it to the trials tonight,” Montes added. “He is Guadalajara, Mexico. I think he’ll be here for the final.”

A Tempting Dash gave Denise VanAmburgh the best birthday present that she could have dreamed off, as the California-bred gelding broke his maiden in his fifth career start, with an effort that resulted in him earning the third fastest qualifying time to the $2,038,250 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

“My birthday’s on Sunday,” she said. “But all I really wanted was to see him win this race.”

She got that and more, as A Tempting Dash was in total command of this race right from the start, finishing with a faster time than accomplished qualifiers like Winners Version and Foose.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Jaime Gomez, A Tempting Dash covered the distance in :19.54, an effort that was reminiscent of his workout on October 25. On that morning, the colt by First Down Dash drilled 220 yards in :11.70, earning him the glory of posting the fastest gate work ever by a 2-year-old at Los Alamitos. And what about breaking his maiden in the “Deuce” trials? It worked for last year’s winner One Famous Eagle, who earned his diploma on trial night before outdueling Eye For Corona to win the finale.

Ron and Denise VanAmburgh met Jeremy and Naia Giambi at the 2007 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. “We were sitting at the same table so we started talking about horses,” noted Denise. “There was a horse in the sale ring that we both liked so Naia said, ‘do you want to be partners on this horse?’ We didn’t buy that horse but we did buy a horse later that day and that horse was A Tempting Dash.”

“We clicked from the start,” said Jeremy Giambi, a member of the 1995 Cal State Fullerton baseball team that won the NCAA Division 1 Championship and a major leaguer for nearly a decade. “We’ve grown to have a great relationship.”

Their partnership now includes three babies for next year, five embryos for the future and several broodmares. They recently became partners on a horse with Mike Abraham.

Giambi, whose brother Jason Giambi won the American League MVP trophy in 2000 with the Oakland A’s, and his wife, Naia, were enjoying only their second win ever in a Quarter Horse race. Their first came with a filly by the name of High Octaine in a race at Yavapai on July 19. They’re partners on that horse with the VanAmburgh’s as well.

“My wife has had horses all of her life,” he said. “She did rodeos growing up. I didn’t really know much about Quarter Horses racing. I did see them a lot by going to the NFR with my wife and I knew a lot of baseball players that enjoyed the NFR. Nolan Ryan, for example, is involved in the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, which helps professional rodeo athletes in the event of serious injury. That’s how I started being around Quarter Horses.”

Naia, meanwhile, is no stranger to the fastest horses in the world, as she was the 1992 National High School Rodeo Finals world champion in pole bending. The couple now lives in a ranch in Gilbert, Arizona.

“My competitive nature fits in great with horse racing,” Jeremy Giambi added. “I hope this is just the beginning of a long and fun career owning Quarter Horses. I know that there’s going to be ups and downs but I hope to enjoy the ups as they come.”

And what about that sizzling :11.70 drill a couple of weeks ago?

“When we heard about that we called right away to see if the horse was okay,” Denise VanAmburgh said. “Sometimes horses go so fast in a workout that they get their little aches.”

No worries there based on A Tempting Dash’s effort in the “Deuce” trials.

“Jason might come out for the Two Million dollar race,” Giambi continued. “I’ve always supported him during his baseball career and he’s always done the same for me. If he doesn’t have another event going on, he might come out for this race. But it’s not about me. It’s about my wife, my partners, our trainer, our jockey, and of course, the horse. This is a beautiful night.”

Trained by Jose Flores, Beastly King made it two qualifiers for Ed Allred in this year’s marquee futurity. The gelding by Metallic Lion hit the board during his first three outings of the year and was fifth in the Governor’s Cup Futurity. He came up with a little sickness after that race and his first start back he could only muster a fourth place finish in a trial to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

“In retrospect, we may have run him back too soon,” said Fred Scane, Allred’s stallion manager. “Maybe we should have skipped the Breeders Futurity trial. With a little more time, he ran a great race tonight. Jose has done a great job with this horse.”

“He picked up some abscess in his throat,” Flores explained. “It’s not that rare for a baby to come up with that but it’s nothing serious. Dr. Allred and Fred suggested that I turn him out and that’s exactly what I did. I sent him to Double Bar S Ranch and the folks there did a great job with him. Jerry Young took great care of him there. We brought him back and the rest meant a world of difference. He was healthy but the trial came up really fast. After that race I was thinking of giving him a 350-yard work but I ended up breezing at 220 yards. He then posted a bullet work (on November 1) that left me very impressed. I’m very grateful that Dr. Allred has given me an opportunity to train his horses.”

Flores will now saddle his second horse in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. His first starter came in the 2006 running with A Stoli Mate.

Beastly King is part of the first crop of babies sired by Anjora Corporation’s Metallic Lion.

“We bred 17 mares to Metallic Lion for an outcross,” Scane explained. “We even tried to buy Metallic Lion with the purpose of standing him at Rolling A Ranch. Beastly King has been his best baby by far.”

What a night it was for Andreini. In addition to being part owner of fastest qualifier Fantastic Corona Jr, Andreini also bred qualifier Suger Mama. His stallion Check Him Out, which Andreini owns in partnership with Zory Kuzyk, also sired 10th fastest qualifier Double Out.

The field to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will feature 10 different sires in the form of Corona Cartel, Tres Seis, First Down Dash, Holland Ease, Hawkish, Metallic, Stel Corona, Corona Cocktail, Mr Jess Perry, and Check Him Out. The most dominant sire of night may have been Chicks Beduino, as his daughters produced three of this year’s “Deuce” qualifiers. A Tempting Chick is the dam of A Temping Dash, Plum Gorgeous is the dam of Jess I Gorgeous, and Go Adrianna is the dam of Suger Mama.

Double Out’s Effort No Shock to His Connections

Heading into the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials, trainer Lin Melton and the rest of the connections of the talented two-year-old Double Out were quietly confident about their chances as they approached Saturday night’s race. For many trainers, the news that their horse had just drawn in with the intimidating Paul Jones tandem of Foose and Winners Version would have been enough to rattle even the most assured of trainers. “Actually I was happy with where we drew,” said the gelding’s trainer Lin Melton. “When you’re trying to qualify to as big of a race as this, you want to be in with the best and that’s exactly where we were.”

Prior to his trial to the Two Million Futurity, the Dutch Masters III and Kelly Spackman’s Double Out had already been a finalist in two other futurities this year, racing in the Northwest Juvenile Challenge at Les Bois Park and the Grade I PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity here at Los Alamitos in October. Even so, qualifying to a race as lucrative and prestigious as the Two Million would be an even greater challenge for any horse. “We knew we were in pretty tough, but we’ve been confident in our horse all along,” said Melton. “We thought he was this caliber going into the race. He really hasn’t run a bad race yet if you throw out the times where he got into trouble. I don’t like to make excuses for him, but really his only losses have come when he’s had a bad trip.”

Double Out was 14-to-1 when he pulled off a shocker in the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity, earning a spot in the $500,000 contest after posting the eighth-fastest qualifying time of the night. Once again, Double Out had a surprise in store for the betting public here at Los Alamitos, as he qualified to last week’s rich Two Million Futurity by virtue of a strong third-place finish at odds of 47-to-1. “He’s just kept getting better and better as the year has gone on,” Lin added. “I think as the distances have gotten greater, he’s gotten more and more competitive. He was also kind of a Thoroughbred-looking colt early in the year and it’s taken him a little more time to fully mature. Mentally he’s much farther along now.”

Despite having already started eight times this season, Double Out still appears to be in terrific form, a real testament to the training job that Lin Melton has done with the gelding throughout the year. “He’s really sharp right now,” commented Melton. “For his schedule, he’s really fresh. He’s had eight starts going all the way back to April, but they’ve all been pretty well spread out. After he runs in the Two Million, we’ll definitely turn him out for a while. He’s paid into the Golden State Derby, the Super Derby, and the Challenge series, but we’re looking at June as the absolute earliest time we’d consider starting him. He’s going to get a good rest.”

After punching his ticket to the Two Million Futurity last Saturday night, Double Out became the fourth horse of Lin Melton’s to qualify to the prestigious end of the year showdown. “I’ve had four qualify to this race before and it’s always a good feeling,” said Melton. “My best finish came with Meteoric, who ran second in 2002. We took sort of a similar path with that horse, running him back home in Boise before shipping to Ruidoso and Los Alamitos for the really big races.”

Before ever coming to Los Alamitos Race Course, Double Out had already enjoyed a successful beginning to the season, capturing three of his first four outs at Dixie Downs and Les Bois Park. In his very first local start, the talented son of Check Him Out qualified to the Grade I PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity, a race in which his tenth-place finish still remains a mystery to his connections. “I’m still not really sure what happened to him in that race,” Lin explained. “He didn’t break well and then Jessie (Chavis) pulled him up because he thought he (had suffered an injury). When we got him back to the barn later, we gave him a real thorough examination and he checked out perfectly fine. Luckily that’s behind him now. I thought he had about as clean of a trip as you could possibly have in the Deuce trials. I wouldn’t really say that he was closing on Foose or Winners Version late, but he certainly wasn’t slowing down.”

For now, Double Out will await the finals to the $2,038,250 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on December 12th, where he’ll face one of the strongest fields of two-year-olds assembled anywhere all year long. “He came back great from the trials,” said Melton. “One of the other really big factors for my horses this season has been the work that my jockey Jessie Chavis has put in during the mornings. He broke all of these colts way back at the start of the year and we have both always liked this horse. Jessie’s very unnerving for such a young rider. He’s only 22. Most jockeys his age try too hard, but everything just comes really natural to him. He’ll probably head back home to St. George, Utah in the next few days, but he’ll be back for the finals of the Two Million. We’re really excited about this horse.”

Fantastic Field Set for Nation’s Richest Race of 2008

The Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity—the nation’s richest race in 2008 and the richest race ever contested in track history—will kick off a fantastic racing weekend here at the Orange County oval when it’s contested on Friday night at 400 yards.

The weekend will also feature the storied Grade 1 Champion Of Champions on Saturday night as well as the Grade I Southern California Derby on Sunday.

The Two Million Futurity, or “Deuce” as it’s affectionately known, will feature ten of the finest two-year-old runners in the nation. Aside from the lucrative nation’s best $2,038,250 purse that the event offers, the Deuce is also one of the most prestigious races held at any racetrack all year long and regularly has a strong bearing on AQHA Champion award voting.

Headlining the race is Blane Schvaneveldt’s gifted gelding Tres Passes. A 22-to-1 upset winner of the Golden State Million Futurity in November, he has suddenly become the new heavyweight of the two-year-old division here at Los Alamitos Race Course. Although he flashed talent early on in the year, his finest performances have come in his last two starts, when he denied Foose a shot at sweeping all three legs of the Bonanza series in the Golden State Futurity and beat another strong field in last month’s trial to the Deuce.

Additionally, he has faced top-notch competition all season long, squaring off against the likes of Revv It Up, Sixish, Foose, and Jessanotheraffair.

Tres Passes was also a winner of the Ed Burke Juvenile Stakes on June 21st.

One horse that fans will be clamoring to see is the talented Paul Jones trainee Fantastic Corona Jr, the fastest-qualifier to this year’s Two Million Futurity. After a slow break, he began making up ground with each and every stride, pulling away by three-quarters of a length at the wire on trial night. He was also the fastest-qualifier to the Ed Burke Million Futurity earlier this year in June. Not only is he one of three horses conditioned by trainer Paul Jones, he is also one of three finalists ridden by jockey Ramon Sanchez in the trials. Sanchez has opted to pilot Fantastic Corona Jr in the finale.

Another piece of the Paul Jones armada, Winners Version is one of three finalists in this race conditioned by defending AQHA Champion trainer Paul Jones. A full-brother to All American Futurity and Champion Of Champions finalist Latest Version, this colt qualified to his fifth Grade I futurity on the year when recording the fourth-fastest time to the Deuce. A finalist in all three legs of the Triple Crown at Ruidoso Downs, Winners Version has now won twice in three starts since shipping to Los Alamitos, including a gritty half-length victory over Foose in his most recent out.

Rounding out the Paul Jones trio is another dangerous contender in the ultra talented Foose. Highly touted since the beginning of the year, Foose was regarded as the superhorse of the year, but he is looking to regain in his winning form after losing his last two starts. He was second against the aforementioned Tres Passes in the Golden State and his stablemate Winners Version in trial to the “Deuce.” Nevertheless, he captured the first four starts of his career by sizeable margins and was an impressive winner of the Ed Burke Million Futurity in late June. Never worse than second through six lifetime outings, Foose has beaten a number of very accomplished runners throughout the year such as Sixish, Rieda Hay Worth, Jessanotheraffair, and Nosecretwhosefirst.

Another force in the race could be Ed Allred’s Beastly King. A son of first-year sire Metallic Lion, he scored a runaway victory in the final trial of the night on November 22nd. Aside from that lopsided win, Beastly King also turned in a good effort in the Governor’s Cup Futurity in late July, where he finished fifth, only beaten by a length and a half. Two starts back, he broke slow and was bumped repeatedly in his trial to the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity. He had also been off for over two months coming into his trial to the Two Million, making his one and three quarter length victory even more impressive.

Danny Montes also had a nice evening on trial night, as he joins Paul Jones as the only other trainer with multiple horses in this year’s race. One of two finalists conditioned by Montes, Suger Mama ran a courageous second in her trial and was even leading at one point in the race against a pair of Grade I winning titans in Tres Passes and Sixish. Montes’ other contender is Jess Is Gorgeous, who broke his maiden at odds of 19-to-1 on trial night.

Another trainer who has had a phenomenal meet this year is Mario Loza, who qualified one horse to the Deuce in Hawkins Cash. A winner of his first two starts on the year, this filly was second behind fastest-qualifier Fantastic Corona Jr in her trial and has always been well regarded by her connections.

Much like Jess Is Gorgeous, Jaime Gomez’s A Tempting Dash also broke his maiden on trial night, scoring by three-quarters of a length at odds of 9-to-1.

He defeated a strong group that night as well, including Golden State Million Futurity finalist Pizarra and the talented colt Vrrroom. Owners Denise and Ron VanAmburgh and Giambi Stables will be hoping his luck continues on Friday night.

Rounding out the field is Dutch Masters III and Kelly Spackman’s Double Out. He qualified to this race by virtue of a third-place finish in his trial at long odds of 47-to-1. Prior to that effort, he was also a finalist in the Northwest Juvenile Challenge at Les Bois Park and the Grade I PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity here at Los Alamitos.

The Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity by the Numbers

Below is a breakdown of how each of the finalists performed in the trials. These numbers show how fast they raced during the first 180 yards and how fast they completed the final 220 yards. While these numbers cannot show the physical improvements the trialists might have made in the last three weeks, they give an indication of what the strengths of each horse might have heading into the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

How fast will Foose run the opening 180 yards in tonight’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity? That could be the key to this race. In the trials, Foose’s opening 180 yard time of :10.16, bettered only that of Double Out from among the horses that qualified to the rich final. Foose did come home in a solid :09.43 in the final 220 yards - which ranked him third best among the finalists.

As far as which horse figures to be on the lead right away, Hawkins Cash is the most likely contender. The Hawkish filly flew out of the gate, racing the first 180 in a mind-blowing :09.94. She was not as strong late, closing the race in :09.51. A Tempting Dash also showed a ton of speed early on and his :09.48 clocking is eceiving since he was cruising down the lane late thanks to his daylight advantage.

It’s no surprise that the horses with the best final times were the first and second fastest qualifiers - Fantastic Corona Jr and Tres Passes.

They each posted terrific final 220s, with Fantastic Corona sizzling to the tune of a :09.33 while Tres Passes was right behind him at :09.35. Foose and Winners Version were in the low :09.40s so they should be right there at the end. A horse to watch is Beastly King. He had a nice opening fraction of :10.09 and his final time of :09.48 was more the result of a runaway 1 3/4 length victory, easily the largest winning margin of trial night. His numbers make him the darkhorse in the “Deuce.”

Post Horse               1st 130  Final 220  Final time
1. Jess Is Gorgeous :10.12 :09.48 :19.60
2. Double Out :10.18 :09.45 :19.63
3. A Tempting Dash :10.06 :09.48 :19.54
4. Suger Mama :10.12 :09.50 :19.62
5. Tres Passes :10.15 :09.35 :19.50
6. Hawkins Cash :09.94 :09.51 :19.57
7. Beastly King :10.09 :09.48 :19.57
8. Winners Version :10.10 :09.44 :19.54
9. Fantastic Corona Jr :10.12 :09.33 :19.45
10. Foose :10.16 :09.43 :19.59

Breeding lines of Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalists Courtesy of Track Magazine (listed in order of fastest qualifying times):

Fantastic Corona Jr, c. (Corona Cartel-- Special Queen Sa, by Strawfly Special). Dam is 2-time Grade 1 stakes placed winner of $230,000 and sister to stakes winner Appeals King Special $55,000. Second dam is stakes winner Queen Of Appeals $84,000. Third dam is Grade 1 winner Totally Illegal $147,000.

Tres Passes, g. (Tres Seis-Sporty Spice, by First Down Dash). Brother to 2007 Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Tres Spice $58,000 and half brother to Tiny Wood Dash $31,000. Dam is half-sister to World Champion Merganser $1.4 Million and to stakes winner A Dash Of Ginger $39,000 (dam of Coup DeMain $163,000).

A Tempting Dash, g. (First Down Dash--A Tempting Chick, by Chicks Beduino). First foal of $36,000 stakes placed winner. Second dam is stakes winner Tempt Me Not $34,000. Family includes stakes winner Blushing Bug $186,000, staked placed winner Leaving Memories $112,000, stakes winner Lynns Allante $63,000, stakes winner Make Em Blush $57,000, etc. $72,000 Los Al Equine yearling.

Winners Version, c. (Holland Ease-The Jubilee Diamond, by Runaway Winner). Brother to stakes winner Latest Version $188,000 and 2008 G2 Stakes placed winner Texas Version $47,000. Dam is $13,000 winning sister to G1 winner Star Of Sierra Leone $186,000, etc. 2nd dam is Champion Denim N Diamonds $731,000. Family of Champion Pransker CF $230,000, maiden stakes winner (3 in 2008), Tricky Dust $408,000, 2008 G1 SPW PB And Crackers $118,000; etc. $120,000 Ruidoso Yearling.

Hawkins Cash, f. (Hawkish--Red Hot Katie, by Red Hot Rhythm). Dam is Grade 3 stakes winner of $38,000. 2nd dam is Grade 3 stakes placed winner Luki Barrymore Katie $34,000. Sired was a champion multiple stakes winner, who ran in the Los Alamitos Million Futurity.

Beastly King, g. (Metallic Lion--La Rey Kid, by El Rey Burner). Half-brother to Grade 3 stakes winner Devoted $55,000. Dam is half-sister to Grade 3 stakes winner Childish $130,000. Family includes Grade 3 stakes winner Juvie $104,000, stakes placed winner Coca’s Kid $134,000, stakes winner Express King $184,000, etc.

Foose, c. (Stel Corona-Summertime Quickie, by Royal Quick Dash). Half-brother to 2008 two-year-old stakes placed winner Asyouwish $12,000. Dam is $109,000 stakes winning producer of Grade 1 finalist Separate Encounter $18,000. Dam is half-sister to Grade 1 stakes placed winner Summertime Fly $181,000. Second dam is out of Summer Encounter $222,000, who produced Grade 1AllAmerican Futurity finalist Dashing Encounter $102,000 and Blazen Maven $90,000. Family of Holland Ease $361,000, etc.

Jess Is Gorgeous, c. (Mr Jess Perry--Plum Gorgeous, by Chicks Beduino). Full brother in blood to 2008 multiple G1 winner One Famous Eagle $1.3 Million, who will be running in $750,000 G1 Champion of Champions the night after the finals of this race. Dam is sister to G3 stakes placed winner One Famous Lady $173,000. Second dam is stakes placed winner One Slick Cookie $32,000 and sister to G1 stakes winner One Slick One $158,000. Family includes stakes placed winner Go Fantacia $93,000, G3 stakes winner First Rich Chick $79,000, stakes winner Wranglers Ridge $76,000, etc.

Suger Mama, f. (Corona Cocktail--GoAdrianna, by Chicks Beduino). Half-sister to 4-time stakes winner Adriannas Dasher $68,000; Stakes place winner Fly Adrianna $47,000; Grade 1 finalist Adrianna Signature $52,000; Grade 1 finalist Adriannas First Down $38,000, etc. 2nd dam is a half sister to major stakes winner Sir Chica Mor $138,000, Chicado Reb $63,000, Chica Do More $44,000, etc. $23,000 Schvaneveldt/Andreini yearling

Double Out, g. (Check Him Out--Cash Her Out, by Takin On The Cash). Half-brother to SW Rail Skimmer $72,000 and G1 SPW For Jens $101,000. Family includes SW Rhythm And Ruffles $167,000, G1 SW Luva Secret $347,000, etc. $32,000 Los Alamitos Equine yearling