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82 set to run in Ed Burke Million Futurity trials on Saturday

June 4, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Over the last ten years, few races have been as productive as the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity when it comes to churning out future AQHA Champions. Over the last decade, seven different runners who triumphed in the Ed Burke have gone on to receive an AQHA Champion Two-year-old award at the end of the season. Such notable horses include standout colts like Foose, Hawkish, FDD Dynasty, and Carters Cartel, brilliant fillies such as Higher Fire and Corona Kool, and the hard-knocking millionaire gelding Dashing Knud.

With ten trials slated for this year's Ed Burke Million Futurity, eighty-two different two-year-olds will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and secure a spot in the history of this storied race. The Ed Burke Million Futurity also kicks off the first leg of the rich Cash Bonanza Series, which awards $1,000,000 to any horse talented enough to win the Ed Burke, the Golden State Million Futurity, and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

One of the strongest trial heats of the night occurs in race three. Receiving top billing is the promising young Paul Jones trainee Bring The Bling. The younger brother to Champion Of Champions winners Ocean Runaway and Wave Carver, he dazzled racing fans in his very first start, drawing off by two and a half lengths in impressive fashion. Out of one of the best female families in the industry, he could develop into a future stakes winner much like several of his other siblings including the aforementioned Ocean Runaway and Wave Carver and 2007's Southern California Derby winner Trisk.

Also competing in trial number three is another regally bred juvenile named Dashingfordestiny. A three-quarter sister to All American Futurity champion Heartswideopen, she debuted impressively in her first start as well. A sharp length and a half winner on Sunday, May 3rd, she overcame a bumped start and won with ease. Other potential threats include recent maiden winners Streakin Laquinta and Get Him Out Sa, as well as Hawk Mas Dinero, a nicely bred colt by Hawkinson who finished a solid third behind a powerful group of maidens on May 14th.

Headlining the fourth trial of the night is Mike Joiner's speedy filly Tools Of Fire. Campaigned by owners Billy G. Smith and Pat Guthrie, she earned valuable seasoning at Sunland Park in the first two starts of her career, finishing a close third behind eventual West Texas Futurity winner Varsity Girl in March. Moreover, Tools Of Fire has also accounted well for herself since arriving in Southern California, breaking her maiden by a half-length on May 14th despite a terrible trip.

Her primary competition should come from Rancho El Alacran's Show Me An Effort. Second in his trial to the Kindergarten Futurity, he remains a horse to be reckoned with based on the impressive nature of his first start. Show Me An Effort had a very strong showing that night, drawing off to win convincingly by over a length on April 18th. Another horse to watch closely is the Dennis Ekins-trained colt Shining First Dash. Sent off at long odds of 51-1 in his first start, he prevailed by a half-length, earning a competitive speed index of 79 for the win. Additionally, he also sports spectacular breeding, as he is a half-brother to the successful stallion Shazoom.

Trial number five looks like an intriguing matchup between two quality freshman in Azshecanfly and Rocco Rojo. Sent off as the post-time favorite in last month's Kindergarten Futurity, the Chris O'Dell-trained Azshecanfly looms the horse to beat in this race. Victorious in the first two starts of her career, she finished eighth after a race to forget in her last out against Kindergarten competition. Standing in her way will be EG High Desert Farms' Rocco Rojo. A full-brother to Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Hawkins Cash, Rocco Rojo won his first and only start by nearly a length despite a bumped break, receiving a strong 84-speed index for the win.

Owner Joe Bettencourt has to like his chances to qualify with a colt that he sends out in the sixth race named Carvalho. A winner of his first start on April 26th, he overcame a bumped break to get up for the head-victory. His final 300-yard time of 15.46 seconds was also an encouraging sign. One of the faster two-year-old times turned in so far this meet, he covered the 300-yard distance in the exact same time as his heralded stablemate Bring The Bling. Moreover, his lone start was flattered even more when the second-place finisher from that event, Corona Cal, came back to blow away a field of maidens three weeks later on May 16th at Los Alamitos.

Race seven also contains a great deal of star power. Trainer Chris O'Dell, whose been enjoying a sensational meet so far in 2009, brings in one such a horse in Faster Car. She turned in the meet's fastest 300-yard time by a two-year-old on May 21st, running away from the field by a length courtesy of a blazing fast clocking of 15.40 seconds. Lookingforchemistry should also be competitive. A daughter of first-year sire Looking For Chicks, she won her last race despite a troubled start, powering away to a commanding one and a half length score.

Arguably the toughest trial of the night gets underway in race eight, where all eyes will be on last month's Kindergarten Futurity winner Twin Spires. Undefeated in three starts, this royally bred colt has been nearly flawless since being unveiled by his connections on April 9th. Following a slow start, he rallied on tenaciously in the Kindergarten, grinding out a hard-fought win by a half-length at the wire. Two other runners with impeccable breeding and unblemished records in this trial include Three Times The Toll, a filly out of two-time graded stakes-finalist First Down Toll, and Cloned With Class, a full-sister to the $349,118 earner Hiclass La Jolla.

Three other outsiders that bring a strong chance into this event are Env, Catchmesmokin, and Snitcher. Third behind Faster Car in her first start, Env turned in a respectable effort that night and has been working strongly for trainer Paul Jones. Catchmesmoking also has a big chance. A half-brother to the eight-time stakes winner Catchmeinyourdreams, he flashed talent in his first workout back on March 26th and experienced a significant amount of trouble in his lone start. Snitcher could also contend. He's taken on top-notch competition all meet long, including three horses that qualified to this year's Kindergarten Futurity in Twin Spires, Effectiveimmediately, and Magical Night. Second and fourth in his first two starts, he has yet to receive a clean trip to date.

Los Alamitos Equine Sale grads in the Ed Burke Trials

The prestigious Los Alamitos Equine Sale will have 12 of its graduates competing in the Saturday's triasl to the Ed Burke Milion Futurity. Here is a horse by horses look at these stars:

Race 2: Dash With The Hawk—Two-year-old filly by Hawkinson out of Dash To The End. Purchased for $25,000 by Vince Genco. Dam of one other foal of racing age, a two-year-old (ROM) of 2008. Dash To The End won twice, earned $152,745. 1st Kindergarten Futurity.

Rarely Happens—Two-year-old gelding by TRr Dasher out of Really Rare. Purchased for $65,000 by Ronald Skeen and Fawna Knight. Half-brother to three stakes winners including Governor's Cup Derby winner Really A First (5 wins, $169,635), Denim N Diamonds Handicap winner Seldom Happens (5 wins, $64,853), and Kansas Derby winner Realistically (2 wins, $44,010). Really Rare won twice, earned $15,724.

Voulez Vous—Two-year-old filly by Ocean Runaway out of Sheeza Lil Val. Purchased for $32,500 by Juan Ibarra. Half-brother to a pair of stakes winners including Los Alamitos Million Futurity winner Value The Man (4 wins, $626,340) and PCQHRA Breeders' Futurity winner Valiantly (6 wins, $196,604). Sheeza Lil Val won twice, earned $19,413.

Race 3: Hawk Mas Dinero—Two-year-old colt by Hawkinson out of Corona Mas Fina. Purchased for $75,000 by Davidson Cannon, et al. First foal out of this mare. Corona Mas Fina won 6 races, earned $68,982.

Race 4: Jazzy Fish—Two-year-old filly by Fishers Dash out of Jazzing Cheree. Purchased for $14,000 by David Swett. Dam of one other foal of racing age, an unstarted two-year-old of 2008. Jazzing Cheree won 12 races, earned $97,564. 1st AQHA West/Southwest Challenge, Turf Paradise Championship twice.

Race 5: Sixes Bayou—Two-year-old filly by Mr Jess Perry out of Brenda Feature. Purchased for $50,000 by Vince Genco. Full-sister to Rainbow Futurity and Derby winner Feature Mr Jess (7 wins, $539,327). Half-sister to Yambilee Stakes winner Disciple (5 wins, $50,898) and Call Me Mr Feature (3 wins, $22,448). Brenda Feature won three races, earned $3,823.

Race 6: Red Hot Genes—Two-year-old filly by Red Hot Rhythm out of Sammies Genes. Purchased for $20,000 by Muniz Quarter Horse LLC. Three-quarter sister to five-time stakes winner Sammies White Chick (10 wins, $144,959). 1st Miss Princess Handicap, AQHA Members Plus Stakes, Dashing Folly Stakes, Pacific Beach Stakes, Ivan Ashment Handicap. Sammies Genes won twice, earned $6,693.

Race 7: Ticktock—Two-year-old gelding by Separatist out of Sweet Cider. Purchased for $10,000 by Frederick S. and Gary Howard. Full-brother to Potent Cider (2 wins, $8,887). Our Sweet Cider won three races, earned $35,492.

See Worthy—Two-year-old colt by Ocean Runaway out of No Fees. Purchased for $55,000 by Hernando Guerra. Three-quarter brother to Andorite (2 wins, $77,342, 3rd Remington Park Futurity). No Fees won six races, earned $166,320. 1st TQHA Sales Futurity, AQHA Texas Juvenile Challenge Stakes, Miss Houston Stakes.

Race 8: Three Times The Toll—Two-year-old filly by Tres Seis out of First Down Toll. Purchased for $60,000 by Vince Genco. Her first foals arrived in 2007. First Down Toll won twice, earned $23,864.

Race 10: Jess Arisen Moon—Two-year-old colt by Mr Jess Perry out of Moon Arisen. Purchased for $62,000 by Vince Genco. Half-brother to Champion Two-Year-Old Your First Moon (7 wins, $750,726, 1st Los Alamitos Million Futurity, Governor's Cup Futurity), Not A Full Moon (6 wins, $271,962, 1st El Primero Del Ano Derby, AQRA Turf Paradise Futurity), and Sunset Dash (4 wins, $250,795). Moon Arisen won once, earned $11,251).

Tylerite—Two-year-old gelding by Tr Dasher out of Perfecter - Purchased for $14,000 by Ron and Ronnie Brooks Keller. Three-quarter brother to Pomona Championship winner Perfect First (4 wins, $69,982). Perfecter won six races, earned $20,143. Tylerite ran in the Kindergarten Futurity in his last start.

Jones sets sights on the Ed Burke Trials

Whenever trials to a major stakes race come up here at Los Alamitos, one conditioner that you can always count on having a healthy amount of horses competing is seven-time AQHA Champion trainer Paul Jones. With a number of different regional barns scattered all across the country at racetracks such as Remington Park, Ruidoso Downs, and Los Alamitos, Jones presides over one of the most high profile operations in the sport of Quarter Horse racing.

All total, Jones will train twenty horses in Saturday's trials to the Ed Burke Million Futurity. "We've been fortunate enough to win a lot of baby races already this season and many of those horses will be coming back in the trials along with some others that maybe didn't win or had bad trips, but we still like a lot," said Jones.

The unquestioned frontrunner from the Jones camp - and maybe from the entire two-year-old division at Los Alamitos - is Bring The Bling. A full-brother to a pair of Champion Of Champions winners in Ocean Runaway and Wave Carver, Bring The Bling comes from one of the best female families in Quarter Horse racing. A sparkling winner of his first start on April 16th, he put away the field by two and a half lengths with speed to spare. His final 300-yard time also caught the eye of racing fans all over California, as he stopped the timer in a quick 15.461 seconds.

"He's a horse that I really think is up to all of the hype that he's been getting so far," Paul added. "Even though both of his brothers were so good, I think that he's already ahead of both of them as far as how he's developed up to this point. Right now I think he's faster than both of them ever were at this stage. I've got a lot of nice two-year-olds, but with this horse you really get the whole package. He's got the speed, the class, and the pedigree. He's a really exciting horse to have."

Another freshman runner that Jones has high hopes for is Fishers Fire. "At the start of the year, I thought this was the horse that was going to turn out to be my next Foose," Jones said referring to the horse that he campaigned to a win in the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity last year. "Fishers Fire had been working really, really well before his first start. Then in his race he ran really green, lugged out, and was looking all around the track. He's a horse that I definitely expect a lot of improvement from on trial night."

Jones also predicts strong races from a pair of recent maiden winners in his barn in Carvalho and Lookingforchemistry. "Carvalho looked really good to me in her debut," Paul added. "I trained her dad Agouti and her mom La Dominica, who was a nice high-end claimer and allowance horse here at Los Alamitos. Lookingforchemistry looks good too. She's already started twice and ran well in both races. She made that kind of improvement in between her first and second start that you like to see, so if she improves yet again in the trials then we might really have something."

Much like with Carvalho, Jones also trained Lookingforchemistry's sire, the talented Grade 1 finalist Looking For Chicks. "He came from a nice family and could really run when I had him," Paul commented. "I think Looking For Chicks could end up having some success as a stallion because he's such a good outcross to First Down Dash mares. That's something that could really work in his favor. Lookingforchemistry is the only son or daughter of his that I have, but judging from her they look like they're pretty nice horses to train and be around."

Owner Gianni Samaja will also be strongly represented on trial night, as Jones will be sending out several of his runners including Three Times The Toll and Get Him Out Sa. "They both won their first starts too and look really nice," added Jones. "So did Lips On Fire. She's a filly that comes from an excellent family and really impressed me in her first race. Then in the trials to the Kindergarten she just had a terrible trip and got beat. She should bounce back and run a lot tougher on Saturday as well."

Another horse that experienced a less than ideal trip in her first start was Sixes Bayou. "She got banged around at the start and had a lot of trouble," recalled Paul. "She's really well bred though. Sixes Bayou is a full-sister to Feature Mr Jess. I also really like a filly named Env. She worked a 12.10 early on this year and showed me a lot of talent. Env finished third in her first start, but really ran into a tough horse in Faster Car. That final time that she ran probably would have been good enough to win any other baby race, but the race just came up really strong."

With 20 horses expected to start under the red, white, and blue colors of Paul Jones, the 43-year-old trainer has already begun to call in some additional help in the riding department. "Cody Jensen is going to stay in Ruidoso this season, but he's also going to fly out for the trials and ride several of our horses here," Paul explained. "Then after their meet is over it looks like he'll come back and ride here at Los Alamitos."

Paul Jones also updated the general public on the status of several of his horses that will not be running in this year's Ed Burke trials. "Two of my two-year-olds that might have run in the trials have been injured and won't be able to run," commented Jones. "Pussy Cat Doll got hurt in her first start and is laid up right now. Flair For Dancing has also been given a couple of months off due to injury and won't race on Saturday. We're also skipping the Ed Burke trials with Runaway Tyme. He wasn't injured, but he did come back from the Kindergarten Futurity just a hair ouchy and we want to give him a little break to recover from it. He'll make his next start in the Golden State Million trials."

Jones hopes that the trials to the Ed Burke Million go as well for him as his season training Remington Park. "I didn't take any of my two-year-olds to Remington Park this year, but I was really pleased with the kind of year that we had with the older horses," explained the trainer. "We won seven stakes races and I thought everything went really well overall. I've also been pretty happy with how my two-year-olds have been developing so far. I've got some really nice ones both here in California and in New Mexico. Also, some of the ones that are stabled in Ruidoso right now will end up here at Los Alamitos before the year is over. After they run in all of the big trial races out there, many will join our division here in California and point towards the Golden State and Two Million trials assuming they're good enough."