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Triple Crown contender heads running of $425,600 Breeders Futurity on Saturday

October 1, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

Trials to Inaugural Wild West on Tap Sunday

By Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

Itís a matchup of outstanding young stars in the $425,600 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. In one corner - post one to be exact - thereís Marcelo Jorgeís The Goodbye Kisser, who is regarded by many as the top 2-year-old filly on the grounds. In the other corner, but more like in the middle of the ring or racetrack to be exact, itís David and Ross Hinkinsí First Down Illusion, who as the winner of the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity earlier this year remains eligible to win the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza, the trackís version of the Triple Crown. To be ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, First Down Illusion will start from post six in the Breeders Futurity.

The field will also feature a pair of half brothers, each featuring wicked late kicks as part of their arsenal, in BF Farm Boy and Current Sea, plus six other top 2-year-olds like the red-hot Filthy Fast and Kindergarten Futurity finalist Julias Walkthru Fire. First post on Saturday is 7 p.m. The futurity is set as the ninth race on the card at 10:07 p.m.

Under the watchful eye of trainer Paul Jones, The Goodbye Kisser has done everything right in her last three starts. She won a trial race to the John Deere California Juvenile by a length on August 13 and then returned to win the final by a half-length on August 27. Three weeks ago, The Goodbye Kisser broke sharply from post one and never looked back en route to an impressive 1 3/4 length win and the fastest qualifying time of :17.27 to the Breeders Futurity.

The First Down Dash filly will now face her biggest opposition to date, as sheíll be facing First Down Illusion, also by First Down Dash and already a winner of $447,775 this year. Trained by Adan Farias, First Down Illusion will earn a $1 million bonus if in addition to the Ed Burke Million he can also win the Golden State Million Futurity on October 29 and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Dec. 10.

First, First Down Illusion has to take care of business in the Breeders Futurity. Bred by Zory Kuzyk, First Down Illusion won the California Breeders Freshman Stakes on July 31 and then ran second to a fast flying Filthy Fast in the trials to this race. While heís only won two of seven starts this season, First Down Illusion has hit the board a total of six times and his ability to step up in stakes races makes him a real huge threat. A second major futurity win would make him one of the nationís leading contender for the title of champion 2-year-old colt. First place in this race is worth $174,552.

Lajolla Famosa top contender in Wild West Futurity trials

A pair of futurity winners from the Intermountain circuit, the runner-up in the Ed Giles Futurity and several runners with solid crendential obtained while racing at Los Alamitos earlier this year are among the top performers competing in the trials to the inaugural $90,700 Wild West Futurity Sunday at Los Alamitos. First post on Sundays is now 5:30 p.m. with the trials being featured in races seven, eight and nine.

Twenty five 2-year-olds will compete in the Wild West trials with the horses with the 10 fastest times returning for the final on October 23. In order to be eligible to the Wild West trials, a 2-year-old Quarter Horse needs to make at least two starts at an Intermountain or Northwest track.

The marquee name in the Wild West trials is Gary and Jeralyn Messengerís Lajolla Famosa, a multiple futurity winner that has won five of seven races this year. Owned by Gary and Jeralyn Messenger, Lajolla Famosa posted 1 1/4 length wins in both the Northwest Juvenile Challenge and the Hawthorne Futurity at Sandy Downs. He also ran second in the Dixie Futurity and even competed here in a trial to the Kindergarten Futurity. The well-traveled gelding by Streakin La Jolla will be ridden by the meetís leading jockey, Francisco Rubio, and will be saddled by Bret Vickery in the second of three trials at 350-yards. Lajolla Famosa has won over $36,000 in his career - the highest figure among horses compete in the Wild West trials.

Lajolla Famosa will face a quality trial field that includes Mimi Wellsí Gimme Corona, who began his career at Turf Paradise by running in the AQHRA Spring Futurity in April. He would then run at Los Alamitos in the Claiming Stakes finale.