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Fire Moon Lady shines with fastest qualifying time to Ed Burke Million Futurity

June 13, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

Fire Moon Lady sets the fastest time from 12 trials to the Ed Burke Million Futurity
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
Dutch Masters III’s Fire Moon Lady enjoyed an upset victory over a field headed by Kindergarten Futurity winner Separate Fire on the way to the fastest qualifying time to the richest running ever of the Ed Burke Million Futurity in the June 12 trials at Los Alamitos Race Course. The Ed Burke Million final is scheduled for Sunday, June 26, featuring a record purse of $1,126,000.

Ridden by Francisco Rubio and trained by Jaime Gomez, Fire Moon Lady scored a ¾-length victory over Howard Nichols’ Oceanik and Tremor Enterprises LLC’s Separate Fire while covering the 350 yards in a time of :17.365 in the fourth of 12 trials. Sent off at 11-to-1 odds, the Mike Abraham-bred filly led from start to finish en route to earning her first win in three career starts.

“This is the first time she’s had a good break out of the gates,” said Gomez. “In her first start she got closed off and finished sixth and in her second out she was bumped twice. Today she flew out of there and look at the race that she ran. Her workouts were pretty good, but what a race she ran here. Now we just have to make sure that she comes back in great shape in the final.”

Odd numbered years have been kind to Gomez in recent years. The trainer saddled Dutch Masters III’s champion millionaire filly Higher Fire to victory in the 2005 Ed Burke Million Futurity before winning this race again with Double Bar S Ranch’s champion 2-year-old colt Carters Cartel in 2007. Gomez won the Ed Burke for a third time in 2009 when he saddled LD Fire to a dead-heat victory with Streakin Laquinta. Gomez would love nothing to see the odd trend continue in 2011.

“I’m just happy to have a horse in the final for Dutch Masters III,” Gomez said. “I’d love to win this race again for Dutch Masters III.”

Oceanik and Separate Fire also qualified from this trial heat, as Oceanik crossed the wire in a time of :17.500 while the highly regarded Separate Fire was just a whisker behind with a time of :17.501. The connections of Separate Fire had to sweat it out for most of the night, as she sat on the lower half of the list of qualifiers the entire night. She ended it up being the ninth fastest qualifier.

“She was moving in the gate and was not set,” trainer Paul Jones said. “She was two lengths behind right from the start and she ran an unbelievable race just to salvage something out of that. She ran a great race to finish third. It would have been (tough) to see her not make the final. I was pretty disappointed at the way her start to the race went and I was dragging all night because I didn’t think she was going to make it. Right now I am very happy and pleased that’s she in the final. Now it doesn’t matter if she was the fastest or the 10th fastest because she won’t know the difference when she’s in the gate for the final.”

The complete list of qualifiers to the Ed Burke Million Futurity final to be held on Sunday, June 26, is shown below:

Fire Moon Lady (:17.365)
Kindly Fellow (:17.383)
Sompin About First (:17.386)
Hi On The List (:17.410)
Terrific Synergy (:17.418)
Flame N Flash (:17.453)
A Country Boy Can (:17.488)
Oceanik (:17.500)
Separate Fire (:17.501)
Sex On Fire (:17.505)

Five of the 10 Ed Burke Million finalists were purchased at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, including fastest qualifier Fire Moon Lady, who was sired by Walk Thru Fire and is out of the Zevi mare Zevis Lady Love. Purchased for $30,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Fire Moon Lady is a half sister to Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap winner Duke Of Houston, Zia Park 870-Yard Championship winner Dr Roberto and Cottonwood Stakes winner Sultan Of Houston. These three runners banked over $100,000 each. The other Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduates to qualify are Flame N Flash, who sold under the name of Illicitly for $90,000 and is also a half sister of AQHA champions Hawkish and Hawkinson; Oceanik, a $40,000 purchase and a half brother to 2010 Kindergarten Futurity finalist Carburator; Terrific Synergy, a $27,000 purchase who is the son of 2006 Ed Burke Million winner FDD Dynasty and also the first foal out of the Grade 1 winner Terrific Energy; and Kindly Fellow, a $20,000 purchase and a full brother to Los Alamitos stakes winner Wimping. In addition Ed Burke Million trial winners Ladies Royal Six ($4,500), No Time To Fire ($50,000 repurchase) and Hit It Big ($100,000) are Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduates.

Fire Moon Lady is one of four Ed Burke Million qualifiers sired by the red-hot stallion Walk Thru Fire. He is also the sire of the Ed Allred-bred Flame N Flash, the Burns Ranch-bred Separate Fire and the Abraham-bred Sex On Fire.

Berenisse Gonzalez’s Kindly Fellow scored a dominant victory despite facing one of the toughest fields of the night. The gelded son of TR Dasher took on maiden winners BF Farm Girl, Blue De List, Blues Girls Dynasty and Difying Gravity and came out on top following a runaway 1¼ length win. Ridden by Juan Andrade, Kindly Fellow posted the second fastest qualifying time after running fourth in the Kindergarten final on May 22.

David and Ross Hinkins won the Ed Burke Million last year with the First Down Dash colt First Down Illusion. They have a great chance to make it back-to-back wins after their First Down Dash colt Sompin About First posted a 1¼-length win in the ninth trial of the night.

“I am super happy for the David and Ross because they are among the best people to train for,” trainer Adan Farias said. “They invest a lot in this business, they run a lot of horses and they’ve earned their success. This horse ran seventh in the Kindergarten and we expected a lot better race from him that night. He just didn’t break that well and that had been his strength. We took some x-rays of Sompin About First as a precaution after the Kindergarten and everything was clean so we decided to run in the Ed Burke. He looked great tonight.”

Double Bar S Ranch’s Hi On The List also recorded a wire to wire victory, as she crossed the wire 1 ¼ lengths ahead of her closest pursuer. Eduardo Nicasio piloted her for Paul Jones. The California-bred is the daughter of Streakin La Jolla and Hiclass Cloned and like most of the Double Bar S Ranch homebred runners her bloodlines can be credited to the excellent horseman Mike Stuart.

“Our favorite man in the world is Mike Stuart,” said Dawn List of Double Bar S Ranch. “He is our equine agent, consultant and bloodline expert and he helps us so much with breeding horses. Without him we would have never bred (2008 Champion of Champions winner) Jess You And I. In the end, we do make the final decisions about breeding our horses, but Mike is a huge part of our team.”

“Some of our decisions are based on emotions, we are women after all,” Rhonda List added.

“Sometimes it’s simply about the horses that we like and have watched,” Dawn added.

Double Bar S Ranch’s breeding operation is flying high right now. In addition to Hi On The List, the ranch is enjoying great early success with freshman stallion Tac It Like A Man, who is already a stakes winner and on Friday night sired the winner of the $56,000 Los Alamitos Claiming Futurity.

“Tac It Like A Man is off to an amazing start and we are so excited about him, but we can’t wait to see what Carters Cartel’s babies will do,” Dawn said. “The list of broodmares that were bred to Carters Cartel is outstanding.”

Another young stallion off to a great start is FDD Dynasty, who Pat Guthrie, Billy Smith and Vessels Stallion Farm campaigned in his racing career. The millionaire champion will be represented in the Ed Burke Million Futurity by the undefeated gelding Terrific Synergy, who scored a ½ length victory over rivals that included five maiden winners. Jacky Martin, the 2010 AQHA Champion Jockey, piloted Terrific Synergy for trainer Cody Joiner and owners Billy Smith and Pat Guthrie.

“Antonio Alberto did a great job riding this horse to his maiden win, but he had other obligations for this trial race,” said Billy Smith. “I talked to Jacky Martin and I asked him to ride this horse. I knew that Jacky would come out here if he has a live mount, so I asked him to watch this horse on the replays. Jacky watched him and he said ‘I’m coming to ride him.’ All I can say is that he is a heck of a back-up rider and if that’s the worst we ever do for a back-up then we’re doing alright. Jacky said that this horse is still a little green. This horse is learning every day and once he levels off he’ll be something else. He’s a big strong horse, but he’s also very quick.”

FDD Dynasty sired second fastest qualifier TMF Cash Dynasty to the Ruidoso Futurity and that horse came back to finish fifth in the final. Also this weekend, FDD Dynasty saw his daughter named CC Dynasty qualify to the $100,000 Black Gold Futurity at Fair Meadows.

“FDD Dynasty is showing up everywhere and I’ve talked to some trainers that have told me that they have some really nice babies that yet to start,” Smith added. “We’re happy with the way his babies are running. Hopefully Terrific Synergy comes back well after this tough trial and runs a nice race in the final.”