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Farias foursome in richest Vessels Maturity

June 17, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

A stakes-filled field, including the Mark It Famous-led foursome from the Adan Farias barn, chases the record $240,200 purse in the Vessels Maturity (G1) Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

The purse surpassed the previous record of a $172,000 purse set in 1982, and the Maturity winner earns an invitation to the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) in December at Los Alamitos.

In addition to Mark It Famous (by Mark My Dial out of A Famous New Face by Dash Ta Fame), Farias will also saddle Chivalry SR (by Walk Thru Fire out of Artesias Beduino by Beduino-TB), Snitcher (by TR Dasher out of Departing by Raise A Secret) and Whole Lot Of Karma (by Apollo-TB out of Its Good To Be Queen by First Down Dash).

Robert Williams’ homebred Mark It Famous made his Los Alamitos debut in his Vessels Maturity trial when he returned to action after a 10-month layoff. The 4-year-old gelding veered in at the start of his trial, got lined out and then rallied to gain the head win over second-fastest qualifier Simons Wonder Choice (A Regal Choice-Simons Wonder Girl by Chicks Beduino).

Mark It Famous won for the fifth time from nine starts when he was timed in :19.205, while Robert Parra’s Simons Wonder Choice was clocked in :19.219.

Mark It Famous quickly showed he was a Grade 1-class horse as a juvenile in 2009 when he was third by a neck in the West Texas Futurity (G1) and qualified for the Texas Classic Futurity (G1). He continued to show his class as a sophomore when he was second to champion Double Down Special’s world-record effort in the West Texas Derby (G3).

The Valentin Zamudio-trained Simons Wonder Choice won his maiden for a $10,000 claiming tag last September and has reeled off three wins, two seconds and a third while moving up in class to the Grade 1 division in the Vessels Maturity.

Stern Ranches’ homebred Chivalry SR also returned from an extended layoff for Farias to win his trial and qualify for the Vessels Maturity. The gelding stumbled at the start and then prevailed by a head over stablemate Snitcher.

Chivalry SR raced to the third-fastest qualifying mark of :19.227, while Snitcher was clocked in the fourth-fastest time of :19.274.

Chivalry SR recorded three straight wins before his layoff, highlighted by a dominating 1 3/4-length win in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap (G3) in an excellent :19.199 for the 400 yards.

Snitcher won a pair of minor stakes last fall at Los Alamitos before a third-place finish behind 2009 world champion Freaky in the Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Championship (G1).

The Vessels Stallion Farm and Bud Feldkamp’s Whole Lot Of Karma won the Katella Handicap in March and reached the Vessels Maturity field with a third-place finish behind Mark It Famous and Simons Wonder Choice in their trial.

Gianni Samaja’s homebred Good Reason SA (Favorite Trick (TB)-Queen Of Appeals by First Down Dash) was the 1-to-2 favorite in his Vessels Maturity trial but experienced a very troubled start. He still finished in fifth place and qualified for the Maturity.

Good Reason SA earned that odds-on favoritism in his trial after winning the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G2) by a half length in :19.328 for 400 yards.

Abigail Kawanakoa’s Divide The Cash (Separatist-Time For Royal Cash by Dash For Cash) is always dangerous, however he is still chasing his first Grade 1 victory. The Rafael Orozco-trained horse gave American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame trainer Blane Schvaneveldt one of his final victories when he set a Los Alamitos 350-yard track record of :17.061 while winning the Make It Anywhere Stakes a year ago.

After Schvaneveldt’s death, Divide The Cash became a member of the stable of Orozco, who was Schvaneveldt’s assistant trainer. The stallion then finished second behind eventual world champion Apollitical Jess in the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) and third to Apollitical Jess in the Champion of Champions (G1). Apollitical Jess set track records in each race.