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Weekend trials set for Los Alamitos Super Derby and Golden State Million Futurity

October 12, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

Stories by Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

Super Derby trials on Saturday night

Outstanding invaders Bodacious Dash and Miss Racy Jess join an outstanding local contingent headed by champion 2-year-old filly Flying Fig and Grade 1 standout One Sweet Jess in the 400-yard trials to the $987,350 Los Alamitos Super Derby on Saturday night.

The four trials will see 31 horses in action with the 10 fastest sprinters returning on Sunday, November 6, to compete in Californiaís richest derby. The Super Derby qualifying races are the first of two major sets of trials to be contested this weekend at the Orange County track.

Legacy Ranchís Flying Fig will race for the first time at Los Alamitos this year when she steps on the track for the opening trial. Trained by Denny Ekins, Flying Fig ran once at Ruidoso Downs in the trials to the Rainbow Derby, but she had a very troubled outing and finished fifth. The filly by Corona Cartel returns here with an outstanding local record thatís seen her earn over $700,000. In seven local outings, Flying Fig has won three races and finished second in her other four starts. She also looked great when posting a 220-yard bullet workout from the gate of :12.10 on September 14. Red hot jockey Ramon Sanchez will ride the Legacy-bred runner.

Dutch Masters IIIís Docs Apollo, an impressive ĺ-length winner in the Golden State Derby on August 28, and Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes winner TR Eddie, who races for Vinewood Farm, are among Flying Figís top challengers here.

Owned by Johnny Trotter and trained by Trey Wood, Bodacious Dash will make his first start ever at Los Alamitos when he competes in the nightís second trial. The Texas-bred son of First Down Dash has bankrolled $685,120 in an outstanding career that includes a victory in the Grade 1 $1,037,000 Texas Classic Futurity and a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby. Bodacious Dash has won six of 13 career starts. Ricky Ramirez will ride. Steven Burnsí Walkin Bac, second in the Governorís Cup Derby, and California Breeders Debutante Stakes winner Kips Kitten are two of the many outstanding runners in this trial.

Jose and Gustavo De La Torreís One Sweet Jess and Balgo Racingís West Coast Hawk are two Grade 1 winners that will see action in the third trial. One Sweet Jess is back at Los Alamitos after finishing fourth in the All American Derby and earlier this year he set a 400-yard track record that has since been broken. West Coast Hawk won the Kindergarten Futurity last year and will be looking for his first victory since that race. Burnett Ranches and Trotterís Miss Racy Jess, who qualified to last yearís All American Futurity, and Golden State Derby finalists Significant Cartel and Pushing Dazies are among the other top names in this heat. The final trial appears to be wide open as it features Golden State Derby fastest qualifier Filthy Fast, multiple stakes finalist Girlie Man and Ron and Melany Shalzís Thru The Fire, who ran in both the Golden State and Los Alamitos Two Million futurities in 2010. Thru The Fire ran third to One Sweet Jess in an All American Derby trial in his only start this year.

Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday night

Tremor Racingís Separate Fire begins her quest to win the second leg of the Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza when she competes in the ninth of 10 trials to the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos. The program will offer a smorgasbord of Quarter Horse racing action as all 10 races on the card will be trial races contested at 400 yards. First post time is 5:30 p.m.

Trained by Paul Jones and ridden by Ramon Sanchez, Separate Fire returns to action following a long layoff. Bred by Dr. Steve Burns, the Walk Thru Fire has not raced since winning the $1,126,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on June 26 to secure the first leg of the Bonanza. Separate Fire can get a step closer to claiming the $1 million Bonanza Cash bonus if she wins the Golden State Million final on Sunday, October 30 followed by a victory in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Sunday, December 11. The task is monumental, as no horse has ever swept the three futurities since the programís inception in 1998.

Separate Fire is the nationís top rated 2-year-old filly thanks to her wins in the Ed Burke Million at 350 yards and also the Kindergarten Futurity at 300 yards. The sorrel filly has won four of five starts and her only blemish was a third place finish when she ran into trouble in her Ed Burke trial. She came back from that hiccup to win the Ed Burke by a neck. A winner of $605,082, Separate Fire has since posted a 350-yard gate drill in :17.70. All signs point to Separate Fire being ready to blast out of the gate on Sunday night. Her main rival in this race could be Ed Allredís Check My Thoughts, who posted a :17.30 clocking - same as Separate Fireís winning time in the Ed Burke - when winning the California Breeders Freshman Stakes on July 30. The corpulent gelding has two wins from three career starts.

The list of horses competing in the Golden State trials is an outstanding one. In addition to Separate Fire, Tremor Racing will also be represented by Fly First Down, who was a three length winner when posting the fastest qualifying time to the $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity on May 27. Sent off as a heavy favorite, the son of First Down Dash ran seventh to longshot Silver For Me in the Ruidoso final. Now in the barn of trainer Jose Flores, Fly First Down will make only his third career start and first ever at Los Alamitos. He did post a nice evening workout over the racing strip when drilling 350 yards in an easy :18.50 on September 17. Francisco Rubio will ride the Dr. Burns-bred runner in the first trial of the night.

The fourth trial will feature another invader to watch in Desiree Princess Ranchís Jess Sass Dash, who finished second in an allowance test during his local debut on September 23. Trained by Paul Jones, Jess Sass Dash was sixth in the $700,000 Rainbow Futurity in July and also ran in the Ruidoso Juvenile Stakes. The First Down Dash colt has hit the board in five of six starts. Pat Guthrie and Billy Smithís Terrific Synergy will join Jess Sass Dash in this heat. The gelded son of FDD Dynasty ran fourth in the Ed Burke Million and prior to that solid effort he scored a pair of strong victories.

Fast forwarding to trial number six, Allredís Once Over is one of the most exciting horses racing in the trials. The Walk Thru Fire colt won his debut by ĺ lengths despite racing greenly and if heís learned from that effort, he could be a joy to watch on Sunday. Scott Willoughby will saddle the son of the promising young broodmare Look Her Over.

Armando Leonís Long Gone does a quick turnaround for this race having just finished second following a heated duel with Ima Chickie Two in the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity on October 1. While Ima Chickie Two is skipping this race, Long Gone is back to work against a tough group of horses that includes Dutch Masters IIIís Ed Burke Million fastest qualifier Fire Moon Lady and Eaves and Kessingerís two-time winner Delight At Night, who has impressed in both of his victories for the red-hot combination of trainer Juan Aleman and jockey Eduardo Nicasio. Long Gone, Fire Moon Lady, Delight At Night and the rest of this field will see action in trial number seven.