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Ed Burke Million Preview:

June 22, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ed Burke Trials - Blues Girl Too
(photo by Orlando Gutierrez)
Owner Double Bar S Ranch came into the trials of last month’s Kindergarten Futurity with perhaps the most highly regarded 2-year-old in Corona Couture, who had posted the fastest 300-yard time of any entrant. However Corona Couture suffered a fever and throat infection and was scratched from her trial. While Double Bar S Ranch ran seven other 2-year-olds in the Kindergarten trials, none qualified for the finals.
One month later, the Double Bar S Ranch came into the Ed Burke Million Futurity trials under the radar but managed to qualify two horses, Corona Couture and Tac It Like A Man, both of whom finished third in very fast trials.
“That’s okay – that doesn’t bother us at all,” said Dawn List of Double Bar S Ranch. “It seems like, as luck would have it, if you’re the favorite something will happen, and there was so much hype with [Corona Couture] going into the Kindergarten trials. And then when she got sick and we had to scratch her just hours before the race, it was such a letdown. So we’re happy to have it this way.”
Double Bar S Ranch owned 11 Ed Burke trialists, second only to Ed Allred’s 12. Multiple finalists will represent Double Bar S Ranch, Allred and Vessels Stallion Farm.
Corona Couture was the fifth-fastest qualifier at :17.38 seconds after finishing third in the first trial. Tac It Like A Man qualified sixth with a time of :17.41 seconds after finishing third in the second trial behind fastest qualifier Blues Girl Too. Jockey J.R. Ramirez piloted both Double Bar S Ranch qualifiers in the trials and has decided to ride Corona Couture in the finals. Sam Thompson will ride Tac It Like A Man.
“(Corona Couture’s) such a nice filly,” List said. “(Sam Thompson’s) been on (Tac It Like A Man) several times in the past week, and he said he’s really impressed with him and that he has a nice shot. We’re happy all around.”
Although Double Bar S Ranch has won many of Los Alamitos Race Course’s top stakes races, the Ed Burke is still one List would like to add to the ledger.
“It’s what everybody’s after, these big, high-dollar races,” she said. “It’s what you work for. It’s what you dream of. I don’t have the word for it. It would just be fabulous, especially with a homebred like one of these two.”


TALENTED FIELD: Fast qualifier Blues Girl Too’s time of :17.24 seconds in the Ed Burke Million trials was within .02 seconds of Corona Chick's 350-yard track record of :17.22 seconds set on October 16, 1991, and within .01 seconds of the Ed Burke Million Futurity stakes record of :17.23 set last year by Higher Fire. Six of this year’s finalists ran faster trials than last year’s fastest qualifier, Identity Theft.

FAMILIAR FACES: Trainer Jaime Gomez will try to become the first trainer to win the Ed Burke two years in a row. Gomez and jockey J.R. Ramirez teamed up to win the 2005 Ed Burke with champion filly High Fire. This year, the Gomez-Ramirez team will be represented by Corona Couture. Gomez will also send out El Arizona Kid and Tac It Like A Man … Gomez is the only trainer in this year’s Ed Burke to have won this race…. J.R. Ramirez (2005), Cody Jensen (2004), and Sam Thompson (1999 & 2002) are the only jockeys in this year’s race who have won before. … Vessels Stallion Farm, part owners of FDD Dynasty and No Secrets Here, holds the Ed Burke record for wins by an owner with four (1967, 1973, 1983, 2000).

UNLIKELY PREP RACE: In 2005, three horses that qualified to the Kindergarten Futurity returned to qualify to the Ed Burke Million Futurity - a year later only Corona Deluxe completed this remarkable double. Ironically, a maiden race run the same night as the Kindergarten has produced two Ed Burke finalists, Ten Oclock Scholar and Tac It Like A Man.

IT’S ALL IN THE GENES: Of the 10 finalists, four were sired by First Down Dash and four were sired by Corona Cartel. First Down Dash is the sire of six previous Ed Burke winners (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999), but Corona Cartel has never sired an Ed Burke victor.

SIBLING RIVALRY: Brothers Saul and J.R. Ramirez rode five of the Ed Burke finalists in the trials. Saul won six trials, J.R. took two, and the brothers even dead-heated in the ninth trial. Saul pilots 8-5 favorite Blues Girl Too, and J.R. will be aboard 8-1 shot Corona Couture. What are the odds of another dead-heat between the brothers?