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165 nominated to California Breeders Champions night

July 26, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress, CA - A total of 165 nominees are listed to the 14 races that will be part of the $1 million California Breeders Champions Night program for Cal-bred Quarter Horses on Saturday, July 29.

In addition to these 14 races, Champions Night will also feature the richest running ever of the restricted Grade 1 $415,000 Governor's Cup Futurity and the richest running of the $167,000 Governor's Cup Derby since 1992. Ten outstanding Cal-breds will be in action in each of the Governor's Cup Futurity and Derby.

As for the races with nominations, 17 standouts have been named to run in the Restricted Grade 1 $150,000 added Spencer L. Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. They include 2004 World Champion Be A Bono, who has won this race, which is named in honor of his owner Spencer Childers, each of the past two years. Dan Francisco will saddle Be A Bono, who enters this race after winning the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity on June 23. Catchmeinyourdreams, the three-time champion aged gelding, will be the main competition to Be A Bono in this race.

Owned by Kirk Goodfellow and trained by Chris O'Dell, Catchmeinyourdreams will go over the $1 million mark in earnings with a victory in the Spencer Childers. Catchmeinyourdreams enters having earned $946,142. The winner of the Spencer Childers will earn around $80,000.

Apollitical Time, the champion 3-year-old filly last year, has been nominated to run in the Spencer Childers, which would be her first start since second in the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap on January 7.

"We ve since gotten a Mr Jess Perry embryo out of her," said trainer Juan Aleman. "We're going to run her on Champions Night, we're just not sure where. We could go in the Matron Stakes (for distaffers) or the Sprint Stakes (for older horses). I'm just not sure about hooking the likes of Be A Bono when Apollitical Time has not raced in almost seven months."

Owned by Juan Alberto Tirado Lizarraga, Apollitical Time will be a huge factor in whatever race her connections decide. Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, she'll be fresh off of a sizzling :17.60 drill from the gate on July 15.

"She looked so quick in that drill," Aleman said. "Her jockey Ramon Sanchez worked her and he had her under wraps. That was quite a work."

To put that drill in perspective, Be A Bono's 350-yard comeback work was :17.80, while Catchmeinyourdreams' was a :18.20 earlier this year.

Finding Nemo, who surprisingly did not qualify to the Governor's Cup Derby, has been nominated to the Spencer Childers, as have Apollos Favorite, who ran third in the Vessels Maturity, and three-time stakes winner Adriannas Dasher. Interestingly, Finding Nemo was not nominated to any other race on Champions Night.

The Matron Stakes could be a spectacular race if all the big names that have been nominated to run pass the entry box. The list includes champion millionaire Higher Fire, last year's top 2-year-old filly and winner of the Ed Burke Million and Golden State Million futurities, Apollitical Time and Apollos Favorite. Owned by Julianna Hawn Holt, Higher Fire will race for the first time since finishing fourth in a trial to the Los Alamios Winter Derby on February 3. That s the only time that Higher Fire has finished out of the money in a 10-race career in which she has bankrolled $1,242,383.

The $415,000 Governor's Cup Futurity appears to be a wide-open affair with Double Bar S Ranch's Tac It Like A Man the fastest qualifier after breaking his maiden in the futurity trials. First Bye ran second to Tac It Like A Man in the trials and finished as the third fastest qualifier. Owned by Dr. Steve Burns and Kim Kessinger, First Bye was the $420,000 second high seller at the Ruidoso Yearling Select Sale last year. The One I Am, nicknamed 'The Baby Bullet' because of her tremendous quickness, is the second fastest qualifier and she may end up as the favorite in the wagering.

Choosy and Good Jazz have a couple of things in common. They were both purchased out of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, they are owned by Orange County residents and their owners consist of father and son partnerships. Mark Parsons and Mark Parsons Jr. own Choosy, while Bernie Pica and his son Tony Pica campaign Good Jazz.

Vaughn Cook, Dan Lucas, Muller Racing and Vessels Stallion Farm's Wave Carver is the standout in the $167,000 Governor's Cup Derby after a sensational performance in derby trials. Wave Carver won his trial by two lengths in a time of :19.49. Wanta Dubloon, second in the Town Policy Handicap and third in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby is one of the main threats to Wave Carver. Blaine Bateman's Christie Jo Dash, who was 1 length winner in her trial, will also contend.

If every race scheduled for California Breeders Champions Night is used on Saturday, the total purses for the evening will be an event record $1,025,500 estimated. Here is the complete list of nominations for California Breeders Champions Night to be held on Saturday, July 29. The 165 nominees this year equals the number of nominees from last year.