Turbulent Times spoiled Five Bar Cartel’s bid for the Los Alamitos Triple Crown while also giving owners Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas their third Grade 1 victory of the year following his half-length victory in the $1,044,700 Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday evening.
Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Jose De La Torre, who saddled World Champion One Dashing Eagle to victory in last year’s Golden State Million, Turbulent Times was second at the start, but gained the lead shortly after and stayed in control on the way to covering the 400 yards in :19.493. The bay colt by Furyofthewind earned $421,134 for the win. Bred in Oklahoma by Corner K Quarter Horses LLC, Turbulent Times was picking up his fourth win in five starts. Fourth in the Ed Burke Million to Five Bar Cartel earlier this year, Turbulent Times raised his career earnings to $503,859. Turbulent Times came into the race as the fastest qualifier following a 1 ¼ length victory on trial night back on October 20.
Gustavo and Jose De La Torre and San Gregorio Racing Stable, Inc’s Mr Corona Cartel earned $170,459 for finishing in second place. Reliance Ranches LLC’s Rock You finished third while Alberto Valdes’ Highest Fire was fourth.
San Gregorio Racing Stable’s Five Bar Cartel bumped at the start and trailed from there on the way to losing for the first time in five career starts. The colt by Corona Cartel was hoping to win the second jewel of the $1,000,000 Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza, but he had to settle for fifth place. No horse has ever won the Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza, which is made up of the Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
For Avila and Cuevas, Turbulent Times was another great moment in what has been an incredible year for the partners. Already this season, their Last To Fire has posted victories in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity and Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap and is looking like one of the favorites to win the $750,000 Champion of Champions to be held on December 14. And while Last To Fire’s work is not done for 2013, this win ends Turbulent Times’ season because he’s not eligible to compete in the Two Million trials on Sunday, November 24. With a victory here and a fourth in the Ed Burke, Turbulent Times has given his owners a campaign that they will not forget anytime soon.
“We’ve been in this sport for 16 years and we’ve been blessed to own some nice horses, but this year has been incredible,” Avila said. “We’ve won the Vessels and the Go Man Go and tonight the Golden State Million. And we can’t forget that we still have Last To Fire in the Champion of Champions. It’s been a great year. Jesus (Cuevas) came from Fresno to be part of this night and I’m very happy about that. We all felt that Turbulent Times had a chance to do well in this race.
“It takes a lot of effort to be part of these races,” Avila said. “We work hard to stay solvent in this industry. We are blessed in that we have a small business that helps us maintain this level of horses. You work hard to make all the payments and to see this happening, it’s an outstanding feeling.”
“We’ve been second, third and fourth in futurities before,” Cuevas added. “It was our turn to win a big futurity. We’ve been working a long time to have horses of this potential. We’re not that surprised that he won tonight because we know what his family of horses is capable of doing. We owned his brother Testing The Ice and he’s an outstanding horse. We know these bloodlines and knew that Turbulent Times had this type of ability.”
Nicasio, who qualified five horses to the Golden State Million, was equally confident when it came to Turbulent Times.
“He broke a little slow, but I knew I had the horse to run a powerful 400 yards,” Nicasio said. “He ran a great overall race. I knew what he could do and that’s why I stuck with him.”
In between running fourth in the Ed Burke and his start in the Golden State Million trials, Turbulent Times paid a visit to Ruidoso Downs with the hope of running the All American Futurity trials..
“The owners wanted me to take him to Ruidoso,” De La Torre said. “I thought he would do great racing 440 yards. I gave him a work in Ruidoso, but I didn’t like it. I worked him again because I wanted to give it an honest effort to run him there. He did better, but I didn’t feel that he had the momentum needed to run in the trials. We would have had to supplement him to the All American trials for $50,000 and I didn’t feel that he was at his best. I talked to the owners and they gave me the okay to bring him back to California. I think it was the right decision. The first we worked him he had to deal with getting used to the altitude. He bled a little bit. The second work there was no blood, but he came so-so. He was there about four weeks before the trials. One Dashing Eagle (who won the All American) was there for about six weeks. He just didn’t acclimatize. We made the right choice.”
De La Torre is excited about Turbulent Time’s 2014 campaign.
“Now that he’s won this race I think the owners will supplement him to the All American Derby and the Los Alamitos Super Derby,” he said. “I’ll take him to Ruidoso Downs with a lot more time for him to acclimatize. He’s also in the Winter Derby and races like the El Primero Del Ano Derby and Golden State Derby.”
Ridden by Saul Ramirez and trained by Danny Montes, Five Bar Cartel earned $60,162 for his fifth place finish in the Golden State Million.
“He got bumped pretty good at the start,” Ramirez explained. “He couldn’t get a good hold of the track from there. He couldn’t get going.”
“Luck wasn’t with (Five Bar Cartel) tonight,” said Jorge Carmona of San Gregorio. “He tried hard. If they could only start the race one more time, but, of course, it’s not possible. This was a good field of horses and you need luck. (Turbulent Times) had the better luck tonight.”
“I hated to spoil the chances of a Triple Crown for San Gregoio,” De La Torre added. “They are part of our team and have always been great supporters. We ran One Dashing Eagle together last year. I told him before the race that if Five Bar Cartel won this race that I would be rooting for them to win the Triple Crown. I had five horses in this race so I was rooting hard for all of them. I’m really excited for the owners of Turbulent Times. We did x-rays on him before the race and he has no chips. We’ll see how he comes back.”
Trained by Jimmy Dean Brooks for trainer Eddie Willis, Rock You earned $120,324 for finishing third for Reliance Ranches. The Foose gelding has hit the board in all five of his career starts. Bp Its My Policy ran sixth and was followed across the wire by Jiffy James, A Corona Sunset, Solid Connection and Fire Up Willie.