Hall of Fame owner and breeder Ed Allred dominated the trials to the Governor’s Cup Futurity after homebreds Discontented (left), He Looks Hot, and Chicanery posted the top three fastest qualifying times while winning their respective heats to the July 26th final on Saturday at Los Alamitos. His Mystery Man also won his trial race and finished with the fifth fastest qualifying time of the evening. Allred also bred the fourth fastest qualifier, Hot Shot, to give him the distinction of being the breeder of the five fastest qualifier to the Governor’s Cup Futurity.
Trainer Scott Willoughby saddled the top two qualifiers for Allred in the form of Discontented and He Looks Hot. A gelding by Separatist out of the Dashing Val mare Reeds Val, Discontented won his 1 ½ lengths while posting the fastest 350-yard time of the night of :17.611. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Discontented was posting his second victory in four career starts. He came into this trial after a hard-fought second place finish to the previously unbeaten Tavarua on June 1.
“He broke in during that race and only got beat by a nose,” Willoughby said. “That’s a very nice filly that beat him and both runners ran big races on that night. Discontented might be the best horse that Reeds Val has ever had. He’s now run two very good races in a row and it looks like he could do some good if he comes back to this same form in the final.”
Allred, Willoughby and Aceves also shared the spoils of winning when He Looks Hot won the opening trial of the night at 16-1 odds over a field that included Kindergarten Futurity winner Old Girl and Kindergarten finalist Off Beat. A full brother to multiple stakes winner Once Over, He Looks Hot won his trial in a 1 ½ lengths in a time of :17.645. Starting from post number one, He Looks Hot was picking up his first victory in four career starts.
“We’ve been high on both of these horses since the start of the year,” Willoughby explained.
“We gelded him after his last start and that made a big difference,” Allred said. “He was the only horse I took as a yearling last year to the All American Sale (at Ruidoso Downs) because he was such a good looking horse. He got an infection and picked up the ‘Strangles’.”
Strangles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi which affects the lymph nodes.
“We couldn’t sell him in that condition,” Allred added. “Scott really liked him because he’s a handsome specimen, but he didn’t mind his manners and didn’t pay attention. We decided to cut him and it helped him in this race.”
Connie Hall saddled Chicanery to win the third trial over Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Hot Shot by a head. With Carlos Huerta in the irons, Chicanery covered the distance in :17.673. Chicanery was making his first start in 90 days. His only other start was a runner-up effort to Ed Burke Million finalist Forget It on April 11.
“We decided to wait for Chicanery’s next race and it was the right thing to do,” Hall said. “He’s doing well, just like his brother (two-time 2013 futurity finalist More Than Wild).”
Trained by Roberto Dominguez for owner Kolleen Ledgerwood, Hot Shot was flying at the end of this trial and nearly caught Chicanery. Guillermo Suarez piloted the Walk Thru Fire gelding, which was purchased from the famed Rolling A Ranch consignment at the 2013 Los Alamitos Equine Sale.
The Jose Flores-trained Mystery Man picked up his second win of the year after winning his trial by a narrow margin over the sixth fastest qualifier Fiery Kimbo. Mystery Man covered the distance in :17.691, while Fiery Kimbo, which is also trained by Flores, stopped the clock in :17,701.
Steve Burns’ No Arizona finished behind Chicanery and Hot Shot to post the seventh fastest qualifying clocking of :17.816. Mike Casselman sired by filly sired by Foose. Abigail Kawananakoa’s Hrh Walkonfire finished with the eighth fastest clocking of :17.839. Paul Jones addled the homebred gelding, which was ridden by Rodolfo Arvizu at 18-1 odds. Arvizu, 20, arrived at Los Alamitos via Turf Paradise, where he often squared off against top local pilot Raul Valenzuela.
“I’ve been ridding for three years now,” Arvizu said. “I didn’t want to leave Arizona because I knew a lot of people and was doing well. Eloy Navarro said to come to California because he was coming back to training and would give a chance. I went ahead and decided to try it out and things are going pretty good. I still don’t know a lot of people, but things are going well and I like it.”
Link Newcomb’s Kickin Your Can, ridden by Valenzuela for trainer Cody Joiner, won the final trial in the ninth fastest time of :17,849, while Santos Montemayor's Dash Of Red completed the top 10 list. Dash Of Red is trained by Juan Aleman..