Paul Jones and Thompson Racing, Inc.’s Foose Is Loose posted the fastest qualifying time to the Governor’s Cup Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos after picking up his first victory since breaking his maiden in his career debut back on April 13 of last year.
Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Paul Jones, Foose Is Loose was outstanding in his derby win, as he had a big lead from start to finish in the last of three trials on the night. The Foose gelding covered the 400 yards in a time of :19.702 while posting a 1 ¼ length victory – his second in 11 career starts.
“I’m surprised that he posted the fastest qualifying time, but I thought he would do well in this race,” Jones said. “He’s qualified to the Kindergarten Futurity and Ed Burke Million Futurity last year and this was his second start after a long layoff. I thought he needed a race when he made his last start.”
Foose Is Loose made his last start as a freshman in the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on November 24. The homebred runner took some time off from there before returning to racing with a fourth place finish in an allowance race on May 23. By the looks of it, that effort set him up perfectly for this trial race. Foose Is Loose will now set his sights on taking on the likes of El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Moonist and multiple derby finalist Dynasty Of Habits in the Governor’s Cup final on California Breeders Champions Night on July 26. Moonist and Dynasty Of Habits have already combined to make 10 starts this year, but Jones is not quick to say that Foose Is Loose will have the advantage of being a fresher horse going into the derby final.
“A good horse is a good horse and Moonist and Dynasty of Habits are good horses,” he said. “Foose Is Loose ran up their level tonight, but he’ll have to run this same race again in the final in order to win. I already know that Moonist and Dynasty Of Habits are going to run well and be very tough. We need Foose Is Loose to show consistency and run this type of a race in the final.”
One night after Ed Allred saw four horses that he bred finish among the five fastest qualifying times to the Governor’s Cup Futurity, the famed Vessels Stallion Farm accomplished a similar feat in the derby trials. Vessels bred the second, third and fourth fastest qualifiers. Owned by Ron Hartley, Moonist is the son of Separatist and out of Vessels’ champion Your First Moon. Trained by John Cooper and ridden by Cesar De Alba, Moonist defeated the Vessels-bred Dare To Flair by a neck.
“He was goofing around a little bit at the end,” Hartley said. “The horse to his outside (Dare To Flair) came strong at the end, but Cesar said that the horse didn’t see him. If he could have seen Dare To Flair, he would have taken off.”
Moonist, who had not started in the more than ninety days since winning the El Primero, has now scored victory in eight of 15 career starts.
Owned and bred by Vessels Stallion Farm, Dynasty of Habits was repurchased for $9,000 at the 2012 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. She’s since earned a little over $100,000 and has participated in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, Los Alamitos Winter Derby and La Primera Del Ano Derby. Ridden by Raul Valenzuela for trainer Cody Joiner, the FDD Dynasty filly improved to three wins from nine starts.
“This is her best outing of the year,” Joiner said. “The filly didn’t break as well as she can, but Raul said she was taking big strides at the end and he felt that he had a lot of horse left. We made some minor changes prior to this race. Raul took the initiative to look at videos of her previous starts. We watched them together and came up with some ideas. She responded.”
The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Foose Is Loose (:19.702), Moonist (:19.718), Dynasty Of Habits (:19.726), Dare To Flair (:19.754), Flying Top Fueler (:19.858), Well And Good (:19.902), Another Storm (:19.914), Up For It (:19.928), First Rodeo (:19.952), and Nefertity (:19.965).
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