LARC NEWS Posted: 7/29/2018 6:17:40 AM

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            Rosenthal Ranch’s Powerful Favorite outdueled Parsons Ranch’s Favorite Wise Lady by a neck to win the richest race on California Breeders Champions Night, the $380,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity on Saturday at Los Alamitos. It was the richest win ever for the Rosenthal Ranch and its most emotional.

“I just wish my husband, Bob, would have been here,” said Connie Rosenthal while in the winner’s circle. “It would have been so important for him. This was his dream. The tears are for Bob. This was all for him. I just wish he could have been here.

Bob Rosenthal, who along with his wife Connie, owned and bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds for more than 30 years, passed away on March 5 due to cancer.  He was 82. The couple campaigned 2016 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Fire At Will, 1987 Grade 1 Bay Meadows Futurity runner-up Dancedability and 1996 AQHA Claiming Stakes Challenge Final winner Bluyx plus many other top Quarter Horses over the years. He first became involved in racing when he purchased a Shirley’s Champion yearling filly named Lil Bit Blue from breeder Rod MacPherson in 1984.  Nearly 35 years later and the Rosenthal Ranch has added a major futurity victory to its name.

“This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to us in 40 years in racing,” Connie added. “I just wish he could have been here to enjoy it.”

It was Connie that purchased Powerful Favorite at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale last year for $90,000.    

            “Connie raised her hand (at the sale) and bought this horse,” trainer Chris O’Dell said. “It was all her. She raised her hand and then paid some good money for him.”

            “(Bob) wanted the horse,” Connie explained. “He was just hesitant. He was a very thrifty, wise man, so I thought ‘why not’ and let’s go for broke. It was a lucky day for us. It’s very exciting.”

            Leading right from the start, Powerful Favorite crossed the wire a neck ahead of Favorite Wise Lady. With Eduardo Nicasio up, the Favorite Cartel gelding covered the 350 yards in :17.564. He earned $157,500 for the win to take his career earnings to $204,385.

          “Since we started working with this horse, he’s always impressed me,” Nicasio said. “I told Chris early on, ‘I think this horse will be one of my favorites.’ He had a bad start in the Ed Burke Million, but tonight he had a good break. He can be a little nervous in the starting gate. He was a little washy tonight, but he still ran well. Favorite Wise Lady was about ¾ lengths away from me and I could hear Cody Jensen encouraging his filly at the top of his lungs.”

            Bred by James Markum and Dr. Steve Burns, Powerful Favorite is out of the top broodmare Remember Me Rose.  

“(Powerful Favorite) was one of our top three best horses from the beginning,” O’Dell said. “He’s done everything we’ve wanted him to do. What happened in the Ed Burke is that he didn’t get out and get going as well as he did tonight. That horse of Paul Jones, Wave Her Down, is an awesome filly. We’ve always tough a lot him. He’s in the Golden State Million Futurity and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. He’s in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, but we’ll probably skip that race. We like that futurity a lot, but you can’t run him all of them. We’ll go after the million dollar races.”

O’Dell saddled five of the 10 horses in the Governor’s Cup Futurity. The others include Favorite Wise Lady, who finished second to hear stablemate. The others are Parsons Rocket (who finished sixth), Tac Me Up (9th) and Jess Bein Me (10th).

Also by Favorite Cartel, Favorite Wise Lady earned $63,750 for running second.                       

“Favorite Wise Lady is a good filly and in fact it wouldn’t have surprised me if she had won this race,” O’Dell added. “She broke pretty good and got away pretty good. I knew with Powerful Favorite and Favorite Wise Lady that we were sitting pretty.”

It was a sweep of the top three spots for the stallion Favorite Cartel as he’s also the sire of Dr. Steve Burns’ You Caught My Eye, who ran a terrific race at 25-1 odds. Out of the Grade 2 stakes winner Hawk Kue Pie, You Caught My Eye earned $45,000 for running third. Jess Bein Me crossed the wire fourth, but was disqualified for interference and placed 10th. Hot Little Kiddy was moved up to fourth and was followed by Striver, Parsons Rocket, Anas Image, Provodnikov, Tac Me Up, and Jess Bein Me.

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