MULLER RACING INC.
-Won Champion of Champions with Ocean Runaway in 2005
-Won the Golden State Futurity with Ocean Runaway in 2004
-Won the Governor's Cup Futurity with Ocean Runaway in 2004
-Won the Los Alamitos Million Futurity with Ocean Runaway in 2004
-Won the PCQHRA Breeders' Derby with Ocean Runaway in 2005
When the field walks into the gate for Saturday's Ed Burke Million Futurity, the eyes of the quarter horse racing world will be firmly fixed on ten extraordinarily talented runners, each of which has a legitimate chance to walk away with the victory. "There are four undefeated horses in this race," said Gary Muller of Muller Racing Llc. "What else can you say? I think it's probably as strong of a group as I've seen in any futurity in a really long time. We feel very fortunate to be included with this bunch."
Included in the field is the highly-touted Foose, who has a world of expectations to live up to. Perfect through two starts thus far, Foose wowed the racing public by running the fastest two-year-old debut time at the 300-yard distance in Los Alamitos history. Also qualifying to the race is the standout filly Revv It Up. Unbeaten in four starts this year, she captured the Grade I Kindergarten Futurity earlier this meet on May 17th. Other promising candidates include a pair of undefeated Paul Jones trainees in Fantastic Corona Jr and Rieda Hay Worth. Although each of these runners has only started twice, they both turned in sensational efforts on trial night, qualifying first and second fastest to this prestigious stakes race.
One other contender that should be mentioned is Muller Racing's Nosecretwhosefirst. Well-regarded from the start, this Denny Ekins-trained colt broke his maiden in his debut on May 16, 2008. "He broke well that night," commented Muller. "He was pretty green, but I sort of expected that. He's a May baby, so he's still really young. It's not uncommon for these two-year-olds to run somewhat erratically in their first race. Aside from being green, he ran a great race though."
In his debut, Nosecretwhosefirst broke on top, but began to lug out late in the race after he had made the lead. Nevertheless, he was victorious by a length and a quarter that night and earned a very nice speed index of 89 for his first career start. In his next out, Nosecretwhosefirst ran second behind Jaime Gomez's talented gelding Sixish in his trial to the Ed Burke. "He didn't break as well this time as he's capable of," Gary added. "He did close really strongly though, so we were pleased with that. It was such a tough trial too." Although it was a difficult race to win, competing in the first race of the night proved to be good luck for the colt. Three different horses qualified out of trial one, more than any other race that evening. It was the only trial to produce multiple qualifiers.
A graduate of the 2007 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Nosecretwhosefirst is a gray son of First Down Dash out of the Separatist mare Secret Separation. An earner of $18,928, Secret Separation ran third in the Corona Chick Handicap and is a half-sister to millionaire No Secrets Here. In 2006, No Secrets Here finished second in his trial to the Ed Burke Million Futurity as well before running third in the finals behind FDD Dynasty and Blues Girl Too. No Secrets Here then used that race as a springboard to a phenomenal career that included a win in the Grade I All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. On Saturday night, Gary Muller and Denny Ekins will look to follow in his footsteps with Nosecretwhosefirst.
These connections know a thing or two about campaigning great horses too. In 2004, the pair brought a young two-year-old named Ocean Runaway to Los Alamitos in mid-April. "Ocean Runaway was pretty special to me because he was the first horse I ever qualified to a Grade I futurity," said Muller. By the end of the year, the handsome gray had captured three futurities and wrapped up Champion Two-year-old colt honors. A year later, he returned in style by winning the PCQHRA Breeders' Derby and the Champion of Champions in early December. He retired with 11 wins from 20 starts and earnings of $1,892,498.
For now though, the focus will remain on the race at hand. "This is my first Ed Burke qualifier," Gary added. "I'm thrilled to be in the race and our horse came back well. It's normal for these horses to come back and be a little tired after the trials, but he's doing great." With an enormous purse of $1,155,000, the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity is one of the four races worth over $1 million at Los Alamitos. Of course, the richest of the four is the $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
"All of our plans are up in the air at this point as far as what we'll run him in next," said Muller. "He's paid into the Golden State Million, the Los Alamitos Two Million, and the All American Futurity, so he's eligible to a number of races. The best part is I think he's only going to get better as the distances get longer throughout the year. Right now we're just excited about this race in front of us."