Dutch Masters III
-Won the Ed Burke Million Futurity with Higher Fire in 2005
-Won the Golden State Million Futurity with Higher Fire in 2005
-Won the Governor's Cup Futurity with Flys R Streakin in 2002
-Won the Governor's Cup Futurity with Checknbac in 2006(dh)
-Won the Kindergarten Futurity in 2000 with Secret Card
-Won the Kindergarten Futurity in 2001 with Sassy Smith
-Won the Kindergarten Futurity in 2005 with Gold Nugget Rd
-Won the PCQHRA Breeder's Futurity with Sassy Smith in 2001
-Won the PCQHRA Breeder's Futurity with Chicks Like Us in 2004
Dutch Masters III's young 2-year-old gelding Sixish is building quite a positive reputation for himself thanks to an outstanding start to his racing career. A winner of two of his three starts thus far for trainer Jaime Gomez, this talented juvenile has never been worse than second and has already banked $62,226. Two outs ago, he led until the final stages of the Kindergarten Futurity before dropping a tough nose photo to Paul Jones' undefeated filly Revv It Up. Three weeks later, 106 two-year-olds competed in the trials to the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity and again Sixish demonstrated his talent with a gritty neck score over Nosecretwhosefirst in the first trial of the night. His impressive clocking of 17.48 seconds was good enough for the third-fastest qualifying time and a starting spot in the gate for the rich $1,155,000 finals.
"I thought he ran a really nice race in the trials," said James Streelman of Dutch Masters III. "He stumbled at the break and then hesitated a little bit after the start, but went on to win without being asked at all by his jockey. The fact that Carlos (Huerta) didn't have to get after him gives you a lot of confidence in your horse."
Out of the outstanding broodmare Sixarunner, Sixish is one of two horses to qualify to the Ed Burke out of that same female family. Runner Dreamin, the fastest qualifier to the Kindergarten Futurity earlier this year in May, qualified again in the Ed Burke with the eighth-fastest time of the night. "I think there are a total of five two-year-olds out of Sixarunner racing this year," added Streelman. "Four of them are based here at Los Alamitos I believe. This has been a really good year for that family." A 17-year-old daughter of Sixarun, Sixarunner was a six-time stakes winner and earner of $153,777 during her racing career. Moreover, she is also the dam of the talented gelding Flysix, who has won four races to date, including the California Breeders' Freshman Stakes, and earned $47,762.
So far Sixish has done just about everything his connections have asked of him. "That was such a tough loss for him in the Kindergarten," Streelman commented. "I had to get out a microscope and take a look at the win photo to see exactly how much he got beat by. I think it must have been less than a half and inch." Despite the loss, Sixish is held in very high regard here at Los Alamitos, as he is the leading male money earner of the two-year-old class in California. "I paid $23,000 for this horse at the Ruidoso sale last year," said Streelman. "I think we started out with 35 two-year-olds initially and at that point he was just one of the best dozen or so, but he's really developed into a nice runner."
Last month's Kindergarten Futurity resulted in an extremely close photo finish and considering the outstanding group of two-year-olds that have been assembled for next week's Ed Burke Futurity, we could see the very same result once again. "I've been racing horses long enough to have been on both sides of these type of nose bobs," said Streelman. "In 1992 I had Holland Ease and he won the Golden State Derby by a nose. I guess we were on the right side of that photo."
For Streelman and the rest of Dutch Masters III, qualifying to the finals of prestigious stakes races like the Ed Burke Million Futurity is nothing new. In the past five or six years alone, they've have campaigned some of the sport's finest runners such as champions Higher Fire, Four Forty Blast, and Secret Card, plus Governor's Cup Futurity winner Flys R Streakin, the multiple stakes standout Holland Ease, who went on to sire the great Corona Cartel, plus the likes of Kindergarten winners Sassy Smith and Gold Nugget Rd, Los Alamitos Million Consolation winner Jumpn, and countless of other well-regarded stakes stars like Chicks Like Us and Check This Runner and several All American Futurity finalists.
"We've been here before, but it's always nice to be invited back for the finals of one of these big races," James added. "I'm just really thankful for the strong crew we have working for us. I picked the horse out, but 99% of the credit goes to these other guys. I'm only five years older than our trainer Jaime Gomez, but he's always called me his papa. We're like a family. To me that makes all the difference and I think it's a huge part of why we've been so successful over the years."