LARC NEWS Posted: 6/15/2020 12:30:17 AM


            Rosenthal Ranch’s Powerful Favorite, the top 3-year-old male at Los Alamitos in 2019, scored his first victory as a 4-year-old and posted the fastest qualifying time to the Grade I, $157,400 Vessels Maturity while winning his 400-yard trial by a half-length on Sunday night.

            Led by Powerful Favorite, 10 older horses advanced from the three Vessels Maturity trials to the July 5th final. The winner of the final will earn the first-place share of the purse of $66,108 plus a provisional starting berth to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions to be held here on December 12.

            The victory was Powerful Favorite’s first since winning his trial to the Grade I Los Alamitos Super Derby on October 19. Since then, the son of the stallion Favorite Cartel and the top broodmare Remember Me Rose had endured three tough defeats in a row. He finished second by a neck behind AQHA champion Flash And Roll in the Super Derby final; ran second to 17-1 longshot Bail Czech in the trials to the Grade I Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship; and then returned to finish third in the Winter Championship final. In winning for the first time in three outings in 2020, Powerful Favorite flew out of the gate to a ¾ length advantage, opened up a 1 ¼ length lead at the halfway point and then cruised to the finish line from there.

            Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Chris O’Dell, Powerful Favorite covered the 400 yards in :19.646. Bred by James Markum and Dr. Steve Burns, Powerful Favorite picked up his 11th win in 20 career starts. He’s finished second or better in 17 of those outings.

            “He’s still Powerful Favorite,” Nicasio said. “He’s still a great horse. He showed again today. He had two little works before this race. He ran an excellent time. He is still the same, outstanding horse. He now has three weeks before the final.”

            Powerful Favorite won the Grade I Los Alamitos Winter Derby, Grade III El Primero Del Año Derby and Governor’s Cup Derby last year on the way to being named the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association’s top 3-year-old gelding.

            Legacy Ranch’s Mister Appolitical won the third trial of the night in the second fastest qualifying time of :19.696. Making his first start since winning the  Grade II Southern California Derby on December 13, Mister Appolitical crossed the finish line a neck ahead of Get Away Car to get the win.

            Trained by Terry Knight, the gelding by Apollitical Jess was ridden to victory by Jesus Rios Ayala, who returned to riding this weekend after missing over a month of action with a fractured right foot.

            “I had surgery to have a plate and couple of screws inserted in my foot,” Ayala said. “I’m feeling well now. I’m glad to be back riding. Mister Appolitical did not have the best of starts. He really needed this race. He ran his race from there.”

            The homebred out of the Corona Cartel mare Lr Miss Atina picked up his ninth win in 14 career starts.   

            Marin Jones and Steve McIntyre’s Cole Man 47 held off a strong late run by Ed Allred’s Chocolatito to win the opening trial in a time of :19.743. The winner of the Grade II PCQHRA Breeders Futurity in 2018, Cole Man 47 was also picking up his first victory of the year following a third-place finish in an allowance event in his 2020 debut.

            “He really needed the out,” Jones said. “It was his first time back after a long layoff. He was on the rail and he was looking at the rail all the way down through there. He was on the lead tonight and he ended up next to the rail again. He got such a good break and good lead that he was able to hold off Chocolatito, who always comes running at the end. We were lucky to be able to hold him off.”

            Ridden by Carlos Huerta, the Steve McIntyre-bred runner Cole Man 47 finished with the fifth fastest qualifying time of the night. The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Powerful Favorite (:19.646), Mister Appolitical (:19.696), Jess Macho Corona (:19.725), Get Away Car (:19.740), Cole Man 47 (:19.743), Bail Czech (:19.748), Chocolatito (:19.790), Jess Bet Me (:19.813), Kissed By An Eagle (;19.860) and Santander (:19.874).


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