LARC NEWS Posted: 8/17/2020 2:46:54 AM


           Owned and bred by Ed Allred, Circle City wasa rocket out of the gate for the second straight race and once again the result was an ultra-impressive victory, this time against a top field in the Grade 2, $204,100 Golden State Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos Race Course.

            With Vinnie Bednar in the irons for trainer Scott Willoughby, Circle City came away perfectly out of the gate from post number two, while leading his rivals by a half-length during the early stagesof the race. He maintained that advantage throughout the 400-yard dash, crossing the wire ahead of Long Time Favorite and You Can Run to give Allred a record sixth victory in the Golden State Derby. A gelding by Favorite Cartel out of Moonlight Corona, Circle City joined his full brother and stablemate Nomadic as a derby winner at Los Alamitos this year.

            Nomadic, who is only 47 days older than Circle City, won the Governor’s Cup Derby for Allred on July 25 after posting the fastest qualifying time. In similar fashion, Circle City won the Golden State Derby after also posting the fastest qualifying time, his being a scintillating effort two weeks ago. The flashy gray’s trial win was truly something to be hold, as he flew away from the gate to a 1 ½ length early lead on the way toa 1 ¼ length victory over two-time derby winner Tell Cartel. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the Golden State final, Circle City was perfect once again, earning $85,722 for the win to take his lifetime total to $292,812, while scoring his sixth victory in 11 career starts.

            Second by a nose in last year’s Grade1 Golden State Million Futurity after leaving the gate in eighth place, Circle City appears to have left behind his issues in the starting gate according to his connections.   

            “He’s been real mellow in the post parade and he’s been so good in the gate,” Bednar said. “He was perfect in there. He stood absolutely perfect. He broke just like he did in the trials. I could not be happier with how he was in the gates. He was finishing well. He just did not see the horses on the outside. I think he would have given me more if he would have seen them.”

            Bednar was also scoring his second derby win in 23 days after piloting Allred’s Nomadic in the Governor’s Cup Derby as well.

            “I’m so thankful to Dr. Allred andScott Willoughby for all the opportunities they’ve given me,” he said.

            Circle City will now be pointed to the trials to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby (on October 17) according to his trainer.

            “I think the horse is getting better,” Willoughby said. “We gave him some time off. He seems to have liked that. He has mellowed out. He is starting to pay attention and has matured quite a bit. I think he needed a little experience and to just relax for awhile. We turned him out at Steve Charles (Training Center in Romoland). He was just needing to get out and just relax a little bit. He was just fighting his head a little bit. They will tell you when they want to go on vacation and relax a little bit. He ran a great race in the Golden State (Million Futurity). Heshould have won it, I thought. The horse that won it (Runforyourlife) is a great horse and we just could not run him down. We gave him a little head start and (Circle City) messed up a little bit away from the gate. The other horse got away great and they deserved to win the race. They had a great horse that night.”

            It could be that Circle City and Nomadic meet in the Super Derby final on November 8.

            “Dr. Allred made the late payment onthis horse of $30,000 to make him eligible to the Super Derby trials,” Willoughby said. “Nomadic is also in the Super Derby. Hopefully (they meet) in the final of the Super Derby. We are going to have to make a decision on Nomadic on whether to run in the (PCQHRA Breeders Derby trial). There are two weeks between the finals of the Pacific Coast to the trials of the Super Derby. It’s hard to do it with horses that are running against that caliber of horses.We’ll have to sit down and make a decision. We have other 3-year-olds like UpFor Speed, Just Be Real and Bono Is Good. Those are really nice horses as well.” 

            Next for the team of Allred, Willoughby and Bendar is the Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap on August 30 featuring the return of Grade 1 Vessels Maturity winner Chocolatito.

            “He’s doing great and ready for theGo Man Go,” Willoughby added.

            Owned by Howard Nichols and bred by Thomas Bradbury and Vaughn Cook, Long Time Favorite earned $34,697 for finishing second to Circle City. Ridden by Oscar Andrade, Jr. for trainer JoseFlores, the Oklahoma-bred gelding by Favorite Cartel has finished in the money in nine of 17 starts. He has now earned $57,430 in his career. Dr. Steve Burns’ You Can Run, the runner-up to Tell Cartel in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos WinterDerby, earned $24,492 for finishing third in this race. Jesus Rios Ayala piloted him for trainer Mike Casselman. Tell Cartel finished fourth and was followed by Spring Favorite, Corona Required, Sass Mo Blue, Taco Twosday and Pay Me In Front.


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