RUNFORYOURLIFE AND UP FOR SPEED SCORE IMPRESSIVE WINS IN BREEDERS DERBY TRIALS
Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Runforyourlife and Ed Allred’s Up For Speed won their respective trials to the Grade 2, $140,000 PCQHRA Breeders Derby in impressive fashion on Saturday night at Los Alamitos. The way they each did it, however, was very different with Runforyourlife running flawlessly while powering his way to an easy win and the fastest qualifying time, while Up For Speed had to unleashed a huge burst of speed after a troubled start to win his trial by a head.
Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Chris O’Dell, Runforyourlife was spectacular in winning the second of two derby trials, flying out of the gate on the way to a ¾ length victory. The winner of the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity last year, Runforyourlife looked like his old self, flashing big-time quickness, and making it hold through the 400-yard race while posting the fastest time of the night of 19.626. Bred by Dr. Steve Burns, the gelding by Favorite Cartel out of Remember Me Rose also improved his record to six wins from 13 starts and will now headline the field to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby final to be held on Friday, October 2, the night prior to the opening day of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale.
Runforyourlife’s trial win was also his first since he won his heat to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on December 15. The seventh-place finisher in the Two Million final, Runforyourlife’s sophomore campaign included a third place finish in his trial to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby, a second in his trial to the Governor’s Cup Derby and a fourth in the Governor’s Cup final.
“We rushed him for the Winter Derby trials,” O’Dell said. “We didn’t have him quite ready for (the Governor’s Cup Derby trials) but we decided to run him and he ran a nice and qualified. He felt like he was going into the Governor’s Cup Derby final really good but sometimes (the trials) kind of knocks them down.”
“For his (PCQHRA Breeders Derby) trial, he felt like he was percolating really good this time. What a great trial race. It looked like he did it easy. Nicasio knows him and I think this horse will be good the rest of the year. If he would have run a little better in his last race I think he would have been the favorite tonight. That family is just so good. We went to the sale and bought his brother. We really have high hopes for him. His full brother, Powerful Favorite, we all know he can run, and this horse he can also run. We did minor surgery on Runforyourlife (after the Winter Derby trials) and you never know how they will come back. Sometimes they come back and do not run up to far, but after seeing this tonight I think he’ll be back.”
Rosenthal Ranch, who owns both Powerful Favorite and Runforyourlife, also bought their full brother, a yearling by the name of Bomb Cyclone, for $215,000 at the recent Ruidoso Sale.
“He’s at Firth Ranch,” said O’Dell of Bomb Cyclone. “John Firth is going to break him just like broke Powerful Favorite and Runforyourlife. I went to see the colt last Tuesday. He looks great. He’s already put on some weight and looks nice and relaxed. He’s very easy going. The whole family is good to work with. They are quirky. Powerful Favorite we had to use a flipping halter and with Runforyourlife we had to take the blinkers off. They each have their own quirks, but once you figure them out, they are great.”
Ridden by Oscar Andrade Jr. for trainer Scott Willoughby, Up For Speed was bumped at the start of the opening trial, leaving him in eight place at the start. The gelding by Favorite Cartel out of Up For It started to make up ground right away, moving up to seventh place with 220 yards to go and then flying to third with 110 yards left in the race. The Allred-bred Up For Speed continued to run a tremendous race from there, outdueling Steve Burns’ Javelina Cantina and stablemate Bono Is Good to win in the final yards in a time of :20.024.
Up For Speed, who finished second in the Governor’s Cup Derby in his previous start, will now look to become the third Allred-homebred to win a derby this year. Allred has won the last two derbies contested at Los Alamitos, as Nomadic took the top prize in the Governor’s Cup and Circle City won the Golden State Derby last month. In addition to Up For Speed, who finished with the fourth fastest qualifying time, Allred will also be represented by third fastest qualifier Just Be Real and sixth fastest qualifier Bono Is Good.
The second fastest qualifying time went to Burns’ You Can Run, who finished second to Runforyourlife in a time of :19.755. Another talented gelding by Favorite Cartel, You Can Run finished second in the $191,000 Winter Derby final on February 8 and most recently he was third to Circle City in the $204,000 Golden State Derby. Jesus Rios Ayala piloted You Can Run for trainer Mike Casselman.
Here’s the complete list of qualifiers to the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Derby on October 2; Runforyourlife (:19.626), You Can Run (:19.755), Just Be Real (:19.902), Up For Speed (:20.024), Javelina Cantina (:20.041), Bono Is Good (:20.051), One Sweet Change (:20.075), Fire By Night (:20.098), Jess A Little More (:20.156) and Calida (:20.160).