LARC NEWS Posted: 11/23/2020 3:21:45 AM



           A week after Zoomin For Spuds became only the third horse to qualify to the Champion of Champions five times, his half-sister Apollitical Patty enjoyed her own moment of glory, as she recorded the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 1, $1,977,250 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity here on Sunday night.

          Bred by the late Jim Walker and now racing for Walker Family Trust, Apollitical Patty won the 10th of 12 trials to the Two Million by two lengths on trial night in route to a 400-yard time of :19.646. Sired by Apollitical Blood and out of A Perfect Cocktail, Apollitical Patty had a huge 2 ½ lead shortly after the start, cruising to her fifth lifetime win and third stakes qualifying effort.

          A total of 98 horses competed on a foggy night in Sunday’s trials to decide the 10 horses that will face off in the Los Alamitos Two Million, which is California’s richest horse race of 2020. The field to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will also feature (GI) Golden State Million Futurity winner Apollitical Gold, (GII) PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Monopolist, and (GII) Oklahoma Futurity winner Aint She Tempting plus (GI) Ed Burke Million Futurity runner-up Terrific Temper and (GI) All American Futurity finalist Flash Bak.

          The 10 qualifiers to the Two Million Futurity to be held here on Sunday, December 13 are as follows: Apollitical Patty (:19.646), Monopolist (:19.696), Apollitical Gold (:19.697), Famous Cartel Jess (:19.711), Counting The Ways (:19.711), Flash Bak (:19.747), Terrific Temper (:19.768), Doc Lamb (:19.790), Aint She Tempting (:19.826) and SC Divas Cartel Man (:19.832).

          Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, Apollitical Patty entered the Two Million trials after running sixth to Apollitical Gold in the Golden State Million on November 1. She also finished second in the John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge on August 15. She will now prepare to race in the Two Million final one night after Zoomin For Spuds goes after his second Champion of Champions win here on December 12. “A dream weekend” is how Arrossa described having Apollitical Patty and Zoomin For Spuds run Grade 1 races on back-to-back nights.

          “I’ve said this before, but I just wish Jim Walker could be here,” Arrossa said. “He’s not here with us, but I know he’s watching over us. His forty years of hard work we are now enjoying them. (Apollitical Patty) didn’t bounce back as well in the Golden State final. She’ll have three weeks off and that will help her. She came back pretty fresh tonight and ran a nice race tonight. Armando Cervantes has done a great job with her. He gallops her and spends a lot of time with her. I also have to thank my assistant Jessie Castillo for the work he’s done with her. She’s a little tough to track. I’ve had a few gate issues with her and he’s spent a lot of extra time with her. Her groom, Alvaro Gomez, has taken immaculate care of her.

          “We have three weeks before the final and I think she needs that extra time to come back,” he said. “Hopefully the third time is the charm.”

          Owned and bred by Ed Allred, Monopolist won the seventh trial with his usual powerful late rush to beat the fourth fastest qualifier, Famous Cartel Jess. Monopolist, who won the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity win his last start, was ridden by Oscar Andrade, Jr. for trainer James Glenn, Jr. Monopolist has a very similar breeding as Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Chance To Excel, who Allred also bred. Chance To Excel is by Favorite Cartel and out of Elans Last, while Monopolist is by Favorite Cartel and out of Allred’s stakes winning mare, Nymph, who is also out of Elans Last, making her a half-sister to Chance To Excel. Elans Last’s mother is the great 1987 All American Futurity winner Elans Special.

          “Nymph was very quick mare,” Allred said. “Same thing as (Chance To Excel). Nymph and Chance To Excel’s dam are both daughters of Elans Special. Monopolist is a swayback, and a lot of people didn’t like him. He wasn’t very big, but Jimmy said ‘that’s the one I want. Swaybacks can be good runners.’ This could not happen to a better horseman than Jimmy Glenn. He’s a good guy.”

          “There was two of them,” Glenn recalled. “His brother was not a swayback, was really pretty and everybody liked him, but this one to me had a better hip. He had a terrific hip and good shoulder on him. I just envisioned the horse without the swayback, and he was just well put together with that terrific hip. It worked out. I got lucky.”

          After winning the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity on October 3, Allred and Glenn opted to skip the trials to the Golden State Million to concentrate on the Two Million trials.

          “It would have been only two weeks to come back,” Glenn said. “He had just run such a big race. He’s been real sound and we wanted to keep him that way. To come back in 14 days and then come back and run again, it was just too much. We decided to have a sound, fresh horse for the big money to see what would happen. He won his first out and (Jesus Rios Ayala) rode him. He got run over in the next couple of trials and he would be well back and would always finish late. He ran second in a stakes but got pinballed in a stakes. Ayala came back and told me, “Hey, this horse is going to love 400 yards at the end of the year.’ That’s when I really got to watching him and in the Pacific Coast he really showed it. We had a clean trip. As time went on, he just got better and better.”

          No horse did better on Golden State Million night than Grant Cox Revocable Trust’s homebred Apollitical Gold, as he won the Grade 1, $1,105,440 race by a neck at 12-1 odds. He came with a tremendous Two Million trial race, as he left the gate on the lead and extended his advantage with each stride, eventually crossing the wire 1 ¼ lengths ahead of his closest rival. Jimmy Dean Brooks piloted the son of Apollitical Jess for trainer Eddie Willis. Apollitical Gold has now won all three of his starts at Los Alamitos.

          “He did really well,” Cox said. “You never know how they’re going to do. Eddie said he was doing well and I was just excited. We’re just taking it one race at a time. I was just hoping he would qualify. It’s still surreal (winning the Golden State Million). As a little boy I used to go to the track and would see people win big races. To me, it seemed like it would be impossible to do. The fact that it happened, it still seems crazy.”

          Apollitical Gold’s final 220-yard time of :09.46 was the fastest recorded by any trial winner on Sunday night.

          Racing for the partnership of Bujanda, Encinas, Flores and CD Horses, Inc., Counting The Ways tied for the fourth fastest qualifying time of :19.711, while trailing only Apollitical Gold with the second fastest final 220-yard clocking of :09.47.

          “He came home hard in this race,” trainer Jose Flores said. “He broke okay and then kind of stayed a little bit and then finish accelerating.”

          The Allred-bred is by Favorite Cartel and out of the Raise A Secret mare Million Ways. Counting The Ways came into this trial after running fifth in the Golden State Million – finishing ahead of Apollitical Patty.

          “We made an equipment change for this race,” Flores added. “I think the change worked. We changed the bit on him. We probably should have changed it earlier, but it is tough to make that change before the Golden State Million final. Hopefully, he continues to do well and runs like he did tonight in the final.”     

          Owned by Johnny Trotter and trained by Justin Joiner, Famous Cartel Jess equaled Counting The Ways for the fourth fastest qualifying time. The son of Mr Jess Perry qualified to the Golden State Million, finishing ninth in the rich final. He returned with this solid qualifying effort after being a dogfight with Monopolist in the seventh trial. Ridden by Raul Ramirez, Jr., Famous Cartel Jess is out of Famous Cartel Lady, a track record setting half-sister to AQHA champion and leading sire One Famous Eagle, who won the 2007 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

          Dutch Masters III will be represented in the Two Million Futurity by Flash Bak, who arrived at Los Alamitos after a troubled seventh place finish in the All American Futurity. The Missouri-bred gelding by Moonin The Eagle won the second trial after finishing solidly to increase his head advantage to a half-length. Flash Bak’s dam is Checknbac, who finished in a dead-heat for the win with Tac It Like A Man in the 2006 Governor’s Cup Futurity.

          “This horse arrived at Los Alamitos three days after the All American,” trainer Jaime Gomez said. “He wasn’t paid to the Golden State Million trials so I just gave him a couple of works to get him ready for this race. We just went with works and look at the race he just ran. He flew out of the gate and the horse liked the distance a lot.”

          Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala, Flash Bak finished as the sixth fastest qualifier with a time of :19.747.

          Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Terrific Temper, who was making her first start since posting the fastest qualifying time to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, led from start to finish in route to winning the third trial in a time of :19.768. She finished as the seventh fastest qualifier. The Tempting Dash filly ran second to Chance To Excel in the Ed Burke Million. She did not run in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity final after landing of the vet’s list following her trial victory.

          “It’s been a while since she ran,” said trainer Chris O’Dell. “It looked like she got a little tired. She was stopping a little bit.”

          Eduardo Nicasio thought the filly had an excuse for not finishing as strongly as she had done in the past.

          “I think the fog distracted her a little bit,” Nicasio said. “She wasn’t sure what to do. She was a little lost out there. She closed a little slower than usual because she hasn’t run in a while.”

          Gomez and Rios Ayala teamed up with Howard Nichols’  Doc Lamb, who finished with the ninth fastest qualifying time of :17.790. Bred by the Mixer Ranch, the Oklahoma-bred gelding by Tres Seis will be the less experienced horse in the Two Million final, as his trial effort was only his second career start. He made his debut on October 16 when winning a 300-yard maiden race.

          “I thought he was one of my top horses in the trials,” Gomez said. “He ran super good. I hope keeps improving.”

          Gomez has won the Two Million twice, first with Corona Cartel in 1996 and then in 2017 with J Fire Up. Nichols was part of the partnership that won the 2011 Two Million with I Like The Odds.

          The final two qualifiers were Aint She Tempting and SC Divas Cartel Man, a pair of horses that were making headlines way back in the spring. Dunn Ranch and Levings Racing LLC’s Aint She Tempting won the first of 12 trials by a half-length in the ninth fastest qualifying time of :19.826. She won one of the year’s first futurities when taking the $384,000 Oklahoma Futurity at Remington Park on March 21. Bred by McColee Land and Livestock LLC, the Tempting Dash filly ran second in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity and most recently finished second to Apollitical Gold in the Golden State Million. Aint She Tempting was ridden by Rios Ayala and saddled by John Cooper, who won the 2019 Two Million with AQHA champion filly Cartel Jess Rockin.

          Reliance Ranches LLC’s homebred SC Divas Cartel Man made headlines when he won the first race for juveniles at Los Alamitos this year back on April 5. The Corona Cartel gelding, who ran in the Ed Burke Million, finished second to Flash Bak in the second trial when posting the 10th fastest time of :19.832. Trained by Mike Robbins and ridden by Oscar Peinado, SC Divas Cartel Man is out of the champion aged mare Spit Curl Diva.


          Rios Ayala, the meet’s leading Quarter Horse rider, qualified three horses to the Two Million Futurity, but unfortunately he also injured his knee when his mount, Rite On Time, acted up badly in the starting gate before the start of the ninth trial. Rios Ayala was not able to continue riding and he is expected to be sidelined. Jockey Raul Ramirez, Jr. was dismounted from his mount during the running of the 10th race. An update on his condition was not immediately available.




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