LARC NEWS Posted: 7/11/2021 1:19:25 AM


        California Breeders Champions Night, a showcase for the top state bred racing Quarter Horses, will be held over a two-night span this year on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1. The $310,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity will be the marquee event on the opening night of the series, while the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Derby will get top billing on the second night.

      Six trials at 350 yards were contested on Saturday night to decide the 10 qualifiers to the Governor’s Cup Futurity. In the end, an outstanding group of juveniles earn the spot in the final, which will have its 56th running on the final night of July.

       The first three trials of the night were won by one of California’s greatest stallions of all-time, Walk Thru Fire. The winning trialists included Juan Moya or Jaime Gomez’s Sizzling N Fast (left), who was recording her second victory in a row and qualified to the Governor’s Cup with the third fastest time.   

        “This filly is fast,” said Gomez, who also bred Sizzling N Fast. “She’s out of the mare named Sizzling who’s had babies in the All American Futurity and All American Derby. You know, Walk Thru Fire babies swept the first three trials tonight. That shows you that Walk Thru Fire is still Walk Thru Fire and I love him.

       “As for this filly, I’ve liked her from the start. She’s won two in a row now and that’s a great way to go into the final. We have a tough task ahead of us. I don’t know if we can beat the top horses, but we’re in the final and we have a chance. It’s great to make the final for Mr. Moya. He’s qualifying to the big races now and that’s what you want for an owner who supports the sport as much as he does.”

        Sizzling N Fast is a full sister to 2015 All American Futurity finalist Giving It All and 2015 All American Derby finalist Fire Fortune. Her dam, the Corona Cartel mare Sizzling, won $147,912 in her racing career to go along with stakes wins in the Junos Request Stakes and Rheudasil Handicap. Ridden by Oscar Peinado, Sizzling N Fast covered the 350 yards in the third fastest time of :17.847.

        Valentin Zamudio will have a chance for a threepeat in the Governor’s Cup Futurity, as he will saddle two entrants in this year’s final. The Zamudio duo will be headed by second fastest qualifier Set For It (below) for owners Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas and seventh fastest qualifier The Swamp, who is a half-brother to Constituent. Ridden by Ruben Lozano, Set For It was impressive in his trial, leading the entire way in route to a 1 ¼ lengths in a time of :17.806.

        “He’s a really good horse. I like him when I saw at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale. We had the good fortunate of being able to purchase the horse for Mr. Avila and Mr. Cuevas. He’s turned out to be very good and he responds to everything we teach him. We will see how it goes in the final. He looked like he was winning strongly and cleared his rivals. He had a good time, but the most important part is that he’s in the final.”  

        Sired by Seperate Interest, the gelding Set For It is out of the Kiddy Up broodmare Up For It, who won the 2013 Governor’s Cup Futurity. Set For It was purchased as a yearling for $28,500.

         Bred by Steve Burns, The Swamp was purchase for $30,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale by M & G Farms, Inc. The North Carolina-based racing operation also owns last year’s Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Constituent and also Golden Boi, the winner of the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity earlier this year. Zamudio trained Constituent to victory in the Governor’s Cup last year and also conditions Golden Boi. The trainer also won the 2019 running of this race with Cesar Nunez’s Pitbull.

          Ed Allred qualified four juveniles to this year’s Governor’s Cup as he goes in search of his fifth victory in this race. Allred’s quartet features the Cesar De Alba-trained Call It Close, who finished second in her trial, the Scott Willoughby-conditioned duo of Nevada Charles and She Goes Up, and Watch Out, the winner of the final trial of the night under the tutelage of James Glenn, Jr. By freshman stallion Fly Thru The Fire, Watch Out finished with the sixth fastest qualifying time of :17.917 while under the guidance of jockey Juan Pablo Leon.

          “Since we broke him, I thought he was the best one out of my (juveniles),” said Glenn Jr. “He was a good mover. He is long and looked like he could 400 yards. We only qualified him once and then we came back with his first race. We had a pretty good start on him, so he won easy, but everybody was green. We came back on the Ed Burke Million trials, and he was probably still too green for that level because the other horses had two qualifiers and pushed hard. I was trying to save him for the end of the year and just let him develop.

        “I thought he was the best one of my 2-year-olds so I was hoping he would step up tonight, otherwise I’d be in trouble the rest of the year. He stepped up. Leon said that he was light mouth.  He reached up and got a hold of him and he went one way and then the other. He got green on him and still finished strong. He has a lot left in the tank, especially as we get to the fall and the 400 yards. We just want him to keep developing. That’s where we’re at.”

         Watch Out is out of the outstanding broodmare Look Her Over, the dam of 2019 AQHA World Champion He Looks Hot and Grade 1 winner Once Over and stakes winner Take A Look.

          Among Allred’s other qualifiers, Call It Close ran second in the inaugural Fred Scane Memorial Handicap, while She Goes Up was third in the Fred Scane. She Goes Up is also a full sister to second fastest qualifier Set For It. Call It Close posted the fifth fastest time, while She Goes Up had the 10th fastest. Nevada Charles, a gelding by Fly Thru The Fire and out of Nymph, had the eighth fastest clocking after running second to Watch Out in the final heat. Nevada Charles is a half-brother to 2020 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Monopolist.

        The second division of the trials was the most productive, as the top four finishers advanced to the final. Parsons Ranch’s Seperate Cruises, who has either won impressive or finished in fourth place in his starts, ran fourth in this race, but that was good enough to earn him the ninth fastest qualifying time of :17.991.

      The complete list of qualifiers to the Governor’s Cup Futurity is as follows: Fire Fast Honey (:17.775), Set For It (:17.806), Sizzling N Fast (:17.847), Favorite Honey (:17.871), Call It Close (:17.897), Watch Out (:17.917), The Swamp (:17.92), Nevada Charles (:17945), Seperate Cruises (:17.991) and She Goes Up (:18.029).   


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