LARC NEWS Posted: 7/12/2021 1:23:30 AM



           Monopolist and Counting The Ways, who met in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year, will meet again as the favorites to the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Derby on August 1 after winning their respective derby trials on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

            Owned and bred by Ed Allred, Monopolist (left) was sensational in his first start since running third in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on February 13, as he flew out of the gate and led by daylight the entire way before crossing the wire three-lengths ahead of his rivals. Ridden by Henry Reynoso Lopez for trainer James Glenn, Jr., the son of Favorite Cartel posted the fastest 400-yard qualifying time of :19.699 and will now set his sights on the Governor’s Cup final on the second evening of California Breeders Champions Nights.    

         “Henry said that when they said ‘go’, he was gone,” Glenn said. “Last year, he was always a step slow. Today, he was three-quarter lengths in front. (Henry) said he never really let him run. He tried to gear him down late. We are really happy with him.”

         Monopolist, winner of the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year and fourth in the Two Million, came into this race after powerful 350-yard gate work in which he covered the distance in a terrific :17.70 clocking on June 19.

         “A buddy of mine asked me what I thought of (Monopolist) and a few weeks ago, he was doing okay,” Glenn said of his charge. “The last 10 days, all of the sudden he’s turned the corner. He’s better than he was last year. We had that discussion and I said, ‘we’ll find out tonight.’ I told Henry that this horse had turned the corner. Henry is a young rider, an up-and-coming rider, pretty talented and there was a lot of pressure on him. He handled it good.”

          In addition to that mid-June gate work, he also had a sharp 22o-yard turn and work in :12.20 on May 29.

         “He needed a break,” Glenn added. “He had a long campaign. We never shipped him out of here. We just kept him here and didn’t do much with him. We just backed off him. We brought him slowly back up. Apparently, he liked it.”

          With this win, Monopolist improved to five victories from 11 starts. His half-brother, the Fly Thru Fire gelding Nevada Charles, qualified to the Governor’s Cup Futurity to be held on Sunday, July 31. Monopolist and Nevada Charles are out of the multiple stakes winner Nymph.

           Owned by the partnership of Bujanda, Encinas, Flores and CD Horses, Inc., Counting The Ways (right) was making his first start since the December 13 Two Million final, in which he ran a troubled 10th. The Allred-bred son of Favorite Cartel, who was purchased for $24,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, came into this race after swift 220-yard gate work in :11.80. Showing impressive speed in his return outing, Counting The Ways had a 1 ½ length lead early on before cruising in the final 100 yards to score a tighter than needed head victory over El Primero Del Año Derby winner Favorite Colossus in the second trial. With Cruz Mendez up for trainer Jose Flores, Counting The Ways covered the distance in :19.827 to finish with the second fastest time.

          “He didn’t have a 350-work coming into this race,” Flores said. “We just gave him a few breezes, but he did real well. He worked really good in that 220. He went in :11.8 and I told Cruz just to take it easy with him, get him through there and we would see. I told him that if he was comfortable up there not to push him. He had not worked fast enough. He’s a class horse. I think he’ll continue getting better.”

          Counting The Ways did not wear blinkers in that impressive 220-yard gate drills, but in the trials, he returned to wearing ones like those he used in the Two Million final.

          “We decided to go with very small blinkers,” Flores added. “I was going to go with no blinkers. He did okay with them. We’re happy.”

            A Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity finalist last year, Counting The Ways has won four of seven career starts.  

            The complete list of Governor’s Cup Derby qualifiers is as follows: Monopolist (:19.699), Counting The Ways (:19.827), Favorite Colossus (:19.842), Baccarat Attack (:19.940), Sassies Blues Girl (:20.062), Harison (:20.086), Nuclear Option (:20.097), BF Outfoosed (:20.105), Mysterious Identity (:20.116), and Expedited (:20.201).




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