GOVERNOR'S CUP FUTURITY AND SPENCER CHILDERS
HEADLINE FIRST NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS WEEKEND
The opening night of California Breeders Champions Weekend will be headlined by five Quarter Horse stakes race led by the $310,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity and the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap on Saturday at Los Alamitos. The five stakes races will consist of races six through 10 on the 10-race card with an average field size of 8.2 horses per stakes race. First post is approximately 7:30 p.m. and the action will be fast paced, as there will be a shorter time in between races.
The Spencer Childers will be led by a trio of stars from the stable of leading owner and breeder Ed Allred. This powerful triumvirate will include Grade 1 winners Circle City and Chocolatito, the winner of the last two runnings of the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity, plus Grade 2 Southern California Derby winner Nomadic, who won the Governor’s Cup Derby last year. Ed Burgart, the morning line maker at Los Alamitos, has made Chocolatito (left) the 9-5 favorite for the Spencer Childers, as he returns to action for the first time since running in the trials to the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship. Chocolatito missed qualifying to the Winter Championship, but his stellar 2020 resume includes winning the Grade 1 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Championship and a game fourth when enduring a troubled trip in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions.
Meanwhile, the full-brothers Circle City and Nomadic are the co-second choices on the morning line at 3-1 odds. Circle City dominated the Vessels Maturity on July 3 and benefits from the activity of having four starts this year. Nomadic will be making 2021 debut, but he had a stronger sophomore campaign than his brother. He will enter this race after three solid workous. Chocolatito posted a pair of works in preparation for this race. Scott Willoughby trains all three Allred-runners.
The Spencer Childers will also feature Juniors Quarter Horses’ Made Over, who posted the best race of his career when running second to Circle City in the Vessels Maturity. Made Over’s effort was not flawless, as he ran greenly for a large portion of the race. With an improved and clean journey, the son of Favorite Cartel could be an extremely tough rival in this race. Bobby Simmons’ Mental Error, winner of the Kaweah Bar Handicap in May and runner-up in the Los Alamitos Super Derby is another talented runner in this 400-yard race.
The Governor’s Cup Futurity at 350-yards is the richest race on Champions Weekend. The field is led by Dennis Jensen and Randy Young’s Fire Fast Honey, who won the Robert Adair Governor’s Cup Futurity and comes in as the fastest qualifier for the Governor’s Cup. The Walk Thru Fire filly will face a group that includes four other Governor’s Cup trial winners including her full-sister, Favorite Honey, who is owned by Five Livestock Ranch and Steve Wright. The other trial winners are Jaime Gomez and Juan Moya’s Sizzling N Fast, who has been very impressive in his last two starts; Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Set For It, who after running second in his trial to the Ed Burke Million Futurity returned with powerful 1 3/4 length win in his trial; and Allred’s Watch Out, who outdueled fellow qualifier Nevada Charles in their heat. Allred will also be represented Call It Close and She Goes Up, the second and third place finishers in the inaugural Fred Scane Memorial Stakes.
Valentin Zamudio, who trains Set For It, will also saddle The Swamp in an effort to win this futurity for the third year in a row. Seperate Cruises, who won by daylight two races ago, will complete the field.
Top fillies and mares will be in action in the $40,000 Matron Stakes led by Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap winner Kiss Thru Fire, as she faces a field that includes the three-time stakes placed mare Fayvorite Chick. Seven older males will be in action in the $25,000 Sprint Stakes at 350 yards led by three-time local stakes winner Black Fryday and Cattail Cove, who needs $11,000 in career earnings to reach the $500,000 career mark. The $17,500 Sophomore Claiming Stakes for $10,000 claimers will also be part of the card.