LARC NEWS Posted: 8/2/2021 3:39:28 AM


       Jeff and Michelle Cravens’ homebred Favorite Colossus delivered a winning effort in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos that was reminiscent to his victory in the Grade 3 El Primero Del Ano Derby on March 28.

          In both derbies, the colt by Favorite Cartel found himself chasing quicker rivals before unleashing a late run to complete a comeback victory. In the El Primero, Favorite Colossus caught 2020 Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Constituent and BF Outfoosed, while in the Governor’s Cup, he was able to track down fastest qualifier and 2020 PCQHRA Breeders Derby winner Monopolist and the quick breaking Counting The Ways. Ridden by Ruben Lozano for trainer Cesar De Alba, who as a rider won the Governor’s Cup Derby with Scoop Of Sunshine in 2013 and Moonist in 2014, Favorite Colossus edged Monopolist by a nose to score his third win in 10 career starts. The Oregon-bred earned $71,400 to take his career earnings to $193,334.

          “It’s amazing because we came into this race just like the last one, we were underdogs,” Jeff Cravens said. “The quality of the horses he was running again, there were five horses right there that could have won easily tonight. Our jockey did good and our trainer has done really well.”

         Michelle Cravens was not able to attend Favorite Colossus’ El Primero win, but she enjoyed every moment of his Governor’s Cup triumph.

          “(Jeff) got the picture the last time, so I said this time is my turn,” she said with a smile. “We bred this horse. He’s our baby. He’s bred well. His mom (Warm It Up) won the La Pacifica Handicap. We bred her again this year to Favorite Cartel. He’s our golden boy. We deserve it. It’s been seven years and we finally got a good horse. We have a long relationship with Cesar. We went back to him when he started training and it’s paying off.”

           The Cravens made the $30,000 late payment last month to make Favorite Colossus eligible to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby. After this victory, he looks like a strong contender for the track’s richest derby to be held in November.

           “I didn’t know if we were going to get there,” De Alba said. “The horse has a big heart. He likes to run at the end. (Monopolist) and (Counting The Ways) were a ways out there and I didn’t know if he was going to be able to catch them. The farther he goes distance wise, the better he is going to be. He’s in the Super Derby (trials). Jeff made a good choice.”

            Ed Allred’s homebred Monopolist earned $28,900 for his runner-up effort with Henry Reynoso Lopez aboard. The son of Favorite Cartel bumped at the start and lugged out badly during the race and just missed his first derby win. Nevertheless, Monopolist raised his bankroll to $363,072.  

               Owned by the partnership of Bujunda, Encinas, Flores and CD Horses, Counting The Ways earned $20,400 for his third place finish with Cruz Mendez up. BF Outfoosed, Nuclear Option, Baccarat Attack, Expedited, Sassies Blues Girl, Harison, and Mysterious Identity completed the field.  



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