LARC NEWS Posted: 8/30/2021 5:39:17 AM


           Dr. Steve Burns’ homebred You Can Run came out on top after a tremendous duel with multiple stakes winner Nomadic to post a mild upset win in the Grade 1, $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

            Sent off at odds of 9-1, You Can Run broke sharply from post number seven, took the lead at the halfway point of the 400-yard race and was then able to fight off the pressure of Nomadic to win the Go Man Go by a head. You Can Run is now a perfect two-for-two on the year with both of his wins coming in stakes races. The son of Favorite Cartel made his 2021 debut on California Breeders Champions Weekend when winning the Sprint Stakes at 350-yards. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Mike Casselman, You Can Run covered the distance in :19.614 on the way to earning $47,000 for the win. He has now won six of 14 career starts and $155,041.

            Prior to this year, the California-bred had not won a stakes race, but his resume included a second-place finish to Tell Cartel in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and a third-place finish to Circle City in the Grade 2 Golden State Derby. You Can Run is also a three-time winner in stakes trials.

            “The last time we ran him last year he got a little dinged up,” said Casselman referring to You Can Run’s second place finish in his PCQHRA Breeders Derby trial. “We gave him some time off and the (Sprint Stakes) was a really nice prep for us. The (time off) worked out to his benefit. We had him (at Burns Ranch). They got him up and they prepped him in their exercise machine. They put a few miles on him before they sent him (to the track). We didn’t have a lot of time before the Sprint so we were kind of pushing our luck there a little bit to get him ready by the time the Sprint rolled around. He really bounced right into that race and came back really good. We’re really happy with him.”

            “(Jockey) Jesus Rios Ayala couldn’t be here so Cruz picked up the mount and did a nice job for us. He’s been coming to the barn helping me and we appreciate him. I think Cruz did a nice job warming him up. He was a little tight in the gate it looked like but he got away well. That worked out to our benefit. These are special. They are hard to come by. We appreciate them.”

            This was the first Go Man Go win for both Dr. Burns and Casselman but the third for Mendez, who won back-to-back runnings of this race with Heza Dasha Fire in 2016-17. You Can Run’s dam is You Can Fly, a four-time winner in 21 career starts while racing from the spring of 2016 to December of 2018.

        “She was a really fast mare, one of the fastest I’ve ever had,” Casselman said. “She was just a real poor gate horse. We did everything to try to get here to leave the gate, stand in the gate. (You Can Run) will stand good. Cruz took him to the gate the other day and he did well. He schooled well. He got a little nervous tonight. He was a little tight in the paddock, but he did fine. He was a little warm so (Cruz) just jogged him. That’s one thing about Cruz, if you have a horse that tends to get a little bit hot, he can really get them to relax.”  

            The Go Man Go is the first alternate race in this year’s road to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions at 440 yards. You Can Run will earn a presumptive berth to the Champion of Champion if a berth opens via a double qualifier or if the connections of a horse with a presumptive berth decide to bypass the Champion of Champions. You Can Run will be ready when it’s his time to run.

            “I think he’ll be okay at 440. We didn’t have a lot of time to get him ready at 350 (for the Sprint). I just turned him and worked him 300 yards, turned him in at 220. We were able to get him into the Sprint. That was his prep for this race. This will really help him. It should put a little air in him.”

            And Mendez will be ready if the opportunity to ride You Can Run again arises.

            “He left the gate with the field but after 100 yards he got into a duel,” Mendez said. “I really liked how finished strongly. He broke nicely and straight. He didn’t have any troubles the entire way. The one horse (Nomadic) was dueling with us. He was coming on strong but fortunately we got there first. I liked out chances because the horse always finishes strong. I felt like he was getting stronger and stronger. We got it in the final jumps.”

            Ed Allred’s Nomadic has also started twice in 2021 and he’s now finished second in stakes races both times. The son of Favorite Cartel came into this race after game second his full-brother, Circle City, in the running of the Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap also held on California Breeders Champions Weekend. Ridden by Henry Reynoso Lopez from post one, Nomadic earned $20,000 to take his career earnings to $352,009.

            Link Newcomb’s Cattail Cove, who was second to You Can Run in the Sprint Stakes, began a tad behind but came on powerfully to finish third. Ridden by Raul Valenzuela for trainer Juan Aleman, Cattail Cove earned $10,000 for running third.

            Dunn Ranch’s Apollitical Pence, the winner of the Champion of Champions last year, left the starting gate close to You Can Run and Nomadic but was not able to mount a late challenge and finished fourth. This was his first start at Los Alamitos since his 12-1 upset win in the Champion of Champions last December.

            The top four was followed by Eagles Fly Higher, Chocolatito, Mental Error, Redneck Ryan and Mr Ricks. John Carter Cash was scratched earlier on Sunday.  

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