BOMB CYCLONE LEAVES RIVALS IN THE DUST WITH BIG WIN IN LOS ALAMITOS TWO MILLION
After a commanding four-length trial victory on November 21, Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Bomb Cyclone dominated again on the way to winning the richest race at Los Alamitos since 2014, the Grade 1, $2,036,825 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Sunday night.
Leading every step of the way, Bomb Cyclone won the Two Million final by two lengths in a race that outcome was never really in doubt after the first 100 yards. Three-quarters of the way, Bomb Cyclone had a 1 ½ length lead and his advantage grew even more in the final 50 yards. It was an emphatic win for the horse that blew into town after the Ruidoso Downs meet ended in September. Trainer Chris O’Dell took his time with Bomb Cyclone once he arrived at Los Alamitos and waited into the Two Million trials to gauge Bomb Cyclone’s form. The gelding by Favorite Cartel out of the broodmare Remember Me Rose detonated with an incredible effort from post number one in his trial, an effort that resulted in the fastest qualifying time of the night.
Fast forward to the week of the Two Million final and the special post position draw for the event held on Wednesday, December 7 and O’Dell made the bold move of selection post number one for Bomb Cyclone, bucking the trend of simply selecting the farthest to the outside post available.
“How could I not select post one?” O’Dell said.
On the days that followed, O’Dell admitted that he second guessed his decision by a time or two, but he clearly made the correct choice, as proven by Bomb Cyclone’s huge victory in a 400-yard time of :19.513. He was the even money favorite in this race.
“It just seemed like all our ducks were getting in a row and lining up,” O’Dell said. “We had the trials, and he ran really good so we put him back in the one hole and you know you have the horse that can do it, but then you wonder did he spend too much in the trials. You start second guessing yourself and I am mad at myself for second guessing as good as a horse as he is. Sometimes they bounce a little. We had some problems with a foot in between the trials and the final. You get to thinking, ‘Is he ready?’ You get so nervous when you’re running for that kind of money, and you know that you got the horse that probably can do it or at least be very competitive. My heart jumps out of my chest.
“Tonight, I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy that my son, Colten, had to hold me up.,” O’Dell said.
When did O’Dell start feeling that things could go in his direction?
“About 100 yards into the race. This horse had an abscess in his foot. It pooped and a bunch of stuff came out of his foot. That gave him relief. He lost a shoe on that foot and that caused us some trouble.
I am so happy for Connie, for the horse, for his groom ‘Maloso’ Adalberto Aceves, and Nicasio. It takes a village. What a great horse. Everybody likes him and respects him and tell me what a great horse he is. He’s such a people person kind of horse. He loves you to hug on him. I could see he was a little nervous. I went to hug him before the race. He thrives on it on that kind of stuff. People don’t bother him. The crowd doesn’t bother. He’s a ham, ‘look at me, look at me.’ In the winner’s circle he just stood there as proud as can be.”
The name ‘Maloso’ is one that O’Dell credited often after the Two Million win. The assistant trainer has been with O’Dell for eight years and has cared for many of O’Dell’s top runners over the years.
“I can’t thank ‘Maloso’ enough” O’Dell continued. “He cares about those horses so much. He deserves a lot of credit. We’ve won a lot of races. I gave him a big hug and told him ‘Thank you.’ I can’t believe it right now. All of it was Maloso with this horse.”
Bomb Cyclone is the third Grade 1 winner from this family that Rosenthal Ranch, O’Dell and Nicasio have teamed up on. Purchased for $215,000, the Steve Burns-bred runner earned $844,127 for his second win in five career starts.
“When he broke I knew by second stride that he was gone,” Connie Rosenthal said. “That’s just the way he runs. I just didn’t know how far he was going to be ahead of the next horse. That’s what it was. If you saw him in the paddock, he was ready. He was looking around like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ He loves people. He’s the kindest, sweetest horse. I’m happy. After Powerful Favorite’s loss last night. I was very down. I was worried about him not performing and whether something was wrong with him. That’s been more worrisome than anxiety for tonight’s race. When I saw Bomb walk into the paddock, I just felt that he was ready. I’m pleased that his trial wasn’t a fluke. He proved that he could do it, he did it.”
Eduardo Nicasio, a three-time Champion of Champions winning jockey, is now the 10th jockey to win both the Champion of Champions and the Two Million. He’s had several opportunities in the past with O’Dell-trained horses to win this race and it’s finally happened for Nicasio.
“I always try every year to win this race,” Nicasio said. “I try really hard. I knew it was going to happen one year. It’s amazing. To ride that horse, it’s incredible. I told Chris that he’s a great trainer. He would tell me, ‘One time, one day, it’s going to happen, and we’ll win the Two Million.’ I told him thank you and that he’s a great trainer. I’ve been second in this race and third. Winning this race has been my dream. This one is for my son, Charlie, and my wife and all my family.”
Howard Nichols’ homebred gelding Jess Being A Friend ran fantastic from the outside post at 27-1 odds. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves and trained by Elena Andrade, Jess Being A Friend earned $341,670 for his runner-up effort. Twice a winner this season, Jess Being A Friend is by Nichols’ stallion, Jess Being Valiant, and out of the mare Six Zeroes. Nichols won this race in 2011 as part of a partnership racing I Like The Odds. He can now add a great runner-up effort to his top efforts in this race. As for Aceves, the effort from the outside post 10 on Jess Being A Friend is his best since returning to riding at Los Alamitos last year.
Dunn Ranch’s Whizkey Glasses, winner of the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity, was second in the early part of this race and just missed the place spot by a nose to Jess Being A Friend. Jesus Rios Ayala rode the FDD Dynasty gelding for trainer Monty Arrossa. Whizkey Glasses earnred $241,178 for third to take his career earnings to $764,582.
Robyn Gordon, Juan Moya and S-Quarter K LLC’s Dasha Good Reason finished fourth in his bid to match his half-brother, Ima Fearless Hero’s win in this race. The Good Reason SA colt earned $140,688 for running fourth, while Ed Allred’s Watch Out finished fifth while earning $120,590. Rancho El Cabresto, Inc’s Apollitical J Streak also earned six-figures in this race, his sixth-place finish resulting in a boost to his bankroll of $100,491.
Favorite Honey, Dynamic Jess and Rocket Seventeen completed the field. Chizum was an early scratch.
Javier Alvarez, Jr’s Empty Promise broke sharply from post four and defeated the boys by a neck to win the $17,500 Evening Snow Handicap on Sunday. The Seperate Interest filly is out of the tremendous mare Babe On The Fly, whose foals include Grade 1 winners Rock You and Little Talks. Diego Herrera won his first ever stakes win thanks to a flawless ride aboard Empty Promise, who also gave her owner his first stakes win at Los Alamitos. Empty Promise covered the distance in :17,659. A Pollitical Candy V, Nevada Charles and Pentos completed the field.