TRANE STATION V GETS ELUSIVE FUTURITY WIN, TAKES GOLDEN STATE WITH ROOM TO SPARE
Valeriano Racing Stables LLC's Trane Station V completed one of the most dominant performances in the history of the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity, as the colt by Favorite Cartel followed his sensational 2 3/4 length victory in the trials with a stunning 1 3/4 length victory in the $988,450 final on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.
Sent off at 1-5 odds, Trane Station V lived up to his status as the overwhelming favorite in the Golden State Million, as he took the lead a few strides a slow start and then pulled away from the field in a hurry to establish a 1/2 length advantage after the first 150 yards. By the midway point of the 400-yard race, Trane Station V was well on his way to victory, leading the field by 1 1/2 lengths while continuing to pull away from these rivals. It was only a matter of time from there, as this runaway express crossed the wire nearly two lengths ahead of the runner-up, the 21-1 longshot Unrelentless, who is owned by Reliance Ranches and trainer by Eddie Willis. A futurity win had proven to be an elusive feat for Trane Station V, as he arrived to California after running second in both the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity and the Grade 1 All American Futurity. Trane Station V positioned himself as clearly the one to beat in the Golden State after winning his trial by close to three lengths while posting the fastest qualifying, which was about 1 1/2 lenghts faster than the next fastest qualifier, Jamie Bryant, Melanie Brooks, and Linda Joiner's AB Wow.
A lot of the hype heading into the Golden State Million focused on Trane Station V and the Steve Burns-bred runner delivered in a big way. His first few strides out of the gate were not the fastest - the official chart of the race had him seventh at the break - but he was surely the fastest of them all from there in route to his fourth career win in seven starts. Out of the stakes winning mare Attack The Cartel, the $130,000 purchase at the Ruidoso Yearling Sale earned $403,809 for the winning the Golden State Million to take his career earnings to $1,012,209, making him Quarter Horse racing's newest millionaire. That figure also makes Trane Station V the nation's third leading money earner for 2023, only behind All American Futurity winner Cowboys Guns Z and Rainbow Futurity winner Dark Nme.
With local earnings of $408,209, Trane Station V is this meet's second leading money earner behind Keith Nellesen's Political Rivalry, the winner of the both the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity and Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. Francisco Calderon piloted Trane Station V from post number for trainer Heath Taylor. The California-bred brown colt covered the 400-yard distance in :19.863.
"This was only his second start at night and probably only the second time he has been out of his stall at this time of the night other than his trial win," Taylor said. "I talked to Francisco after the race and he said the same thing, that the horse just stands back. The first jump, second jump, he just didn't break well at all. He said that by the third or fourth jump that the horse is just talented and has so much acceleration. Halfway through he was just in a beautiful stride, accelerating great. The horse is gentle, the horse is smart. He stands good in the morning. He's had three races without the flipping halter and now he's had four races with the flipping halter. He never tries to flip or act up. The equipment was added in an attempt to get him to break a little bit better."
Trane Station V will now be pointed to the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity which should also feature Political Rivalry, who skipped this race after winning the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity earlier this month.
"(Trane Station V) is a colt and he's worth a lot of money," Taylor said. "If he comes back good, eats good, trains good, and all that kind of stuff, then we'll be looking at the Two Million trials next. The good thing about it is that he's had these two 400-yard races, the two 440s from the All American at Ruidoso Downs and two more at 400 from the Rainbow Futurity. The horse is incredibly fit so the good thing about it is that if the horse is healthy then we won't have to do much with him, just baby him, give him some TLC, and keep him happy and ready to run. He doesn't owe anybody anything. The horse will just tell us and I'm sure that if he's good, the horse will tell us to go for the Two Million."
Taylor also dedicated this victory to his father-in-law, trainer Bruce Bell, who passed away earlier this week.
"His ideas with 2-year-olds have played a huge part in our races," Taylor said of the trainer of AQHA champions Deceptively and Femmes Frolic. Bell also saddled Shirley B Gayle to victory in the 1982 Golden State Futurity.
Trained by Eddie Willis and ridden by Justine Klaiber, Unrelentless earned $163,446 for his runner-up finish in this race. A colt by Hes Relentless, the Oklahoma-bred from the racing stock of Flag Ranch LLC had won his previous two starts including his Golden State Million trial.
Willis also saddled third place finisher AB Wow, who raced from along the rail with Augustin Silva up. The gelding by Apollitical Blood earned $115,374 for his third-place finish.
Johnny Trotter’s Famous Cartel Jessy finished fourth and earned $67,302, while Zynda Racing’s Relentless Coronado earned $57,687 for running fifth. Favorite City, Hot Prodigy, Mr Perrisimo, Goodtyme, and Think Again Kev completed the field.
AQHA Hall of Fame member Danny Cardoza presented the Golden State Million Futurity trophy to Valeriano Racing Stables. Cardoza won this race three times as a jockey and once as a trainer. He also rode two Champion of Champions winners, one All American Futurity and was this track’s all-time leading rider for more than decade. Currently second all-time in career wins, Cardoza piloted Quarter Horses for D. Wayne Lukas and won a Champion of Champions with the Bob Baffert-trained Gold Coast Express. He also rode the great filly Dashs Dream to victory in the Champion of Champions.