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Cartel Sixes and Tarzanito top list of qualifiers to Golden State Million Futurity

October 17, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Cartel Sixes sets the fastest qualifying time—400 yards in :19.736—from 12 trials to the October 30 Golden State Million Futurity
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
P and J Racing Ltd’s Cartel Sixes first showed that he would be a force to be reckoned with when he posted an impressive trial victory while qualifying to the Ed Burke Million Futurity in early June. The Corona Cartel gelding proved once again that he is one of the top juveniles on the grounds after recording a simply dominant trial victory and the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 1, $1,016,250 Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday, October 16, at Los Alamitos.

A total of 94 2-year-olds competed in 12 trials at 400 yards with the horses with the 10 fastest times moving on to the Golden State Million Futurity final on Sunday, October 30. The Golden State Million final will not include Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Chazaq, a winner of his trial on Sunday night, but not in a fast enough qualifying time. Chazaq finished with the 14th fastest time. This ends his quest to win the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza, which serves as the track’s version of the Triple Crown.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Jaime Gomez, Cartel Sixes flew to the lead from post number seven in the second of 12 trials and was in total control from there on the way a 2 ¼ length victory and a 400-yard time of :19.736. Bred in Texas by Johnny Trotter, Cartel Sixes is out of the Mr Eye Opener mare Eye For The Sixes. The mare ran in 1999 and in 2000 before being retired after her sophomore campaign. Eye For Sixes finished her career with two wins and five runner-up finishes in 15 career starts, but her record included five stakes appearances. She finished seventh to Classified As Dash in the Heritage Place Futurity and third to Significant Speed in the Rainbow Derby and sixth, also to Significant Speed, in the Dash for Cash Derby.

Cartel Sixes is a full brother to the outstanding Eye For Corona, the winner of the 2007 Golden State Million Futurity. Eye For Corona also ran second in that year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Ed Burke Million Futurity. As a 3-year-old filly, Eye For Corona ran second in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby and fourth in the Los Alamitos Super Derby. Cartel Sixes is displaying his family’s talent and tenacity of both of his parents after making the finals to both the Ed Burke Million and Golden State Million.

Gomez also credited owners Pam and Jim Williams of P and J Racing Ltd. for the decision to geld Cartel Sixes following the Ed Burke.

“He shin bucked right after the Ed Burke Million final,” Gomez said. “We gave him some time off then and gelded him during that time. He was very hotheaded before being gelded and he could be very mean. He changed a lot after he got gelded. He behaves so much better in the saddling paddock and concentrates so much more. I’m so fortunate to work with P & J Racing. They’re great people, great owners, and they allowed me to geld this horse. He’s a much better behaved horse now. He ran an awesome race.”

A1A Racing LLC’s Tarzanito won his third consecutive start when posting a half-length victory and in the second fastest qualifying time of :19.834. Tarzanito was bumped from both sides at the start of the second trial, but recovered quickly and had a ¾ length advantage 100 yards into the race. Eddie Garcia, the all-time leading jockey in wins and stakes wins at Los Alamitos, piloted the Favorite Cartel colt for trainer Francisco Vallejo.

“I knew this horse was a runner since April,” Garcia said. “We just had to take our time with this horse and let him develop. Look at this race tonight, he was bumped from both sides and it’s rare to have a horse that can recuperate so quick after getting hit like that at the start and still finish so strongly.”

A member of the Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame, Garcia has piloted some of the greatest horses in Quarter Horse racing history. He rode the great colts Chicks Beduino, Corona Cartel and A Classic Dash, the latter the winner of the 1993 All American Futurity. He also piloted the millionaire Tres Passes to victories in the Golden State Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

“(Tarzanito) has been one of the best young horses that I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around,” Garcia added. “ The first time I breezed this horse it was unbelievable. He reminded me of Corona Cartel. I told all the guys, ‘This horse is special, really special.’ We waited on this horse because he still needed to grow. The body was not together yet. Every work was an improvement. He got more muscular and stronger and now you can see what a good looking, promising horse he has become. I’ve been around some great horsemen and horsewomen over the years, people like Blane Schvaneveldt and Connie Hall. I learned a lot from them and hopefully those lessons can help me when I’m riding Tarzanito.”

Garcia pilots Tarzanito for his good friend, Dr. George Fallieras MD of A1A Racing. Tarzanito is the first racehorse owned by the Los Angeles-based racing operation. Dr. Fallieras grew up in Tampa, Florida, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Florida. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Tennessee. He is an internist in Los Angeles and is affiliated with Good Samaritan Hospital. He has extensive Emergency Room, Hospital Inpatient and ICU experience.

“Tarzanito is the first horse we’ve owned,” Dr. Fallieras said. “We got involved kind of loosely with some friends, but we have a great team and we strive to do things responsibly, have taken our time, and have no unrealistic expectations. Eddie (Garcia) has become a good friend and is a true horseman. To me, I’m a novice, and all these horses look beautiful, have balance and are strong, but what I’ve come to understand is that (our) horse is smart, focused, and you can tell that he wants to win. He is like a pet, but when he gets out there, he runs like gangbusters. I’m glad that the horses were far away when all the mish-mash happened and I couldn’t see. I’ve joked around with my family and friends that I feel like the parent of an Olympian (when he runs). I just want everyone to be safe and the horses to come back sound.”

Tarzanito’s mother is the Stoli mare Ancient Empress, which was a winner at Los Alamitos for trainer Patricia Visscher, who is also the breeder of Tarzanito.

Following a third place finish in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity on October 1, Howard Nichols’ Six Zeroes was back in action two weeks later with an impressive 1 ¼ length trial win in the third fastest qualifying time of :19.860. Cruz Mendez piloted the Walk Thru Fire filly out of the mare Million Ways, which a full sister to Los Alamitos Million Futurity winner Kingman Kid. Bred by Ed Allred, Six Zeroes’ granddam is Making Ways, a half-sister to champions Separatist and Waymaker and stakes winner Make It Anywhere. This is also the family of recent stakes winners Glitter In My Face, Hulapai, Oatman and Old Six Six. Jose Flores trains Six Zeroes for Nichols.

“The first couple of races she run she got a bad go out of the gate and got knocked around,” Nichols said. “In the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity she got a clean shot to qualify and she came back and ran fourth. We weren’t going to run her back in two weeks, but Jose said ‘When they’re ready, we need to run.’ She’s just getting stronger and stronger. We decided to come back for these trials because she was ready. She came back good and clean and hopefully she’ll come back the same way after tonight. After the finals to the Golden State Million, we’ll have about three weeks to point her to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials. That’ll be good. We always thought that the farther she went it would be good for her. She’s a big and strong filly.”

Owned and bred by Ed Allred, Seared, a gelding by Kiddy Up, qualified to his second futurity of the year following a strong daylight victory in the 10th trial of the evening. Seared was making his first start since a very troubled start in the running of the Governor’s Cup Futurity on California Breeders Champions Night on July 30. Seared was bumped from both sides on that night, resulting in an eighth place finish to AJS Anna Smoke.

In his return to action, Seared, plus the rest of the horses in this trial, had to wait extra time while one of the inside horses acted up and broke thru the starting gate before the start.

“That didn’t help us at all,” said jockey Eulices Gomez, who rode Seared from post number six. Once the race got underway, Seared took off with Gomez aboard and eventually cruised to a length victory and the fourth fastest qualifying time of :19.861.

“That last (22o yards) was very impressive,” added trainer James Glenn, Jr.

“I’ve always loved this family,” Allred added. “The granddam is an In Excess Thoroughbred mare (named Celestial Being) that I raced. She won her first two starts, first at Hollywood Park and then at Del Mar. She bowed in her second race. I raised three Quarter Horses out of her, a Walk Thru Fire and two Separatists. I lost one of the Separatist in a $20,000 claiming race, she was the best one too. The other two, one of them never had a chance to run, and the other one is Seared’s mother, Escape The Fire. I am so high on this female family and I’ve been saying that for a long time. This is the second colt we’ve had and this guy can run all day.”

Darling Farms and Jaime Gomez’s Thats Imperial finished second to Tarzanito in the opening trial, but his time was still fast enough to rank him the fifth fastest of the evening. The gelding by Mr Jess Perry had made only one previous appearance in a futurity trial and that was a sixth place finish in an Ed Burke Million heat. Jesus Rios Ayala piloted the Gomez-bred and trained runner. His trial time was :19.903. Thats Imperial’s mother is This Boogie Fires, which finished third to champion Separate Fire in the 2011 Kindergarten Futurity. This Boogie Fires also qualified to the 2012 La Primera Del Ano Derby.

Fawna Knight’s Worth Doing improved to a perfect three for three in futurity trials following a solid 1-¼ length victory in the fifth trial of the night. With Tony Guymon up for trainer Mark Skeen, Worth Doing covered the 400 yards in the sixth fastest time of :19.932. The Walk Thru Fire gelding has done well in previous futurity finals, as he finished second to Chazaq in the Ed Burke Million final and second to AJS Anna Smoke in the Governor’s Cup Futurity. The Ed Allred-bred will now hope that the third time is the charm for him in futurity finals.

“He ran a great race and he’s so talented that I think things could take care of themselves in the final,” Guymon said.

Knight purchased Worth Doing as a yearling for $50,000 from Allred’s consignment at last year’s Los Alamitos Equine Sale. Out of All American Derby finalist Callan Rocks, the impressive young runner is a full brother to Bookish, which last year qualified to the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity. Worth Doing’s family is impressive from top to bottom. His second dam is Phoebe Ryon, which is the mother of All American Futurity finalist Corona Ease, a winner of over $209,000 in her racing career. Phoebe Ryon’s dam is none other than Dashing Phoebe, the 1983 sorrel mare by Dash For Cash which last month was selected for induction into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2017. Dashing Phoebe won or placed in 15 of 20 career starts and earned $609,553 on the track. A champion filly in 1985 and 1986 and a Supreme Racehorse recipient in 1987, Dashing Phoebe’s sons and daughters is an incredible list that includes All American Futurity winner Heartswideopen, the champion aged mare Special Phoebe, the stakes winner Furyofthewind, while also being the grand dam of champions Hes Relentless and American Runaway.

The seventh fastest times went to Lucky Seven Ranch’s Lotta Blues Man, the winner of trial number seven. Ridden by Cody Jensen for trainer Mike Casselman, the gelding by Favorite Cartel was making his first start since running third in the Ed Burke Million final. Lotta Blues Man is out of the First Down Dash mare Lotta Love For Robyn, which ran fourth in the 2011 All American Futurity, qualified to the All American Derby, and ran second in the Cypress Handicap at Los Alamitos in January of 2013. Casselman said earlier in the year that Lotta Blues Man “really loves to run, but it does take him a few jumps to get started.” Casselman added that “his first couple of jumps are not the fastest, but then he gets going and he does run straight.”

That’s exactly what Lotta Blues Man did in his Golden State Million trial. He was third out of the gate, but picked up ground with every stride and eventually took the lead on the way to a neck victory.

Kolleen Ledgerwood’s Renewed finished second to Lotta Blues Man in their trial, but more importantly his time was good enough to finish as the eighth fastest qualifier. The lightly-raced colt by Walk Thru Fire was making only his third career start. The Allred-bred won his career debut by ¾ lengths on July 29 and then finished seventh after getting bumped twice in his trial to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. With Rodolfo Arvizu up for trainer Roberto Dominguez, Renewed had a good start, a clean trip, and was rewarded with a spot in the Golden State Million final.

Balgo Racing Team, Inc’s King Candy scored one of the biggest wins of the night after dominating his trial by 2 ¾ lengths. The One Sweet Jess gelding was making his first start since running in the Ed Burke Million final in late June. His winning time of :19.994 made him the ninth fastest qualifier.

“We turned him out after the Ed Burke,” trainer Guillermo Morales said. “We were going to run him in the (Governor’s Cup Futurity trials), but the owner decided to just point him to the Golden State Million trials. He’s not paid into the Los Alamitos Two Million trials, so we just concentrated on this race. When I brought him back from the ranch he looked good, but I wasn’t sure about 400 yards for his first start back. After I worked 350 yards (on September 30), it was his second work that I gave him, it showed me that he was ready to run. He went :17.90 and we didn’t push him. It was supposed to be a light work and he went :17.90. He did everything right and it made me feel good. He’s just a natural runner. (Balgo Racing Team) deserves a lot of credit for keeping this horse fresh. That helps me a lot because when we bring them sound and we bring them fresh.”

Rod MacPherson’s AJS Anna Smoke took the last qualifying spot to the Golden State Million after finishing third to Tarzanito. The Separatist gelding has now qualified to three major futurities this year. He won the Governor’s Cup Futurity over the aforementioned Worth Doing and also ran in the Ed Burke Million Futurity. Cesar De Alba piloted AJS Anna Smoke for trainer John Cooper, who later on the night enjoyed the 1,400th Quarter Horse win of his Los Alamitos career. Cooper’s milestone win came in trial number three with Ron Hartley’s Governor’s Cup finalist American Force. Cooper is the 4th Quarter Horse trainer to reach the 1,400th win mark.

The complete list of qualifiers to the Golden State Million Futurity is as follows: Cartel Sixes (:19.736), Tarzanito (;19.834), Six Zeroes (:19.860), Seared (:19.861), Thats Imperial (:19.900), Worth Doing (:19.932), Lotta Blues Man (:19.956), Renewed (:19.987), King Candy (:19.994) and AJS Anna Smoke (:19.996).

The qualifiers to the $30,000 Golden State Million Juvenile Invitational are: Imaqtpie (:20.012), Katella Deli (:20.013), Im Tellin Ya (:20.040), Chazaq (:20.057), Kiddy Up Cowgirl (:20.090), American Force (:20.109), Thats A Good Reason (:20.115), Eagle Appeals (:20.117), La Dulce Vita (:20.128) and Keep It Classy (:20.132).