San Gregorio Racing Stables, Inc.’s Five Bar Cartel edged Ron and Ronnie Keller’s Unchangeable in the final yards to win the Grade 1 $1,111,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Saul Ramirez Jr. for trainer Danny Montes, Five Bar Cartel dueled with Unchangeable right from the start, but it wasn’t until that final stride that the colt by Corona Cartel out of Five Bar Molly took the decisive lead. For San Gregorio Racing Stables, the victory was their second straight in the Ed Burke Million following eventual World Champion One Dashing Eagle’s win last year. San Gregorio Racing Stables campaigned One Dashing Eagle along with co-owners Gustavo and Jose De La Torre.
“I thought the inside horse (Unchangeable) had it,” said Jorge Carmona of San Gregorio Racing Stables. “But our horse got his nose in there at the end. My heart was beating hard right after the race and people started telling me ‘you won it.’ I can’t believe it right now.”
“We got it right at the line,” said Ramirez Jr. “I knew that if we won it, it was because of the head bob. We had to catch Unchangeable. By the next jump after the wire I was a head in front, but that jump wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t win the one before it. Only (Unchangeable) had us beat at the start. We were right there along with Masherati B. We got a good break, but Unchangeable out broke us and had the lead for 349 yards.”
Racing from post number nine, Five Bar Cartel improved his career record to a perfect three for three after covering the 350 yards in the Ed Burke in:17.524 at 8-1 odds. Bred by Esmeralda Flores, the colt’s effort also earned him the first place prize of $449,820. Five Bar Cartel will now look to win the track’s version of the Triple Crown - and the $1,000,000 bonus that goes with it - if he can add the Golden State Million Futurity on November 3 and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on December 15.
“We’ll keep him here, but we’re going to give him a break,” Carmona added. “He needs some time off. We pushed him hard at the beginning. We bought him as a 2-year-old so we haven’t had him for very long. My father, Manuel, has been a little ill, but I know he’s watching this race in Riverside. I’d like to dedicate this race to him and I wish he could have come out to the track to share this wonderful moment.”
Five Bar Cartel began his career with a 1 ¾ length victory against maidens on May 19 before following it up with a daylight win in his trial to the Ed Burke Million on June 9.
“We weren’t planning on running him in the trials, but we decided to give him a chance after the way he won his maiden race,” Carmona explained. “There were a lot of really good horses in this race and it’s a dream come true to win it.”
Five Bar Cartel is a full brother to Los Alamitos Two Million and Ed Burke Million futurity finalist Mollys Cartel and a half brother to both Freedom Choice, the third place finisher in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, and California Breeders Matron Stakes winner Fly Bar Special.
“It’s a pleasure to be around this horse,” Montes added. “He’s a big pro and we knew he had a very good last gear. He pulled up awesome after the trials. He came back bouncing and feeling great. We did an x-ray on him after the trials as a precaution and everything came back good. Saul told us that the horse had a lot left in trials. Saul is a big money rider and he did a great job.”
Ridden by Eddie Garcia and saddled by Rafael Orozco of the Schvaneveldt Racing Stables, Unchangeable earned $182,070 for his second place finish. Bred by Ed Allred, the son of Stel Corona is the first foal out of the mare Hard Lining. He was purchased for $15,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale last year.
“I thought I had it,” Garcia said. “He ran a great race and we were there to the last jump. He gave it his all.”
“We did really well,” Brenda Schvaneveldt said. “We’re proud that he qualified to this race and to then finish second is just great. My dad (Blane) would have been so proud of us. We really wanted to win it and he only got beat by a whisker.”
San Gregorio Racing Stable also owns third place finisher Masherati B, who finished a neck behind Unchangeable. The Separatist gelding earned $128,520 for his third place finish. Jose De La Torre saddled the gray gelding, who was ridden by Carlos Huerta.
Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Fastest qualifier Turbulent Times was seventh at the start after getting bumped on both sides leaving the gate. The Furyofthewind colt ran strongly from there and finished a neck behind Masherati B in fourth place. Allred’s Quirky completed the top five and was followed across the wire by Docs First Fire, Foose Is Loose, She Forgives, Fire Up Willie and Composed Charisma.
Racing for Jose and Gustavo De La Torre and San Gregorio Racing Stables Inc.’s Mistic Rose posted a nose victory of her own, as she held off the fast closing Tres Pescado to win the $30,000 Ed Burke Juvenile Stakes on Sunday night.
The filly by Corona Cartel was picking up her second victory in three lifetime starts while covering the 350 yards in :17.562. Mistic Rose improved her lifetime record to two wins in three starts. She debuted with a ¾ length victory on May 4 and then finished second to Ed Burke Million Futurity qualifier Docs First Fire in the June 9 trials. Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Jose De La Torre, Mistic Rose earned $16,500.
Hector A. Hernandez’s Tres Pescado was fifth at the start, but nearly caught Mistic Rose at the wire. The Tres Seis gelding earned $6,750 for his runner-up effort. He was ridden by Francisco Rubio for trainer Jose Flores. Tres Magicals, Joe The Jet Perry, Chollima, Smithy, Fiesty Flo, Social Budderfly and Secret Lips completed the field.