The Parsons Ranch’s homebred gelding Phoebes Dynasty remained undefeated in four career starts after winning the $395,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity, the richest of 12 stakes races held during the 16th annual California Breeders Champions Night on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
The showcase event for California-bred Quarter Horses also featured Dutch Masters III and Jaime Gomez’s Forget It winning his second derby of the year in the $195,000 Governor’s Cup Derby and Ron Hartley’s champion Moonist returning to the winner’s circle with a spectacular win in the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. Other highlights included AQHA Hall of Fame member Ed Allred winning four stakes races as an owner and six as breeder; jockey Carlos Huerta piloting four winners; and Jay and Char Parsons being the breeders of Phoebes Dynasty in addition to also being one of the breeders of Freshman Stakes daylight winner Dynasty Energy.
Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Chris O’Dell, Phoebes Dynasty had a coming out party on Champions Night, as the gelding by FDD Dynasty took the lead shortly after the start and raced confidently from there to edge McColee Land and Livestock’s Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Budder Think Twice by a neck. Phoebes Dynasty earned $163,590 for winning his fourth race in as many starts. Phoebes Dynasty’s sire, FDD Dynasty, won the Governor’s Cup Derby in 2007, while his dam, PJ Flying Phoebe, has a been a solid producer for the Parsons. Her sons have included stakes winner Azshecanfly and stakes finalist Sizzling PJ. Phoebes Dynasty’s second dam is the great Dashing Phoebe, who has produced All American Futurity winner and champion Heartswideopen, and the Chris O’Dell-trained Special Phoebe.
“This family has been great to me,” O’Dell said. “Phoebes Dynasty was the last colt out of this mare because she’s since passed away. It’s hard to find daughter of Dashing Phoebe, but I’ll be at the sales looking for second generation mares from this great family. If it’s named ‘Phoebe’ I want it,” O’Dell said with a smile. “I even have a dog named Phoebe. This bloodline has been so special to me and they are all class.”
O’Dell knew early on in the training process that he had something special with Phoebes Dynasty.
“I’m behind the gate whenever we work our 2-year-olds to get them ready and the first time this horse worked I could hear this horse making this (roaring) noise as he raced. I’ve never heard that before, but that’s how much power he had. I’m very lucky this year in that I feel like I’m loaded with good 2-year-olds. That’s all about the great breeding program of the Parsons and the Rosenthals, who also had a horse in the Governor’s Cup. Their horse, Fire At Will, had trouble at the start and I just went ‘Oh no!’ but then I saw that Phoebes Dynasty was battling for the lead so my focus went to hear. I would have loved to have run 1-2 with their horses because they’re both great horses, but Rosenthals have trusted me with some great babies and their time will come.”
O’Dell also credited the hard work that jockeys Eduardo Nicasio and Tony Guymon have done with his young runners.
“That’s been huge and a big reason that these horses are doing so well,” he added. “Eduardo and Tony have been helping the whole year and that makes a difference. It’s one thing to gallop these horses, but these guys are working with them in the gate and teaching them a lot of important things. Having those skilled hands with these babies, that’s huge. It’s been a big edge for our barn.”
Nicasio, a three-time winning rider of the Champion of Champions, was confident about his chances of maintaining Phoebes Dynasty’s perfect record, but he admitted to being a bit nervous just moments before the two of them entered the starting gate.
“I was the nervous one,” Nicasio said. “He is usually very energetic and bouncing around, but tonight he was really and calm. He was either very ready to run or had no interest in running. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but once the gates opened he was ready. This is nice because I’ve worked with this horse the entire year. It feels good when you’ve been a part of the process from the start.”
Phoebe Dynasty has earned $171,620 in his career.
Trainer Cody Joiner, who was very involved in the training of FDD Dynasty during his time at Los Alamitos, saddled the runner-up Budder Think Twice in the Governor’s Cup. Fifth when getting bumped in the Ed Burke, Budder Think Twice ran a solid race from the outside post on the way to earning $66,215. The First Down Dash filly bred by Double Bar S Ranch has now earned $134,245 in her five race career.
Jose Antonio Flores and Bradley Hart’s Shut Out, from the family of Grade 1 stakes winner Snitcher, earned $46,740 for running third. Little Talks, Miss Sadie Thompson, One Sweet Runaway, Fire At Will, Sale Topper, Romantic Fire, and Unclaimed Dividend completed the field. Sale Topper, which entered the race with the fastest qualifying time, was in contention early on, ducked in at the gap forcing Carlos Huerta to correct him forcefully, stopping the gelding’s momentum and ending his chances to challenge.