Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Fire At Will was euthanized on Saturday night due to an injured left knee sustained after winning the Grade 1, $215,250 Los Alamitos Winter Derby at 400 yards. He will be remembered for his tremendous racing ability, great tenacity and for having the heart of a champion.
Trained by Chris O’Dell, Fire At Will crossed the finish line a half-length ahead of favorite Jess Good Reason, but was pulled up on the clubhouse turn by jockey Eduardo Nicasio. The rider jumped off Fire At Will as soon as he slowed him down. Fire At Will was unsaddled on the clubhouse turn and was transported back to O’Dell’s barn by the horse ambulance. He was examined there by Dr. Rick Overly, DVM.
“He ran an excellent race,” Nicasio said after the race. “He broke great and he was excellent throughout the race. Then after crossing the finish line I could feel that he had injured his knee. I tried to keep him up as much as I could so that would not go down flip around on the ground. You just try to help the horse as much as possible. I could tell that he was injured.”
O’Dell described Fire At Will’s injury as serious shortly after the horse arrived at his barn.
“I didn’t talk to Nicasio (after the race). I jumped on the (horse ambulance) right away. I saw Nicasio standing there and knew that he was okay. I jumped on the trailer and headed (to see the horse). Nicasio did the best thing he could, he stopped him and got off of him. I love this little horse. The Rosenthals are great people. They usually would have been here, but one of their mares was going to foal and they wanted to be there for the mare and the delivery. This is the probably the best horse they’ve ever had. It’s very tough.”
Robert and Connie Rosenthal have operated their 40-acre ranch in Winchester, California since the year 2000. Rosenthal Ranch is home to approximately 30 horses and they breed two to three mares a year. Sired by Favorite Cartel and bred by Ed Allred, Fire At Will was purchased by the Rosenthals out of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale. The gelding earned $90,405 in the Winter Derby to take his earnings to $166,727. He won five of 11 starts and finished in the money in nine of those outings. Fire At Will also qualified to the Governor’s Cup Futurity, PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity. He was scratched out of the Golden State Million after getting fractious in the starting gate. He covered the 400 yards in the Winter Derby in :19.739. Fire At Will’s dam is the Walk Thru Fire mare What Fire. She is out of three-time AQHA champion and 2002 All American Futurity winner AB What A Runner.
John and Cina Sperry’s Jess Good Reason earned $36,592 for running second in the Winter Derby to improve her lifetime earnings to $59,582. The Good Reason SA filly won the Holiday Handicap during her 2-year-old campaign and was the favorite in this race despite running second in her trial. Jess Good Reason was fifth at the start of the Winter Derby before surging to finish second. Roberto Hernandez piloted the filly for trainer Paul Jones, who also saddled third place finisher Senor Gianni.
Jones and Thompson Racing, Inc’s Senor Gianni earned $25,830 in the Winter Derby. Also by Good Reason SA, Senor Gianni won his derby trial by ¾ lengths and qualified to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year. Oscar Peinado rode Senor Gianni.
Uno Corona Mas, El Compa Jv, Rite Regal, Jess A Pollitician, Dynasty Energy, and Chicks Fayvorite completed the field. Luv On The Run was scratched by the stewards after he broke through the gate before the start.