LARC NEWS Posted: 12/6/2016 4:35:06 AM

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      George Seward decided two years ago to improve the quality of his racing stock. The results have been swift and impressive thanks to the Jose Flores-trained filly Ms Jess Knockout, a finalist to Sunday’s $1,950,050 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

“This is by far the richest race one of my horses will be a part of,” Seward said. “We qualified to the Mile High Futurity a few years ago and ran fifth in it. It’s exciting to now be in the Two Million.”

The owner, who is based in Yuma, Colorado and operates Seward Cattle and Red Cactus Horses, was around Quarter Horses and the ranch life his entire life. His father, Bob was involved in the American Quarter Horse Association and also Colorado Cattlemen’s and Yuma County Cattlemen’s associations.

“We have cattle in Southwest Nebraska and Northeast Colorado,” Seward said. “About 10 years ago I became interested in Quarter Horse racing thanks to Kim Kessinger (the late owner of 2002 co-world champion Whosleavingwho). I started learning more about the horses and it took me about six years to figure out what I wanted to do from a breeding program standpoint.”

Bred by Five Puig Racing Llc, the Apollitical Jess filly Ms Jess Knockout has now given Seward an opportunity to race in one of the nation’s most important Quarter Horse races and also a filly to perhaps build around from a breeding perspective.

“I never had any horses to really compete in races like the Two Million,” the owner added. “I started getting some new horses and (trainer) Jose Flores has been a big help. We got this filly and then last May I became partners with Tom Bradbury on a 2-year-old named Giv Me A Good Reason (trained by Paul Jones). I also have 14 broodmares and I think our broodmare band is starting to come to fruition.”

Seward’s mares include Alluring Streak, which ran in the 2006 Texas Classic Derby, and 2010 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational qualifier Kickin Escalation. Seward then purchased Kickin Escalation’s 3-year-old daughter, Kickin Seis, right after her victory in the Fall For It Handicap in mid-September.

“Every mare is a stakes winner, stakes finalist or stakes producer,” he said of his band. “We’ll have some Colorado breds and a lot of California breds.”

On the night of the Los Alamitos Two Million trials, Seward watched as Ms Jess Knockout’s second place finish to Mr Apollitical Dash landed her on the top 10 of qualifiers through the first six of 14 trials.

“When it comes to trials, you don’t get your hopes too high until they are over,” he said. “I still remembered that a few months back Ms Jess Knockout was the 11th fastest qualifier to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. You just need to have a little bit of luck. Rain started falling right after her trial and in the next one Giv Me A Good Reason won the race, but he didn’t make it into the top 10.”

Trial after trial went by and Ms Jess Knockout stayed in the top 10. She would remain in there for the entire night. Seward and his wife Debbie will now be one hand this weekend to see if Ms Jess Knockout’s good luck continues in the Two Million.

“The fastest qualifier Lotta Blues Man looks tough, but it’s a pretty evenly matched field,” the owner added. “We’ll arrive on Saturday and with five horses in training at Los Alamitos, we’ll spend some time in the barn area enjoying the horses.”

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