On Saturday, June 7th, Los Alamitos Race Course will host trials to the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity. The first of three legs of the rich Los Alamitos Bonanza Series, the Ed Burke offers a lucrative purse of $1,000,000 and regularly features some of the finest two-year-olds in the nation. Take the 2006 running for example. Two years ago, the top three finishers went on to have considerable success throughout their racing careers. Winning the race was AQHA Champion Two-year-old colt Fdd Dynasty, who made eight trips to the winner's circle and earned $1,173,001 in his stylish eleven-race career. Second place finisher Blues Girl Too also went on to do great things. Later that same year she captured the Grade I Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity as well as the prestigious Champion of Champions in 2007. Finally, the race's third place finisher, No Secrets Here, had a banner year in winning the storied All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in early September.
The Bassett Family, who will send out ten horses in this weekend's Ed Burke trials, know how tough it is to win the Ed Burke. Two years ago the Joe Bassett-trained outstanding filly Blues Girl Too was the fastest qualifier to the Ed Burke and was sent off as the 3-2 post-time favorite in the race. The enormously talented daughter of Corona Cartel used a strong second in that race as a springboard to a phenomenal two-year-old campaign. Never finishing worse than second on the season, Blues Girl Too finished out the year with a gutsy victory in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and was crowned AQHA Champion Two-year-old. This year they're hoping to find the next Blues Girl Too with a new group of runners.
"I have six horses in the trials and my dad has four, so ten all together," said trainer Joe Bassett. "I think Eyes Kudos probably has the best shot." A gray son of Mr Eye Opener, this colt comes from a very nice female family. His dam Dg Miss Daisy won the Cherry Creek Derby at Arapahoe and produced a talented runner in Rarest Daisy, a classy mare who earned over $100,000 in her career. Eyes Kudos looked good against maiden foes in his debut on May 23, 2008. After a bumped beginning, he dueled throughout with Regal Guy, grinding out a hard-fought nose victory. His winning time of 15.70 at the 300-yard distance was good enough for an 81 speed index.
Highly disappointing to the Bassetts was the decision to have to sit out the trials with Word Written In Red, one of their most talented two-year-olds. "She came back from her last workout with pretty sore shins," Joe added. "We were really excited about getting to run her in the trials, but that's just how racing goes. She'll be back in the Golden State Futurity though. We'll most likely find an allowance race for her a couple weeks before the race and try to get an out in her before trial night." A daughter of Shazoom out of Dash For Cash Derby winner First Regards, she was the fastest qualifier to the Dixie Downs Futurity earlier this year, but scratched out of the finals in preparation for the Ed Burke Million Futurity trials.
The Bassetts also like their chances with First Down Leroy, a nicely-bred son of First Down Dash, whose half-sister, Libbys Feature, qualified to the 2007 All American Futurity for trainer Eddie Willis. First Down Leroy ran second in the first start of his young career on Sunday, May 11th and is coming into the trials in good order. Joe also believes that two other two-year-olds, Zoomin Fool and Blues Man Too, should perform well on trial night. "Blues Man Too just didn't really seem ready in his maiden race," said the young trainer. "I don't really think he realized he was actually in a race first time out. I think both of those horses will be much better with a start under their belt."