LARC NEWS Posted: 6/18/2017 1:20:28 AM


      Pete and Evelyn Parrella’s Legacy Ranch will look to score its richest racing victory ever when their homebred Platki, a full brother to their AQHA champion filly, Flying Fig, heads the running of the $1,000,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.  


Legacy Ranch has enjoyed a rich history in Quarter Horse racing. Originally based in Chino in Southern California and now nestled outside the small town of Clements, California, Legacy Ranch has boasted some of the great names in the sport. The Chino ranch had standing at stud the outstanding 1979 Bay Meadows and Golden State Futurity winner Merridoc and also campaigned the full brothers Apprehend and Griswold, a pair of stars that were both recognized as AQHA champions in the early 1990s.


In the early ‘90s, Legacy Ranch was in headlines on what seemed like a weekly basis thanks to the exploits of one of the greatest distance horses of all-time, Griswold, the three-time distance champion and a 14-time Los Alamitos stakes winner. Apprehend, meanwhile, was also red-hot, winning six stakes races including the 1991 Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. Daily Triple was another big star, winning the 1993 Kindergarten Futurity and later the Governors’ Cup and PCQHRA Breeders Derby the following year.


The hits have kept on coming for Legacy Ranch over the years, as the operation also raced the 2010 AQHA champion 2-year-old filly Flying Fig, the Governor's Cup and Golden State Derby winner Not For Long, and stakes winners Eyes For Ev and Tokay Flame, plus stakes runners like Whispering Lies, Ghost Pepper and more.


"I’ve been coming here since 1960," said Pete Parrella referring to Los Alamitos Race Course. “But I had been in the Thoroughbred business since the early 1970s. David Hoffman was my trainer in the 1970s and early ‘80s. When I bought the ranch in Chino in 1987 I ended up with some Quarter Horses. Shaun Hadley was my Quarter Horse guy and I quickly fell in love with the breed. I’ve been in it ever since.”


Since January of 1991, Legacy Ranch has won 119 races from 799 starters to go along with another 11 wins from 59 starters when in partnership with Muller Racing Inc. And now, Legacy Ranch’s unbeaten colt Platki will go after the $1 million Ed Burke. 


“We’ve ran in some good races and some $1 million events, but we’ve never gotten the ring,” Parrella said. “If we win so be it, if we don’t win it so be it. We’re just blessed to be in it. To me I just want everyone to come back safe and sound. The rest will be up to the racing gods. To me the most enjoyable part are the days going into the race. Just to be talked about and to be part of it all, that’s the fun part. To have a horse with the talent to be a part of this race, that’s the joy. We like our chances. (Trainer) Terry Knight is confident and so are we, but if anyone makes a mistake another horse will win the race. We’ll just wait and see what the racing gods decide. We’ll keep doing the same thing. 


“The money is great, but it won’t change my life one way or the other,” Parrella added. “It has to do more with earning this win for the people that work so hard with the horses. Shaun and Anita Hadley they raised this horse and I really want to thank them immensely for everything they've done for us. Everyone from the grooms at the ranch to the exercise riders – they help make great horses happen. They usually don’t get recognized, but they work so hard, getting up in the early morning hours every day to work and take great care of the horses. When you have a nice horse, it makes everything so much more fun. That’s what matters the most to me.”


Sired by Corona Cartel and out of Tender Flyer, Platki will enter the final after posting a ¾ length win and the fastest qualifying time in the Ed Burke trials. The Legacy Ranch-bred runner won his trial in :17.647.


He’ll face an outstanding field that will also include KVN Corona, Apollitical Stone,  Sumokinintheboysroom, Jess My Kiss, Chance To Fire, Indescribaly Blue, Remember To Dash, SC Vapor Trail and J Fire Up.   



Pete and Evelyn Parrella have been married now for 27 years.


“I first met Ev at the racetrack at Golden Gate Fields,” he said. “And she’s always been a very strong supporter of Legacy Ranch and me. After we sold the ranch in Chino, I promised her that if the situation came up that we would find something in Northern California. She’s been very involved ever since we moved up north. She likes to play the horses and she likes the racetrack a lot. We had 15 people come to the trials (on June 4). These people have brought other people to the racetrack before. It’s something that just keeps on rolling. My wife is the one that gets all of that going. She’s a big part of our operation.”


"It's exciting and so much fun," Evelyn added. "And when you have a great horse, it's even more fun."


Another huge part of Legacy Ranch for many years was the now retired trainer Denny Ekins, who guided stars like Flying Fig and Not For Long to great careers at Los Alamitos.


“We have such a great relationship with Denny and his wonderful wife, Vandi. I would have loved to share this moment with Denny. He’s a wonderful trainer and a great friend. We spent so many good times with the Ekins over the years.”




Another great storyline involving Platki features his trainer Terry Knight. His father, Chay Knight saddled the AQHA Hall of Fame racehorse Kaweah Bar to victory in the 1968 running of the $30,240 Ed Burke Million Futurity. Nearly 50 years later, Terry Knight will look join his father in the list of Ed Burke winning trainers.




Platki is named after the ancient ruins of Palatki near Sedona, Arizona. The Palatki site is filled with cliff dwellings as well as pictographs and petroglyphs created by Southern Sinagua people, who inhabited the Sedona and Verde Valley are from 500 to 1425 AD.

“My wife, Ev, came up with the name,” Pete Parrella admitted.


Win or lose, Platki will be long remembered as another part of the great history of Legacy Ranch.



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