LARC NEWS Posted: 7/30/2017 3:54:03 AM


     Going into the 2016 futurity season, trainer Paul Jones considered Evil Genius his top juvenile in California. The gelding by Favorite Cartel made Jones look like a genius early on after winning his debut by a ½ length on April 8 of last year.

“He won his first out and looked very impressive,” Jones said. “I thought he was the best 2-year-old I had in the barn. Then it kind of went downhill from there, but he’s finally coming back around and looking like the horse we thought he was. I’m glad that (co-owner Abigail Kawananakoa) and myself had the patient to keep going and we kind of prevailed. I raised the horse at my ranch, he’s a homebred, and Abigail partnered with me and she doesn’t partner with a lot of people. I feel privileged to be a partner with her.”

After winning his debut, Evil Genius’ next six starts featured a pair of third place finishes and four races in which his best was a fifth place finish in a derby trial. After running ninth in a trial to the El Primero Del Ano Derby, Evil Genius finally returned to the winner’s circle again, winning an allowance race by ¾ lengths. He followed it up with a third place finish, and a qualifying time to the Governor’s Cup Derby, on July 9.       

“The horse has matured and he’s really filled out,” Jones said. “He’s breaking a little bit better. He’s starting to come into himself and becoming the horse that we thought he was. We gelded him along the way and that helped him too. I think he’s matured and starting to run tonight. It was a tough race. I didn’t come into this race thinking that I was going to win. I’d be happy if I could be in the top four. I always thought he had talent. This is the best race he’s ever run and I guess that’s what it takes to win, you have to run your best race.”  

Breaking from post five in the Governor’s Cup Derby final, Evil Genius was sixth at the start, but moved up to third in a tightly contested race. He dueled with Katella Deli and One Sweet Runner from there, before edging Katella Deli by a neck. The effort earned Evil Genius $83,160 to take his career earnings to $96,835. With Oscar Peinado aboard, the Kawananakoa and Jones-owned runner covered the distance in :19.871.

Paul Blanchard and Dutch Masters III’s Katella Deli earned $33,660 for running second. The Foose gelding has yet to win a stakes race, but he’s knocked on the door several times before. He was third in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and fifth in the Kindergarten Futurity last year. He’s also raced in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and El Primero Del Ano Derby. Trained by Jaime Gomez, Katella Deli has earned $329,244 in 13 career starts.

J. Francisco Diaz’s One Sweet Runner earned $23,760 for finishing third. The fastest qualifier coming into this race, the filly by One Sweet Jess was ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Lindolfo Diaz. Kiddy Up Cowgirl was fourth, while Renewed crossed the wire fifth before being disqualified and placed ninth. That moved up Western Coast to fifth place and he was followed by Myfavoritestreaker, American Force, AJS Anna Smoke, Renewed, and A Bit Quirky.  


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