LARC NEWS Posted: 1/20/2019 1:22:18 AM

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           Rosenthal Ranch’s Powerful Favorite and Legacy Ranch’s homebred Mister Appolitical were the only two Quarter Horses to qualify to Los Alamitos’ three richest races of 2018 – the Ed Burke Million Futurity, Golden State Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

In their sophomore debuts, Powerful Favorite and Mister Appolitical were standouts once again, this time by winning their respective trials to the Grade 1, $198,700 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday night.  Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Chris O’Dell, Powerful Favorite finished with the fastest qualifying time of the night following his one-length victory in the fourth and final derby trial of the night. The gelding by Favorite Cartel broke through the gate prior to the start of his 400-yard trial, but remained cool and collected and was reloaded in the gate without any additional issues. Once the gate opened, Powerful Favorite bumped on both sides, but quickly recovered and flew away from his rivals on the way to covering the distance in :19.789.

“It’s a little easier to breathe right now, but it wasn’t very good after he broke through the gate,” O’Dell said. “He hit his teeth on the gate. He may have cut his lip just a little bit. He uses a flipping halter so he’s really close to the door of the gate. He didn’t hit it super hard, but he hit it hard enough.”

The winner of the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year, Powerful Favorite improved to four wins in 10 career starts. A total of 29 horses competed in the four trials with the horses with the 10 fastest times advancing to the Winter Derby final to be held on Sunday, February 9. Here’s the complete list of qualifiers: Powerful Favorite (:19.789), Mister Appolitical (:19.792), Cole Man 47 (:19.865), Red Hawk Cartel (:19.917), Terrific First Down (:19.964), Singles Cruise (:19.964), Tough Enough Jess (:19.980), I Like My Chances (:19.992), Ladys A Cartel (:19.997), and Heza Blues Man (:20.032).

Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Terry Knight, Mister Appolitical outdueled Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Cole Man 47 by a half-length on the way to his fourth win in eight career starts. He’ll be looking for his first ever stakes win on the night of the Winter Derby final.

“He looked good tonight,” said Knight of the gelding by Apollitical Jess. “He broke well. That’s the key with this horse. He has good gate speed and when he can use that to his advantage he’s a tough horse. You hope they improve and learn a little bit. It’s a learning curve for all of us. Your horse runs well in these trials but you have to come back in two or three weeks and they have to show up again. There’s a lot of luck involved and it takes a special horse to be able to do it consistently.”

   Marin Jones and Steve McIntyre’s Cole Man 47 qualified to his fourth stakes final following his runner-up effort to Mister Appolitical. In addition to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, the Paul Jones-trainee won the John Deere California Juvenile Challenge and competed in the Grade 2 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity. He’s finished in the top three in 10 of 11 career starts.

     Jones dominated the third trial thanks to a pair of longshots and two biggest surprises of the night. Barry and Janice Sather’s Singles Cruise won her first race at Los Alamitos in this trial at 33-1 odds, while outdueling the late Thomas Bradbury Sr.’s I Like My Chances, who was the second longest shot on the board at 43-1 odds. Sparked by Singles Cruise and I Like My Chances, the Exacta for this race paid $398, the Trifecta returned $3,066, and the Superfecta paid $24,712. Singles Cruise finished with the sixth fastest qualifying time, while I Like My Chances posted the eighth fastest.

Martha Wells’ Red Hawk Cartel finished with the fourth fastest clocking after running second to Powerful Favorite in the final trial. Red Hawk Cartel, a colt by Favorite Cartel, finished fifth to Cole Man 47 in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year. Matt Fales saddled the California homebred, who was ridden by Erasmo Gasca.

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