LARC NEWS Posted: 10/21/2019 1:02:59 AM


            Ed Allred’s homebred Up And Atem (photo) scored his third victory in a row on the way to posting the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 1, $1,072,850 Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

A total of 72 2-year-olds competed in the trials with the 10 horses with the fastest times advancing to the Golden State Million final to be held on Sunday, November 3. Ridden by Vinnie Bednar for trainer Scott Willoughby, Up And Atem set the pace right from the start after outdueling Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity finalist Kiss Thru The Fire by a nose in a time of :19.784. Up And Atem had won his two previous starts in convincing fashion, breaking his maiden by 1 ¼ lengths before returning to win an allowance race also by 1 ¼ lengths.

“He ran a great race coming in off of works,” Willoughby said. “We didn’t get a race in this horse close to the (trials). It just didn’t work out that way. He ran a great race. I think he’ll be tough in the final. He’s getting bigger and stronger and finally figuring things out. He’s got his mind right. He and Vinnie are clicking really well. They get along really well.”

Up And Atem is a California-bred gelding by Favorite Carte and is out of the Kiddy Up mare Up For It, the winner of the 2013 Governor’s Cup Futurity. Up And Atem is a full brother to Up For Speed, who is a winner at Los Alamitos.

The stallion Favorite Cartel also continues to shine in California. With Up And Atem finishing as the fastest qualifier of the night, Favorite Cartel has now sired the fastest qualifier to four different California futurities in 2019. He also sired Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity fastest qualifier Chayito Cartel, Governor’s Cup Futurity fastest qualifier Pitbull, and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity fastest qualifier Mental Error. Chayito Cartel and Pitbull both went on to win their respective futurity finals.

  Gentry Farms’ homebred filly Kiss Thru Fire just missed winning this trial by a couple of inches, but still managed to post the second fastest qualifying time of :19.789. Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Juan Aleman, the Ketucky-bred fily is by Walk Thru Fire and out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Fredaville. Racing at Ruidoso Downs prior to this race, Kiss Thru Fire won her trial to the Ruidoso Futurity, finished eighth to Fernweh in the Ruidoso Futurity final, and would eventually win her 440-yard trial to the All American Futurity while defeating Dash For Cash Futurity winner Chilitos. She then finished sixth to Uncle D in the All American Consolation Stakes on September 2. Kiss Thru Fire’s dam won over $324,000 in her racing career, while winning the Grade 1 AQHA Distaff Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows and the Grade 3 AQHA Distaff California Challenge in 2012.

Trainer Chris O’Dell had a big trial night, as he saddled five of the nine trial winners. He also qualified four to the Golden State Million final led by third fastest qualifiers Runforyourlife, who is a full brother to Grade 1 winner and Los Alamitos Super Derby finalist Powerful Favorite. Owned by Rosenthal Ranch LLC, Runforyourlife won the final race of the night by a length over A Lucky Ladies Man while covering the distance in :19.870. Runforyourlife, a gelding by Favorite Cartel and out of Remember Me Rose, was making his first start since running second in the Governor’s Cup Futurity on July 27.

“He has some big shoes to fill to be like Powerful Favorite, but he’s a very nice horse,” O’Dell said. “We’ll now have to figure out which horse Eduardo Nicasio will choose to ride. It’s nice to be in that position. We were blessed tonight.”

In addition to piloting Runforyourlife, Nicasio also rode qualifiers Geothermal and Terra Fire.    

Allred, Willoughby, and Bednar teamed up again to win the eighth trial with the Favorite Cartel gelding Circle City. Out of the stakes winning Corona Cartel mare Moonlight Corona, Circle City pulled away from his rivals with each stride to win his third race in a row, this one by a length in the fourth fastest qualifying time of :19.913.

“He’s just getting stronger and stronger,” Willoughby said. “We were a little unfortunate with him. In his last race, a horse messed up and (Circle City) got cut in the gate and we had to scratch him. We weren’t able to get a race in him before the trials. Both of these horses (Up And Atem and Circle City) came in off works fantastic and I think they’ll run a lot better in the final. Moonlight Corona (Circle City’s dam) was a great filly. She wasn’t very big but she would run as well as she could every trip. We have a couple of Moonlight Coronas this year that are really running well.”

Dunn Ranch’s Southern Wagon finished third in this trial and was the fifth fastest qualifier of the night with a time of :19.919. The filly by Pyc Paint Your Wagon won her Los Alamitos debut by ¾ lengths and before that she ran at Ruidoso Downs, where she ran eighth in the Rainbow Juvenile Stakes. She also won a pair of races at Ruidoso Downs by daylight, one of those being in the Rainbow Futurity trials at 400 yards. Monty Arrossa saddled the Matt Dunn-bred filly, who was ridden by Jose Nicasio.

Paul Blanchard ,Scott Bryant, Shaun Hubbard, and Robert Lee Lewis’ Budderlicous posted his fourth win from five starts when winning his trial by ¾ lengths in the sixth fastest time of :19.935. Cody Jensen piloted the son of Corona Cartel.

“He’s a super horse,” O’Dell said. “We’ve been worried about him being able to run far enough. He’s a big, heavy horse, but he keeps rising to the occasion. The owners have been really good supporters and what a great group of people. To see him get in that’s very comforting. It’s going to be a fun race.”

Budderlicous was bred by McColee Land & Livestock.

Parsons Ranch’s Geothermal, who finished third in the Ed Burke Million Futurity earlier this year, won the seventh trial of the night on the way to posting the seventh fastest qualifying time of :19.940. O’Dell saddled the Parsons Rock filly. Her mother, Terrific Energy, is one of the nation’s top broodmares, and is also the dam of eighth fastest qualifier Terra Fire, a Walk Thru Fire filly who advanced to the Golden State Million final from the opening trial.   

The outstanding Terrific Energy is also the dam of Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap winner Thermonuclear Energy, graded stakes winners Terrific Synergy and Terrific First Down, and stakes winners Dynasty Energy and Designs By Dynasty. She’s also the mother of the Seperate Interest filly Tea Pod, who earlier this year joined Geothermal in the Ed Burke Million final.  

Johnny Trotter’s Mr Racy Eagle, a full-brother to 2016 Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Racy High Roller, also qualified from the opening trial after finishing fifth in that heat in the ninth fastest time of :19.976. The Trotter-bred gelding is by One Famous Eagle and out of First Down Racy. The Golden State Million field will be completed by Lucky Ladies’ A Lucky Ladies Man, a gelding by Good Reason Sa and out of Hot Lips Perry. Bred by Vince Genco and John Andreini, A Lucky Ladies Man won his Los Alamitos debut by ¾ lengths on  September 20 after racing at Ruidoso Downs. He finished second to Runforyourlife in the final trial. Justin Joiner trains both Mr Racy Eagle and A Lucky Ladies Man. Jensen rode Mr Racy Eagle as well as A Lucky Ladies Man.

The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Up And Atem (:19.784), Kiss Thru Fire (:19.789), Runforyourlife (:19.870), Circle City (:19.913), Southern Wagon (:19.919), Budderlicous (:19.935), Geothermal (:19.940), Terra Fire (:19.958), Mr Racy Eagle (:19.976), and A Lucky Ladies Man (:20.018).


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