COUNTING THE WAYS IS NOW 2 FOR 2 AFTER PAT HYLAND VICTORY AT LOS ALAMITOS
When it comes to Quarter Horses, trainer Jose Flores knows what he likes, and he likes what he knows. For example, Flores has an affinity for foals out of the broodmare Million Ways, a full-sister of 1998 Los Alamitos Million Futurity winner Kingman Kid.
Flores trained Six Zeroes, a filly by Walk Thru Fire out of Million Ways, and enjoyed success with her, training her to a third-place finish in the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity in 2016 and earnings of $77,432. He now trains the 2-year-old Counting The Ways, a gelding by Favorite Cartel purchased for $24,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale last year.
“I love the horses out of Ed Allred’s mare Million Ways,” Flores said. “I had Six Zeroes. That’s the reason we bought Counting The Ways. I have always thought horses out of that mare are great. I love the family.”
Flores will love the runners out of Million Ways even more after Counting The Ways won for the second time in as many starts while defeating winners in the $20,000 Pat Hyland Handicap at 350 yards on Sunday at Los Alamitos. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for owners Bujanda, Encinas, Flores & CD Horses, Inc., Counting The Ways defeated a field that included Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist SC Divas Cartel Man and Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Favorite Colossus. Counting The Ways, who covered the distance in :17.635, finished a head in front of SC Divas Cartel Man to win in his stakes debut.
“He debuted with a good victory and we’ve been waiting for big things from him,” Flores said of Counting The Ways. “This was a test and he did well. He was facing a solid group of runners. He is in the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity in three weeks and we will see what he can do. I am looking forward to seeing him develop.”
Counting The Ways trailed in his debut on July 24 before finishing strongly to win by a half-length. He was trailing early in the Pat Hyland before flying late to score a victory once again. The Ed Allred-bred runner earned $11,000 for the win. In addition to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, he’s also eligible to compete in the trials to the Golden State Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
Reliance Ranches LLC’s SC Divas Cartel Man earned $4,500 for second to take his career earnings to $63,615. Oscar Peinado piloted the son of Corona Cartel for trainer Mike Robbins. Like Counting The Ways, SC Divas Cartel Man is also eligible to compete in the Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million trials.
Sassies Blues Girl crossed the wire third and was followed by Favorite Colossus and A Solid Reason. Dreamland Express was scratched before the start of the racing card.