GOLDEN BOI DOMINATES LATE TO WIN ED BURKE MILLION FUTURITY
Facing a lineup of juveniles boasting an impressive, combined record of 15 wins from 20 career starts, M & G Farms’ Golden Boi put on a show during the second half of the Grade 1, $1,120,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity, as he pulled away from his classy rivals at the midway point on the way to a dominant daylight victory in the first million-dollar race of the year Sunday at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Ridden by Ruben Lozano for trainer Valentin Zamudio, Golden Boi was third at the break, but only trailed In Hott Pursuit and Run By Your Cartel by about a neck after the first 150 yards of the 350-yard race. The next 50 yards in where Golden Boi won the race, as he flew past the leaders with ease and then cruised to the finish line in a final time of :17,431, the fastest in this race since 2014.
Lozano knew that it was their race to win as soon as Golden Boi hit that higher gear.
“I was right there with the leaders,” Lozano said. “I felt a horse to my inside putting pressure. After about 200 yards we started pulling away. We had it from that point on. I started feeling all the excitement and I just wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. It was a great race.”
Keeping Golden Boi focused while waiting for the start was another key to winning.
“(Golden Boi) got a little nervous when a horse to the inside started acting up, Lozano added. “The field was already in the gate and my horses started getting anxious. At the very last moment, he settled down and then when they opened the gate, we took off.
A few moments later, Golden Boi scored the knockout punch against his nine rivals, earning $453,600 for the win. The son of Favorite Cartel out of the Toast To Dash mare Logan Dash improved to three victories in four career starts.
Golden Boi crossing the wire first sparked a celebration on the east corner of the Vessels Club patio where M & G Farms had watched the race. Based in Hendersonville in North Carolina, the racing operation was enjoying its second futurity victory in as many years at Los Alamitos. Their talented sprinter Constituent won the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year.
“It is great to be here to celebrate in person,” said Johanna Montano of M & G Farms. “I’m so glad to be here with my family. Coming from a small town in North Carolina to be here in California, living the dream it has been great. I think there is a total of 16 or 17 of us in our party, including the little ones. We came about two years ago this month to meet Golden Boi. I saw him and he was just this little horse. I see him now winning this big horse race. It is insane.”
M & G Farms has been campaigning horses since 2011 and Golden Boi’s dam, Logans Dash, was one of their original racehorses. Ten years later she is the mother of a million-dollar race winner. M & G Farms was not able to be on-track to watch Constituent’s Governors’ Cup win because of the pandemic in 2020. The racing operation did not let this opportunity pass them by.
“I think we all had a good feeling about this horse,” Montano added. “From the start, we all felt super confident. With Ruben, we’ve had a lot of conversations about being prepared for everything, but we all had a really good feeling. It was a great outcome tonight. It felt like a dream. It still does. These are my closest family members, my best friends. Just getting to live this with my family, it’s the best biggest blessing that I could ever ask for.”
Zamudio, who trained Constituent to a great campaign last year, believes Golden Boi is the best racehorse he has ever trained.
“He’s a good horse around the barn, Zamudio added. “He’s great to train. I think he will do fine at 400 yards. Each time we have sent him to the track, he has gotten better and better. That is how I felt he would do. We brought him along with that focal point in mind. We wanted to take him from less to more. If you have him razor sharp in his debut race, you know, they are still babies, and a lot of things can happen. They can get a little sore on you, etc. We wanted him to show us a little more each time. When he lost in his second start (an allowance race for winners), I was not disappointed. He showed me that he could beat that caliber of horses. He made his mistakes, recovered, and almost caught up to them. He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained.”
Both Zamudio and Lozano shared how special it was to get this win on Father’s Day
“This is the best Father’s Day I have had so far in my life,” Zamudio said. “My son plays baseball and he hit a home run this morning and now I win this race. What else can I ask from life? My beautiful family is here, rooting me on. I just feel very proud to be here right now. He is in the Governor’s Cup Futurity, Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million. We will see what is next for him. I will talk to the owners.”
Lozano also loved winning on Father’s Day.
“Incredible,” Lozano said. “There are so many emotions when you win a race like this. You work all year to get to these types of races and when you get here, to win, it just feels so good. My parents are here tonight. I’ve never celebrated a win of this magnitude. To do it with my parents here, I just can’t tell you how much this means to me.”
Golden Boi was followed across the wire by In Hott Pursuit, Motiveighted, Chizum, Eye On The Sky, Run By Your Cartel, Sweet Dasha Fire, Docs Fastlane, Black Coffeee, and Hallelujah Nights.