GOVERNOR’S CUP DERBY, DEBUTANTE HEADLINE SECOND NIGHT OF
CALIFORNIA BREEDERS CHAMPIONS WEEKEND
The second night of California Breeders Champions Weekend takes place on Sunday at Los Alamitos withe nine-race program featuring the Restricted Grade 2, $225,000 Governor's Cup Derby, the $25,000 Debutante Stake, the $24,00 Freshman Stakes and a pair of trials to the $50,500 Los Alamitos Claiming Futurity.
Ten sophomores will be in action in the Governor's Cup Derby at 400 yards led by the co-fastest qualifiers Future Version and Phoebes Special Baby, both strong trial winners on July 9. Owned by Rojas Racing and Juan H. Moya, Future Version is making his stakes debut following a solid win over two-time Grade 1 finalist BF Lizzierageous in the trials. Sired by Favorite Cartel and out of Make Over, Future Version has won both of his 2023 outings and his record as juvenile include a trial to the Governor's Cup Futurity and a runner-up finish to eventual winner Party Politics in their trial to the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity. Cruz Mendez gets the call on Future Version from post number three for trainer Jose Flores.
The most accomplished runner in this field is George and Ruben Villalobos' Required First (right), a three-time winner and earner of $150,229. The colt by the legendary First Down Dash and out of the Villalobos' brilliant broodmare No Tools Required, Required First was second in last year's Governor's Cup Futurity and qualified to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. In the Two Million, Required First was among the early leaders in the race while facing a tremendous field that included 2022 AQHA champions Cyber Attack and Hes Judgeandjury. Required First made his sophomore debut with a gate to wire victory in the Governor's Cup Derby trials.
Trainer Paul Jones will saddle a strong trio in the Governor's Cup Derby. A three-time winner in this race, Jones will send out Phoebes Special Baby (left), BF Lizzierageous, and Terrific Phoenix in his bid to match John Cooper's stakes record of four Governor's Cup Derby wins. Parsons Ranch's Phoebes Baby Girl equaled Favorite Version's winning time in the trials, rallying in the final 100 yards to win by a neck. Henry Reynoso Lopez, who piloted all three of Jones' qualifiers, sticks aboard the filly by Favorite Cartel out of the AQHA champion A Political Lady. Parsons Family Limited Partnership's Terrific Phoenix was second in his heat when finishing a neck behind Required First. From the great family of the broodmare Terrific Energy, Terrific Phoenix possesses the potent late running ability often associated with his breeding. Kevin Birrell's homebred BF Lizzierageous completes Jones' trio, and she comes in as the most experienced stakes performer among the three. As a juvenile, the Utah-bred filly by Foose qualified to the Governor's Cup Futurity and earlier this year made the Los Alamitos Oaks after running third to the strong invader Candys Special Power.
The field will also feature three-time graded stakes finalist Turbeau and Governor's Cup Futurity finalist Up For Everything, plus the strong sophomores La Tarahumara Fire, Escalated, and Don Lazaro.
The first stakes race on the card is the Freshman Stakes at 350 yards in race five. A trio of Allred-breds head the field led by CD Horses, Jose Flores and Moya's Verbosity, who won his trial to the Governor's Cup Futurity three weeks ago. Juniors Quarter Horses' Ready For It, who had a tough trip when fifth in his Governor's Cup trial, and the undefeated So Can I are the other two Allred-breds in this race. Steve Burns' Winners Share, who ran second in his Governor's Cup trial, and the maiden Beduinos Favorite will complete the field.
Race six is the Debutante Stakes for sophomore fillies led by Allred's Dashing Folly Handicap winner Remember Her. She's been a model of consistency against quality opposition in her career, as she's finished in the money in 10 of her 12 career starts while racing in five stakes events since last November. Scott Willoughby trains the Kiddy UP filly. Trainer Elena Andrade will saddle Heather Denise and Corona Rose in this event, while the Burns and Mike Casselman connection will be represented by recent allowance winner Black Mesa, a filly by Favorite Cartel out of the productive mare Tahma Hawk. Oscar Parra’s Fire Wall, a solid performance throughout her career, will complete the field.
Eighteen juveniles will compete in a pair of trials to the Los Alamitos Claiming Futurity. Horses are not eligible to be claimed in the trials, but horses will be eligible to be claimed for $16,000 in the final three weeks from now. Les and Kim Sweeting’s Fiddle Faddle Foose, who ran third in her Governor’s Cup trial, will head the opening heat in race seven, while Dutch Masters III’s Cloud Burst and the Parsons Family’s Dynaste, both winners in their racing debuts, will be in action in the other heat, which is race number eight.