FUTURE VERSION DOMINATES RUNNING OF GOVERNOR’S CUP DERBY AT LOS ALAMITOS
The future is bright for Rojas Racing and Juan Humberto Moya’s Future Version based on his totally dominant performance in winning the Restricted Grade 2, $185,000 Governor’s Cup Derby on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Future Version took a big lead right from the start and was never challenged on the way to two length victory in the 400-yard feature on the second night of California Breeders Champions Weekend. The Ed Allred-bred gelding by Favorite Cartel out of Make Over established a 1 ¼ length lead after the first 100 yards and from there his lead only increased as he covered the distance in :19.754.
A $73,000 purchase at the 2021 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Future Version has now won all three of his starts this year after winning once from seven starts during his juvenile campaign in 2022. A half-brother to four-time stakes winner New Look, Future Version earned $75,600 for the win to take his career earnings to $99,880.
“He struggled concentrating as a 2-year-old,” co-owner Diego Rojas said of Future Version. “He is three for three as a 3-year-old and we are thrilled with this victory. My partner Juan Moya is not here tonight, but he must be equally thrilled with this win. We’ve been hoping for a win like this one. We are thankful for trainer Jose Flores, jockey Cruz Mendez and the entire team.
“I can’t put a price on sharing a moment like this with my family,” added Rojas, who made the trip to Los Alamitos with his wife Aarika and his parents from Fresno, California. “I’m in this sport because of my family and I’m sure this moment is not only a special memory for me but also a great memory for them as well. My father-in-law (Antonio Romero) is the one that was first involved in racing. When I met my wife, he was already involved with horses and from there I started enjoying the sport. I’m now in my fourth year in the industry and I feel blessed to win a race of this caliber. It’s an honor to do it at this racetrack, which has so much history, and what a feeling to take winning photos with a horse who ran such a spectacular race.”
Flores, meanwhile, enjoyed his first training in the Governor’s Cup Derby.
“He did everything right,” the trainer said. “He accelerated about 50 yards out of there and never looked back. We had a lot of problems with him as a 2-year-old and luckily, he’s becoming the kind of horse that I knew he could be. We’re hoping he stays sound for the Los Alamitos Super Derby and the other races that are coming. The sky is the limit for him.”
Gildardo Garcia’s homebred Don Lazaro ran a tremendous race of his own at 24-1 odds from post number 10, making up a lot of ground in the final 100 yards to move up from seventh to finish second. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Adan Farias, Don Lazaro earned $30,600 for his runner-up finish. The son of Favorite Cartel is out of the mare Secretly Hot, who won the Governor’s Cup Futurity for Garcia back in 2012.
Kevin Birrell’s BF Lizzierageous earned $21,800 for her third-place finish at 19-1 odds. Victor Salazar piloted the Foose filly for trainer Paul Jones. The top three finishers were followed across the wire by Phoebes Baby Girl, Up For Everything, Terrific Phoenix, Turbeau, La Tarahumara Fire, Required First, and Escalated.