LARC NEWS Posted: 12/11/2023 4:07:47 AM

TRANE STATION V OVERCOMES TROUBLE TO MAKE HISTORY IN THE GRADE 1 LOS ALAMITOS FUTURITY

      Valeriano Racing Stables’ Trane Station V successfully completed a unique accomplishments after winning the Grade 1, $1,785,675 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity despite breaking through the gate, having to be reloaded, and then getting bumped during the race here on Sunday night.

Having to deal with all that adversity, the impressive colt by Favorite Cartel was more of a jet than a train, as he shook off all his early trouble, took the lead about 100 yards into the Two Million and then went on to win the meet’s richest race by a half-length over Jorge Carmona’s Five Bar Supreme.

As for Trane Station V’s feat, it was the result of a dominant four-race stretch at the Orange County track in which he became the first juvenile to win both the Los Alamitos Two Million and the Grade 1 Golden State Million after posting the fastest qualifying time to both races.  

Since the inception of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in 1995, six juveniles have won the Golden State Million and the Los Alamitos Two Million (Dashing Knud in 2000, First Place Queen in 2002, Ocean Runaway in 2004, Tres Passes in 2008, J Fire Up in 2017, and Flash And Roll in 2018). And of those six, Dashing Knud, Ocean Runaway, J Fire Up, and Flash And Roll went unbeaten in those four starts (trials and final). However, none of them won the two finals after posting the fastest qualifying times to both of futurities.   

With what he did in his four starts here - four wins, the two fastest qualifying times, and the two impressive Grade 1 futurity wins - Trane Station V has certainly stationed himself in the middle of the conversation for top juvenile in the nation.

Most impressive of all is that Trane Station had every excuse not to win the Los Alamitos Two Million final. Breaking through the gate after one of the other finalists false broke through the gate, Trane Station V went back into the gate calmly, took off nicely before getting bumped hard by his inside rival. But Trane Station V recovered right away, exploded to the lead, and then kept Five Bar Supreme at bay to win the Two Million in a time of :19.739. Bred by Dr. Steve Burns of Menifee, California, Trane Station V earned $738,643 for the win to take his 2023 earnings to a nation’s best $1,754,152. Calderon, who earlier this season set a national record in earnings by a jockey, now stands at an incredible $7,149,133, which is over $2.1 million more than the previous record posted by G.R. Carter in 2008.

“It’s a dream,” said Calderon, who on Saturday piloted Flash Bak to victory in the Champion of Champions.  “I used to watch Los Alamitos when I was small before I even wanted to be a jockey. I would put the little saddle on the laundry basket and get my saddle and ride. To win both of these is a dream come true. I really wish my family was here with me right now. They mean the world to me. They mean everything to me, and I wish they were here. I’m just blessed (by) God for the opportunity to get to ride for these amazing trainers, owners and these amazing horses.”

Calderon was impressed with how Trane Station V handled his troubles tonight.

“He was good but there was a ruckus,” Calderon said. “He thought we were going, and I thought the gates had opened. I kind of pushed him but I saw that we were hanging on, so I just tried to hang on. Then, leaving the gate, he got bumped two or three times. It was hard because the one (Five Bar Supreme) was with me. I thought he was going to pass me but (Trane Station V) is an amazing horse. He got it done. Never thought I was going to be here (one day). I thought I would still be watching them from home. “

Owner Sammy Valeriano will need some room on his mantle after what transpired at Los Alamitos this weekend. The owner saw his horses win both the Champion of Champions and the Two Million in less than 24 hours.  And while Flash Bak’s win was a surprise, Trane Station V was the overwhelming favorite for the Two Million.  

““He’s a fast horse,” Valeriano said. “I don’t think he knows how fast he is. I think he’ll be the nation’s number one money earner. He’s a good one. I can’t say the best one (I've owned), but he’s a good one.”

Taylor was concerned about Trane Station V’s chances to win after seeing him break through the gate.    

““We’ve been working with the horse trying to get the horse to step forward and to leave a little bit quicker,” Taylor said. “He really wasn’t doing anything wrong. When the other horse false broke, he just went with him. He thought the gate was opening so he was really doing what we’ve been schooling him to do and step forward. To the two people beside me, my son and another gentleman there, I told them that there (was) not a high percentage (for a win) after a horse breaks through the gate because a lot of the time they lose a lot either mental or physical. They lose their punch, especially at the Grade 1 level.

“It’s never a good thing,” Taylor continued. “I don’t necessarily know who was at fault, but it almost stopped him twice. Then he had to start again. He’s had more impressive margins of wins, but when you are in this million-dollar race and you have that kind of trouble to break through and get crowded, (horses) usually aren’t good enough to overcome it. This even showed me more of the quality of the horse than what his actual race was.”

 “A lot of good horses have come down this racetrack since the inception of these programs,” Taylor added. “To be the first one to do that (the wins and the fastest times) is an honor. He also ran second in the All American Futurity going 440 and he ran second in the Rainbow Futurity. He’s set himself up for a lot of accolades. I’m just really pleased with the whole team effort.”

Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Lindolfo Diaz, the talented Five Bar Cartel gelding Five Bar Supreme earned $298,975 for running second. He’s earned $375,787 during a year in which he also won the Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass and the Wild West here.

Trained by Paul Jones for owner Jim Schlagel, Optical Illusion earned $240,616 for running third. Victor Salazar piloted the son of Seperate Interest. Lindolfo Diaz also saddled Checkn Cartel, who finished fourth while racing for the trainer’s day, J. Francisco Diaz. The Favorite Cartel filly earned $123,107 for running fourth.

Apollitical Open MRL was fifth and was followed by Unrelentless, Southern Divine, AB Wow, and Think Again Kev.

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