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Ed Burke Draws 13 Trials on Sunday

Los Alamitos kicks off $1-Million Cash Bonanza.

June 8, 2012

A full night of trials to the first leg of Los Alamitos’ version of the Triple Crown will highlight Sunday’s racing program at the Orange County oval. All 13 races on Sunday are trials to the $1,041,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and will feature top 2-year-olds Starlite Delight, Beautiful Fire and Watch Linda Ballet plus another 105 top sprinters. The horses with the 10 fastest times will move on to the Ed Burke Million final to be held on Sunday, June 24, at Los Alamitos.

The Ed Burke Million is the first of three futurities worth $1-million or more in purses at Los Alamitos in 2012. It also kicks off the track’s Los Alamitos $1-Million Cash Bonanza, which serves as the track’s Triple Crown. If any horse can win the Ed Burke Million plus the track’s two other million-dollar futurities – the Golden State Million Futurity (G1) in November and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) in December – the winning connections will receive a $1-million instant cash bonus.

Zory Kuzyk’s Beautiful Fire headlines the first race and trial of the night at 5:40 p.m. Bred by the Estate of Spencer Childers and purchased by Kuzyk at the 2011 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Beautiful Fire left observers buzzing after winning her debut by 1 ¼ lengths in a 300-yard time of :15.31 on May 12. At the time, her clocking was the fastest posted by a 2-year-old this season. Eddie Garcia, the track’s all-time leading rider in wins and stakes wins, will ride Beautiful Fire for trainer Chris O’Dell. Beautiful Fire is a full sister to stakes winner Peace Fire and is a half sister to world champion Be A Bono. She’ll start from post eight in Sunday’s opening trial.

The Walk Thru Fire filly A Walking Secret is another top runner to watch in the opener, as she arrives after posting a gutsy victory over Secretly Hot in a maiden race on April 28. A Walking Secret is extremely quick and figures to challenge Beautiful Fire for the early lead. Guillermo Morales will saddle her.

Racing for Randy Geiselman and the late Kim Kessinger, Starlite Delight is the marquee runner in the sixth race following her brilliant 3 ½-length maiden victory on May 19. The Separatist filly posted the meet’s fastest time for a 2-year-old of :15.30 while pulling away during the second half of the 300-yard race. The added 50 yards in the Ed Burke trials figure to only help Starlite Delight and her royal breeding indicates that she should love longer distances. Jockey Francisco Rubio and trainer Juan Aleman could have a big night together this evening, as they are joining forces with several impressive maiden winners on Sunday night.

Robert Williams’ Watch Linda Ballet is one such runner for Rubio and Aleman. The Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduate was a 2 ½-length winner in her maiden outing and her time of :15.35 is especially impressive because it came during the late evening hours, as opposed to the times recorded by Beautiful Fire and Starlite Delight, which came during the daylight hours. Watch Linda Ballet will start in a late trial after drawing the 11th heat on Sunday.

The talent is spread around nicely in the other 10 trials, as all but one heat (the eighth) features at least one maiden winner. The second trial is loaded with maiden winners, as Remembering Spence, Remington Park invader Beat This Chick and Mokara have all visited the Los Alamitos winner’s circle already. Beat This Chick ran in futurity trials in Oklahoma and in her first start here she posted a nice daylight victory against a field of fillies. The Ed Allred-bred Remembering Spence looks like a major candidate in this race after rallying from fourth place to post a three-quarter length victory on May 26.

Janet McKinnerney’s maiden winners Cartel Karma and Tres Especial could be prominent figures in their respective trials. A daylight winner in her first start, Cartel Karma will be in action in the third trial, while 1 ¾-length maiden winner Tres Especial will be in action in the 13th and final heat. Both are trained by Aleman and will be ridden by Rubio.

That same jockey and trainer combo will be on the side of Bon Accord when the J. Garvan Kelly, Nancy Yearsley and Vinewood Farm-owned runner headlines the fourth race. The Shazoom gelding won his maiden race by 1 ¼ lengths back on May 11, but he’ll need to be even better as this trial also features Howard Nichols’ maiden winner Jess Being Valiant and the Corona Cartel filly Sportiness Cartel.

Bonanza Racing Stables’ Super Long Straw, who broke her maiden in a trial to the Kindergarten Futurity (G2) before running sixth in the final, will take on La Presita’s maiden winner Airplane Gold in the fifth trial. Jose Flores will saddle Super Long Straw and AQHA Champion Trainer Paul Jones cares for Airplane Gold. Kindergarten finalist To Catch This Wagon will face off with the likes of Pat and Kathie Guthrie and Mike Akers’ Kat Quick and Allred’s Swindler in the seventh, while Lucky Seven Ranch’s Amore La Blue, a filly by Mr Jess Perry and out of world champion Blues Girl Too, heads the eighth race. This trial is the only one without a maiden winner, but it has a multitude of talent with runners like Tahiti Cartel, Finding Tiny Sum and Freedom Choice.

The Dashing Dude and One Dashing Eagle will square off in a tough trial that also features Arnold Gonzalez’s maiden winner Fires Blazin and maiden runner-ups Stel Redneck and Sandford, while Bonanza Racing Stables’ Kindergarten Futurity runner-up The Cartel Straw, twice an impressive winner at Los Alamitos, will face Paul Jones and Thompson Racing’s Henoshersecret and Mike Abraham’s Gold Flames On Fire in the 10th. The 11 th trial will be a matchup between Kindergarten finalists Mr Ease Cartel, who ran third in Grade 2 final, and Revv Me Up, who finished fifth. Tom Atwood and Vessels Stallion Farms’ Far Niente, who impressed with a 1 ¼-length win on May 19, will also compete in this trial.

The card to the Ed Burke Million Futurity trials will feature three Pick Four wagers. The early Pick Four will get started in the first race and the middle Pick Four will get going in the sixth race. The late Pick Four will start in the 10th race.