Five Bar Cartel Prepares For Return

Leading 2-year-old returns to contest Golden State Million Futurity trials.

Press Release
October 18, 2013

When San Gregorio Racing Stables, Inc’s Five Bar Cartel steps on the track for his trial to the $1,044,700 Golden State Million Futurity (G1), the unbeaten colt by the legendary Corona Cartel will know exactly how fast he’ll need to run in order to keep his dream alive of winning the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza Sunday at the Orange County track. That’s because Five Bar Cartel will be in action in the 11th and final trial of the evening, leaving him with a target time to aim for as he looks to qualify to the second leg of the track’s version of the Triple Crown.

Ridden by Saul Ramirez for trainer Danny Montes, Five Bar Cartel won the first leg of Los Alamitos’ Triple Crown when he scored a nose victory in the $1,071,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1). If he can qualify to the Grade 1 Golden State Million final, he’ll be one step closer to becoming the first horse ever to win the track’s Triple Crown. The $1 million Cash Bonanza consists of the Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and the December 15th Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. No horse has ever claimed the $1 million for sweeping the Triple Crown races.  

Ninety horses will be in action during Sunday’s full night of trials to the Golden State Million for 2-year-olds. Each of the 11 trials will be contested at 400 yards with the 10 fastest times advancing to the Golden State final to be held on Sunday, November 3. The action packed program will get underway at 5:40 p.m. (Pacific).

Bred by Esmeralda Flores, Five Bar Cartel is out of the Grade 1 stakes winning mare and now blue-hen broodmare Five Bar Molly. A winner in his first three career starts, Five Bar Cartel posted an easy daylight victory in his Ed Burke Million trial before edging the hard charging Unchangeable to the wire by the narrowest of margins. Following his Ed Burke victory on June 23, Five Bar Cartel took time off, all in an effort to best prepare him for the Golden State Million trials.

“I think he’ll be coming back ready and he’s been training better now than before the Ed Burke,” Montes said. “He’s training better because we haven’t had to deal with the little issues that he had earlier this year like his sore shins. He had an amazing workout (350 yard gate drill on September 27) and came back in great shape. (Jockey) Saul Ramirez flew in for that workout and he never had to push him. The horse worked so fast with a :17.70 drill and he was never asked in that drill. I was a little worried because he worked so fast. We took some x-rays and fortunately the x-rays came back clean. He has been doing great. He’s ready.” 

The more than 100 days in between starts have also done wonders for Five Bar Cartel’s mind according to his trainer.

“He has always been a quiet horse,” he said. “He used to walk up to the track and back like he was going on a trail ride. Now right after we tack him up, he starts prancing and feeling good. He’s on his toes now when he’s on the track. He’s figured it out.”

And what does the trainer think of having to wait until the final heat of the night?

“Being in the last trial doesn’t bother me at all,” Montes said. “Like I told his owner (Jorge Carmona), I was never worried about where he drew or in which trial he would race because we have a good horse and he has proven that he is capable of doing special things. He’s raced great all of the time and hopefully he’ll continue to do that. Hopefully luck is on our side on trial night.”  

Saul Ramirez will pilot Five Bar Cartel from post number two in the nightcap.

The 11th trial will feature several other standouts including Paul Jones and Thompson Racing’s Foose Is Loose, who is a two-time major futurity finalist, and Vessels Stallion Farm LLC’s undefeated No Secrets Here filly Bearing A Secret. Ruidoso Futurity finalist Strategic Weapon will also compete in this trial while making his second start at Los Alamitos. 

The lineup for the first heat of the evening will be headed by Kindergarten and Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Docs First Fire, a winner of nearly $75,000 in his racing career for owners Dutch Masters III and Jaime Gomez. Joining Docs First Fire in the first trial will be Ronald Hartley’s Moonist, the runner-up in the $380,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity on July 27, and Alberto Valdes’ Ronnas Runner, who has hit the board in three of four career starts.

Abigail Kawananakoa’s Spirit Leader leads the way in the second trial of the night. The Texas-bred Corona Cartel colt Spirit Leader won his racing debut at Los Alamitos on May 10 and has since posted two additional good efforts. He won his trial to the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and was a solid fourth to eventual All American Futurity finalist Reagal Eagle in their trial to the Labor Day futurity. Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Foose Cash SR will headline the third trial for the connections of La Presita LLC, Jose and Gustavo De La Torre and San Gregorio Racing Stables. The nation’s leading owner, Reliance Ranches LLC, will be represented in the third trial by Shades Of Blues Girl.

Julio Encinas, Robert Parra and Paul Penuelas’ Sis Is Hot, a Walk Thru Fire filly from the family of stakes winners Hard Hitting and Hot Hitter, will be in action in the fourth trial of the night. She’ll take a group headed by Kindergarten Futurity finalist Shaded Secrets and Governor’s Cup Futurity and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist More Than Wild.

Hector Hernandez’s Tres Pescado is one of the horses to watch in a solid fifth trial that will also feature impressive maiden winner Ms Perry and Rainbow Futurity finalist BP Its My Policy. Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Turbulent Times and Juniors Quarter Horses Harrisburg will see action in against Jesus Garcia’s impressive maiden winner Husker Cartel in a solid trial number six.

Eddie Willis will saddle Valeriano Racing Stables LLC’s Stroller in trial number seven against the likes of the Mike Casselman-trained Babe On Fire, who has hit the board in a couple of major futurity trials this year. The highly regarded Mistic Rose, the winner of the Ed Burke Memorial Juvenile earlier this year, will headline the eighth trial against a tremendous field that includes the undefeated One Slick Cartel, Dash For Cash Futurity finalist Bye Bye Eagle Eye and the royally bred Social Budderfly. Trial number nine is headed by a trio of major futurity finalists in the form of Governor’s Cup Futurity qualifier Nefertity and Ed Burke Million Futurity runner Fire Up Willie. Kindergarten Futurity finalist Duke Of Carter will also race in this trial.

Stanley Watkins’ PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist Jiffy James is the big name in trial number 10 and will face Kindergarten Futurity trial winner Timothee and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity trial winner Shes Fast And Flys.