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Top Juveniles Ready for 2 Million

Major futurity winners to compete in Los Alamitos’ richest race.

December 14, 2013

Led by a trio of major stakes winners, 10 top juveniles will compete in California’s richest Quarter Horse race, the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) to be held as Sunday’s ninth race. First post time is 5:25 p.m.

PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) winner Viva Mi Corazon, Rainbow Futurity (G1) winner Ms First Prize Rose and Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) winner Five Bar Cartel are among the talented 2-year-olds racing in the 400-yard Two Million. The purse is $1,989,525 with the winner earning $804,940 for traveling the required distance in probably 20 seconds or less.

Racing for Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches LLC, Viva Mi Corazon posted the fastest qualifying time on trial night and is one of the three talented futurity winners racing in the Two Million. The son of First Down Dash won the $435,000 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity at Los Alamitos and is unbeaten in three local starts. Trey Wood will saddle Viva Mi Corazon, who is one of three horses that Trotter owns in this year’s Two Million. In fact, Wood trains all three horses racing for Trotter and Burnett Ranches in this rich event. Trotter is also partners with Burnett Ranches on Rainbow Futurity Ms First Prize Rose, who was tremendous when qualifying to the Two Million with the second-fastest qualifying time on trial night. Ricky Ramirez piloted the Corona Cartel filly to a three-quarter length victory on trial night. She’s won four of five career starts.

Trotter is the sole owner of third fastest qualifier Dash Through Fire, a Walk Thru Fire filly that if she wins the Two Million would have done it having made only three starts in 2013. To be ridden by Roy Baldillez, Dash Through Fire is the wild card in this event, as her connections believe she has tremendous potential to improve. Trotter campaigned her mother, Dash Back Perry, who won the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap at Los Alamitos.

“She’s still a little green, she (gets) in front and then (starts) running all over the place,” Wood said. “She’s a big filly. She looks more like a big old gelding. She had some tendon problems earlier in the year so they back off from her. She’s getting better and better each day.”

Trotter and Burnett Ranches LLC won the Los Alamitos Two Million with the champion and now leading sire One Famous Eagle in 2007. Bred by Bob and Jerry Gaston, Viva Mi Corazon will start from post number five. Viva Mi Corazon will try to become the first PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity winner to also win the Two Million.

“He ran two big races in the PCQHRA Breeders’ series,” Jensen said. “He ran great in the trials, but then he ran better in the final than in the trials and he ran better (in the trials) than he did in the PCQHRA Breeders’ final. He ran better, bigger and stronger. He is doing everything better each time.”

The Grade 1-winning filly Ms First Prize Rose is an Oklahoma-bred filly out of the Heritage Place Futurity (G1) and Remington Park Derby (G1) winner First Carolina. She’ll look to become the first Rainbow Futurity winner to win the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.”

“(Ms First Prize Rose) makes no mistakes,” said jockey Ricky Ramirez. “She ran great, just like we expected her to do.”

“She’s one of my favorites,” Wood added. “She has lots and lots of class.”

San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Five Bar Cartel is the other major futurity winner in the Two Million field. Bred by Esmeralda Flores, the colt by Corona Cartel won the $1,111,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity and also ran in the $1,045,000 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) to make him the only horse to race in all three of this year’s million-dollar futurities. He posted a solid half-length victory in the trials and will be ridden by Saul Ramirez Jr.

“He ran his race (on trial night) and did what he was supposed to do,” said Jorge Carmona of San Gregorio Racing Stables. “He ran confidently and did his job. He’s very professional. If we have some luck then I feel we have a good chance in the final.”

Trainer Jose Flores will look to win the Two Million for the second year in row when he saddles fourth-fastest qualifier Sis Is Hot for owners Julio Encinas, Robert Parra and Paul Penuelas. Also sired by Walk Thru Fire, Sis Is Hot ran second to Ms First Prize Rose in the trials and her trainer believes that her best race is yet to come.

“She’s been improving,” said Flores. “(Sis Is Hot) is not the biggest thing in the world, but she’s all heart. She has great pedigree as a sister to stakes winners like Hard Hitting and Hot Hitter.”

Bred by Anselmo Aguilar and racing for the partnership of La Presita LLC, Jose and Gustavo De La Torre and San Gregorio Racing Stable, Foose Cash Sr was one of the most impressive trial winners after coming away victorious by 1 ¼ lengths. The Foose gelding out of the Takin On The Cash mare Takin Some Gold, Foose Cash Sr raced in the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) earlier this year. To be ridden by Francisco Rubio, he is one of four runners racing out of the barn of trainer Jose De La Torre.

“He had been a ‘trouble’ horse until the trials,” said De La Torre. “(In the trials) it was his second time as a gelding. He’s now more focused on racing.”

Golden State Million Futurity finalists A Corona Sunset and Highest Fire and rising star Collin The Shots are the other three sprinters from the De La Torre barn. Racing for John Haagsma and Gustavo and Jose De La Torre, A Corona Sunset won his Golden State Million and Two Million trials and he’ll be ridden by Ramon Sanchez. Alberto Valdes’ Highest Fire finished fourth in the Golden State Million and finished powerfully to run third in his trial. The colt by Corona Cartel is also out of champion Higher Fire, who finished second in the Two Million in her racing career.

Santos Montemayor’s Collin The Shots will have the services of jockey Eduardo Nicasio, who returns aboard the TR Dasher gelding. Collin The Shots won the 14th and final trial of the night and was the only horse to qualify from the final seven trials. The field will be completed by Rancho El Cabresto’s Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Chalalita, who finished second to Viva Mi Corazon and just ahead of Highest Fire in the seventh trial. The filly is by Walk Thru Fire and out of the multiple stakes winner Chalala. Juan Aleman will saddle Chalalita, who’ll be ridden by Carlos Huerta.

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The sire Corona Cartel will be represented by four horses in the Two Million. This marks the 13th straight year that the sport’s leading living sire has sired a qualifier to the Two Million. He’s sired multiple qualifiers in seven of those 13 years. All-time leading sire First Down Dash is the sire of Viva Mi Corazon in this year’s final, but he appears at least once in the pedigree of all 10 qualifiers. Mr Jess Perry is the maternal grandsire of the three fastest qualifiers (Viva Mi Corazon, Ms First Prize Rose and Dash Through Fire. Walk Thru Fire is the sire of qualifiers Dash Through Fire, Sis Is Hot and Chalalita and the maternal grandsire of Highest Fire.