Freedom Choice Leads 2 Million Field

Fastest qualifier Freedom Choice leads the way in Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

December 13, 2012

Jose and Gustavo De La Torre’s fastest-qualifier Freedom Choice tries to step up for the stable when he meets proven Grade 1 futurity horses in the $2,108,275 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

The stable’s star, probable champion juvenile One Dashing Eagle, was not eligible for the Two Million and Freedom Choice (A Regal Choice-Five Bar Molly by Dash Ta Fame) came through in the 13 trials on November 25. The gelding was making just his third career start and his first start since qualifying to the Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) in June (he did not run back in the finals). He responded with a very impressive 2 1/4-length victory, and his time of :19.638 for 400 yards was the top mark from the trials to the year’s final Grade 1 futurity.

Trained by Jose De La Torre, Freedom Choice showed promise before his layoff. After racing to a very troubled fifth-place finish in a Los Alamitos maiden race, he won his Ed Burke trial by a length with a strong finish.

Freedom Choice will be facing the strongest competition of his career in the Two Million.

Jimmy and Marilyn Harrel’s Aha Moment (No Secrets Here-Thrill And Grace by Mr Jess Perry) finished third behind One Dashing Eagle in the $2.4 million All American Futurity (G1) on Labor Day and was then given a fall breather by trainer Paul Jones to point at the Two Million. He made his return in the Two Million trials and responded with a late-charging length win. He figures to improve with the Two Million since it is his second start after the fall rest. His time of :19.829 was the sixth-fastest qualifying mark.

Bobby Cox’s homebred The August Heat (Corona Cartel-Jess Genuine by Mr Jess Perry) has developed this fall after being moved up to third place in the Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) through a disqualification and then racing to the second-fastest qualifying time to the Los Alamitos Two Million.

The August Heat, trained by Jaime Gomez, overcame a bump at the start of his Two Million trial and quickly put daylight on his rivals to win by 1 1/2 lengths in :19.705.

Tom Atwood and Vessels Stallion Farm’s Far Niente (FDD Dynasty-Shahayla by Chicks Beduino) has won three of his latest four starts with a third-place finish in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2). After that third-place finish, he drew into a deep Two Million trial and scored a half length win over Fires Blazin (Walk Thru Fire-Thatsa Blazin Chick by Chicks A Blazin) in :19.778 for trainer John Wells.

Arnold Gonzalez’s Fires Blazin made the Two Million finals with that second-place finish. He was second behind One Dashing Eagle in the Ed Burke Million and fifth behind that rival in the Golden State Million, his start before the Two Million trials.

The Estate of Kim Kessinger’s Seperate Interest (Separatist-A Delightful Legacy by First Down Dash) should be dangerous after finishing second behind One Dashing Eagle in the Golden State Million and then winning his Los Alamitos Two Million trial as the 2-5 favorite. The Mike Casselman-trained colt scored by 1 1/4 lengths in his trial despite lugging in, and his time of :19.821 is the fifth-fastest qualifying time.