Short Leash Wins Los Al Claiming Futurity

Strong break makes big difference for TR Dasher gelding.

June 17, 2012

Cesar E. Muniz’s Short Leash did not have much room for error if he wanted to contend in the $56,000 Los Alamitos Claiming Futurity Stakes on Saturday night. After all, the TR Dasher gelding needed a huge finish in the trials to the Claiming Futurity two weeks ago just to make the final after breaking inward from post number one.

Short Leash did not have to worry about being behind this time around as he broke with the early leader Barrel Babe despite breaking inward from the outside post 10. On trial night, Short Leash found himself in sixth-place at the start, but this time around he was second during the early going and 100 yards into the race Short Leash took the lead. His leash got a few inches longer with each stride and halfway through the race he had a neck on the fast closing Bullet In The Gun. The two dueled from there, but in the end Short Leash held on to score a head victory over his gray rival.

“I was worried at the start because I didn’t see him with the leaders,” Muniz said. “He’s a very active horse. He was very active tonight in the paddock. What he did tonight is a pleasant surprise. At the midway point of the race that’s when I started seeing that he was coming on strong. Everything went great. He battled and was all heart. I’m thrilled. This is only his second career start. In his first outing he broke from the rail and this time he went to the outside post. I thought the extra room out there would help him.”

Francisco Rubio piloted Short Leash for trainer Jose Flores in the Claiming Futurity final. He covered the 350 yards in :17.777 while earning $23,520 for his first win ever, which is not considered an official stakes win. Flores also saddled the winner of the Los Alamitos Maiden Futurity earlier this year with Kool Million. The Claiming Futurity and Maiden Futurity are two of the track’s newest races.

Out of the Separatist broodmare Strict, Short Leash was one of six horses in the Claiming Futurity that were each claimed for $12,500 out of the trials. Bred and originally raced by Ed Allred, Short Leash was first trained by Scott Willoughby before moving to Flores’ barn after being claimed in the trials. Short Leash paid $6.80 for the win.

Owned by Paul Jones, James Azevedo and Boyles Family Trust, Bullet In The Gun earned $9,520 for his runner-up effort. The flashy gray sired by Stel Corona is from a family of horses that has been good to the owners over the years.

“He is a blood brother to (champion) Foose,” said Jones, who also trains Bullet In The Gun. “He is from the same sire as Foose and his mother Summertime Dash is a full sister to Foose’s mother Summertime Quickie. Azevedo and Boyles Family Trust also have High School Secrets running in next week’s Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and he is out Summertime High, who is the mother of both Summertime Dash and Summertime Quickie. This has been some family of horses over the years. A lot of nice horses have come out of this family. We love these horses and both Bullet In The Gun and High School Secrets were raised at our ranch. We are very proud of them.”

“It looked like Bullet In The Gun stumbled out of there,” Jones added. “It looked like he lost his hind legs. After that slow break he had to make up a lot of ground and he almost did. He came back a lot and ran a nice race. We are very proud of him. We are sad that we didn’t win this race, but it was great to see him run such a nice race. You can’t claim these horses out of the final so we still get to keep him. He’s in the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) and we are looking forward to running him in those trials.”

Ramon Sanchez piloted Bullet In The Gun.

Roberto Lopez’s Knows Best earned $5,720 for finishing third, while S.A.M. Ranch LLC’s Barrel Babe crossed the wire fourth to earn $3,920. Lavish Susan, Sassy Cartel, Iba Dream Away, Headlining, Taladro Czeck and Check the Dasher completed the field.