The Ocean King Rules Los Al Maiden Trials

The Maryland-bred half brother to world champion Wave Carver will be one of the favorites in the February 23 final.

Press Release
February 2, 2014

Racing for the partnership of Lucas Racing Inc., Vaughn Cook, Hugo Barron Sierra and Ron and Denise VanAmburgh, the royally bred sprinter The Ocean King posted his second eye-catching win in a row while posting the fastest qualifying time to the $112,000 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on Saturday night.

Ridden by Oscar Peinado for champion trainer Paul Jones, The Ocean King covered the 350-yards in a meet’s best :17.358 while crossing the wire three-quarter lengths ahead of second-fastest qualifier Here O Beduino. The Ocean King had previously broken his maiden with a terrific length victory on December 27. Horses are eligible to compete in the Maiden Stakes trials if they were still maidens as of December 1, 2013. The Maiden Stakes final, which is not an official stakes, will be held on Sunday, February 23.

The Ocean King reigned supreme on trial night and the Maryland-bred has the bloodlines that could make him a sophomore to watch this season. Sired by leading living sire Corona Cartel, the gray colt was bred by 2004 champion breeder Dan Lucas. Out of Lucas’ 2005 champion broodmare Runaway Wave, The Ocean King is a half brother to world champion Wave Carver and three-time champion Ocean Runaway. The Ocean King was picking up his second victory in five starts.

“We bought him as a 2-year-old at the Heritage Place Winter Sale last year,” said Ron VanAmburgh. “We liked so many things about him. He’s the first Corona Cartel out of Runaway Wave, plus he’s a gray Corona Cartel. We talked to Vaughn Cook about a partnership with us and Hugo Barron and we knew we wanted to be involved with Dan Lucas. After we bought him for $67,000 we must have had 10 people wanting to get into the partnership, but we decided to keep it how we had it. It’s a nice group of owners.”

The Ocean King began preparations for his debut with a pair of solid :12.30 workouts at 220 yards on March 23 and April 6, but a setback halted the plans.

“Paul told us that he was ahead of the curve as far as his 2-year-olds were concerned and he was training great,” VanAmburgh added. “Unfortunately, he suffered a stress fractured in his tibia and that set him back.”

The Ocean King did not make his racing debut until a fifth-place finish against maiden foes on September 27. He returned with a second-place finish against maidens on October 13 before running fourth in a trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) against the race’s eventual winner Foose Cash SR.

“The trials came too quick for The Ocean King,” he continued. “He ran great in his next race, but it wasn’t until tonight before this race that Paul said that he thought he really had a racehorse.”

“We always hoped that he would blossom,” Denise VanAmburgh added. “Our horses, like A Tempting Dash and Not A Full Moon, have done their best as 3-year-olds. Hopefully he does the same thing.”

Owned and bred by Cynthia Cruz and trained by Roberto Dominguez, Here O Beduino finished with the second fastest time of :17.481 after following The Ocean King home. Ridden by Abel Ramirez, the son of No Secrets Here was also impressive in his previous start at Los Alamitos when breaking his maiden by daylight on December 13. Here O Beduino’s mother is Keen O Beduino, who was a winner at Los Alamitos as a 2-year-old in 2006.

Double Bar S Ranch’s Whos Got The Look won the first of five trials on the night on the way to posting the third-fastest qualifying time of :17.489. Ridden by champion jockey Cody Jensen and saddled by Jones, Whos Got The Look won by a half-length while enjoying her first victory in four career starts.

“She blew away from there,” Jensen said. “She ran to perfection and did the job.”

“She’s a full sister to Rieda Hay Worth,” said Jones, referring to the third-place finisher in the 2008 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G1). “(Whos Got The Look) did everything right. She needed experience and some time to come into herself. It was just a matter of time until she got it together in a race.”

LEMA Racing Stable’s Another Oatie won the final trial of the night to post the fourth fastest time of :17.504. The gelding was making his first start since competing in the $35,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational (R), which serves as the Two Million consolation race. In his two previous starts he was third in a trial to the Two Million and Golden State Million Futurity. Raul Valenzuela piloted Another Oatie.

“He ran against (Rainbow Futurity winner) Ms First Prize Rose in the Two Million trial,” trainer Juan Aleman noted. “He’s always showed talent and he almost qualified to the Two Million. He’s well bred and is a brother of (2011 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner) Oatman, who was a really good horse.”

Felix Gonzalez’s Snitchy, a full brother of two-time Grade 1 winner Snitcher, had the biggest margin of victory of the night after crossing wire 1 ½ lengths ahead of the field in the fourth trial. With Valenzuela aboard, Snitchy covered the distance in :17.543 – the fifth-fastest qualifying time. Jesse Godinez saddled the gelding by TR Dasher.

The complete list of qualifiers to the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes is as follows: The Ocean King (:17.358), Here O Beduino (:17.481), Whos Got The Look (:17.489), Another Oatie (:17.504), Snitchy (:17.543), Brighterthanthesun (:17.544), Separate Jeff (:17.55), Strategic Weapon (:17.551), Foose Down Dash (:17.576), and Swingin Eagle (:17.586).

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