Vessels Maturity on Sunday

PK Fire, El Aguila Real ready to line up in Grade 1 stakes.

July 5, 2012

Fastest qualifier PK Fire and the sharp Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) winner El Aguila Real are ready for a confrontation that could have championship implications in the $250,000 Vessels Maturity (G1) on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

The Vessels Maturity winner receives an invitation to the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) and El Aguila Real already has a Champion of Champions berth because of his Winter Championship victory. Therefore, if any other horse wins the Vessels Maturity then that horse receives the bid to the 440-yard classic in December.

Alfonzo Pasquel’s PK Fire (Walk Thru Fire-Mystic Identity by Easy Jet) won last year’s El Primero del Ano Derby (G2) and turned in his best effort since that stakes win when he won his Vessels Maturity trial. The gelding opened up a clear advantage and then cruised to the length win in :19.512 for trainer Jaime Gomez.

Gomez also sends out fourth-fastest qualifier Senor Toby (Mighty Invictus-Micheles Alibi by Sir Alibi), winner of six-straight races before finishing second to El Aguila Real in the Winter Championship and their Vessels Maturity trial for owners Brad Lohr and Daniel Reynoso.

Mireya Villarreal’s El Aguila Real (Corona Czech-I Am All That by Lanes Leinster) is the sport’s third-ranked horse in the weekly AQHA Poll and could earn more credit with a win in the Vessels Maturity.

The Francisco Vallejo-trained gelding has five wins and a nose-bob loss in his Winter Championship trial in his latest six starts. He has a sensational closing charge with a long stride that helped him win the Winter Championship by three quarters of a length and his Vessels Maturity trial by a half length. His Vessels Maturity time of :19.615 was the second-fastest qualifying mark from the three trials.