10/13/2010 12:24PM

A dozen heats devoted to Golden State Million


It’s all about the numbers at Los Alamitos on Friday night.

The 12-race program is dedicated to time trials for the Golden State Million Futurity over 400 yards. The 10 fastest qualifying times, regardless of finishing positions, earn berths in the final on Oct. 29. For bettors, there is a built-in challenge of chasing a pick six carryover of $32,332, a high sum for Los Alamitos.

The Golden State Million is the second of three seven-figure futurities run annually at Los Alamitos, preceded by the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June and followed by the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in December.

A sweep of the three races, which has never been accomplished, would be worth $1 million to the winning owner. This year, the only horse eligible is First Down Illusion, who starts in the ninth race on Friday. He is one of 29 horses starting in the trials for trainer Adan Farias.

In past years, most Ed Burke winners have been rested, or raced sparingly, in late summer and early fall to better prepare for the two late-season futurities. Farias and owners Ross and David Hinkins of Utah took a different approach, starting First Down Illusion in the trials and final of the Oct. 2 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders’ Futurity, where he finished third as the 9-5 favorite.

First Down Illusion needs a final time on Friday that is quicker than at least 96 of the other 105 qualifiers.

Nearly every trial has a stakes winners or stakes-placed runner.

The third division drew Flying Fig and Personal Glory, second and third in the Ed Burke. Hot Hitter, the winner of the Governor’s Cup Futurity in July, will be favored in the sixth division. A race later, West Coast Hawk, who won the season’s first futurity, the Kindergarten in May, starts against seven rivals.

There is an influx of runners from Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, since that track’s season ended on Labor Day. There are four starters who won divisions of the All American Futurity trials on Aug. 19 but did not earn berths into the final – Pk Fire in the first, Motorcity Madman in the fourth, Ocean Bound in the ninth, and Thru the Fire in the 10th. The 12th race includes Classy Nicole, who was fourth in the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in July.