10/06/2010 1:54PM

First Down Illusion still in bonus hunt

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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – This will not be a typical autumn for 2-year-old Quarter Horse racing at Los Alamitos.

First Down Illusion, who won the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June, could finish only third to The Goodbye Kisser in the $425,600 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders’ Futurity last Saturday night.

Despite the loss, First Down Illusion is still eligible to claim a $1 million bonus if he wins the Golden State Million Futurity on Oct. 29 and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Dec. 10, a sweep of the track’s three major futurities that has never been accomplished. The next leg of those races is the Golden State Million trials on Oct. 15.

One horse who will not be in those races is The Goodbye Kisser. She was not made eligible earlier this year by owner Marcelo Jorge of Sao Paulo, Brazil when payments were due. Consequently, trainer Paul Jones is considering starting The Goodbye Kisser in the AQHA Juvenile Challenge at Fair Grounds on Nov. 19.

“We’ll need to figure out a schedule pretty soon,” said Jones, the nation’s leading trainer by money earnings. “She’s my best 2-year-old at Los Alamitos.”

Jorge, 43, runs a Quarter Horse sale and bloodstock company in Brazil. The Goodbye Kisser, a filly he purchased for $32,000 at the Heritage Place yearling sale in Oklahoma City in 2009, has now won 5 of 6 starts and $202,358.

In the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity, The Goodbye Kisser ran 350 yards in a stakes-record time of 17.21 seconds, finishing a half-length in front of Natalias Got Moves. First Down Illusion finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Natalias Got Moves.

The Goodbye Kisser was ridden by Francisco Rubio, who picked up the ride after regular rider Carlos Huerta suffered a broken clavicle in a spill on Sept. 24.

Vessels farm gets a winner

In the $153,700 PCQHRA Breeders Derby on Oct. 1, Whole Lot of Karma gave Vessels Stallion Farm its first stakes win since the death of farm owner Scoop Vessels in a plane crash in August.

Scoop Vessels’s widow, Bonnie, and son Kash attended the PCQHRA Derby.

Whole Lot of Karma, co-owned by Bud Feldkamp and bred by Vessels, finished a half-length in front of the 1-5 favorite Headturner, and ran 400 yards in 19.40 seconds.

Whole Lot of Karma, trained by Adan Farias, has won 5 of 13 starts and $108,265.