10/27/2010 11:43AM

Flying Fig just needs repeat of last in Golden State Million


The ease in which Flying Fig won a division of the Golden State Million Futurity time trials on Oct. 15, and became the fastest qualifier for Friday’s $1,230,450 final at Los Alamitos, left veteran trainer Dennis Ekins stunned.

“I thought she’d run really well, but not to run that fast and post that kind of race,” said.

Flying Fig ran 400 yards in 19.28 seconds, a time that was .018 of a second quicker than second-fastest qualifier, One Sweet Jess. Owned by Pete Parrella’s Legacy Ranch, Flying Fig will be favored in the 10-runner final and has recovered sufficiently from the trial to give Ekins hope that she can duplicate the performance on Friday.

“She pulled up fabulous,” he said. “She’s been to the track several times since her race. She’s been into her feed tub. We took her to the track [Tuesday] and she went well. Alex Bautista, her jockey, took her. She stood in the gate and jogged around the racetrack, and went a little more in than five-eighths. We’ll probably take her back to the track on Thursday and that will be it.”

Flying Fig, by Corona Cartel, is the only filly in the Golden State Million Futurity, and is starting in her second seven-figure race of the year, having finished second to First Down Illusion in the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June. First Down Illusion did not qualify for the Golden State Million Futurity.

In the trials, Flying Fig won by 2 1/4 lengths over Feature My Corona, another qualifier for the final. Bautista had Flying Fig away well and in front by more than a length halfway through the race.

“It’s always hard to expect that from the 2-year-olds in the trials with such tough company,” Ekins said. “She’d had good workouts prior to [the race] and she looked like she was coming to the race in good shape.”

The biggest threats to Flying Fig appear to be he Ruidoso invader Thru the Fire, a winner of four straight races for trainer Eddie Willis; Hot Hitter, the winner of the Governor’s Cup Futurity at Los Alamitos in July; and One Sweet Jess.

Ekins is seeking his biggest win on Friday since Ocean Runaway won the $500,000 Champion of Champions in 2005, the year he was champion 3-year-old colt. Ocean Runaway died at stud in Texas last year.