07/28/2008 12:00AM

Hard Hitting wins easily


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - Hard Hitting set the fastest qualifying time of 17.36 seconds in the 350-yard trials for the Governor's Cup Futurity at Los Alamitos on July 12. He needed 17.35 seconds to win the $495,000 final Saturday, scoring his first stakes win.

Ridden by Cesar DeAlba, Hard Hitting ($4.60) led throughout, winning by a length over Jimmy Delivers. Blue Piranha, a 31-1 outsider, finished third in the field of eight 2-year-old Quarter Horses.

The Governor's Cup Futurity was the most lucrative event on a 13-race program for statebreds.

Hard Hitting broke well, accelerated away from his rivals after a few strides, and was never challenged. Trained by Chuck Treece, Hard Hitting has won 2 of 4 starts and $212,570. A colt, Hard Hitting will be pointed for the Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos in November, Treece said.

Earlier in the program, Ten Oclock Scholar ($10.60) won his 2008 debut in the $165,650 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship for older horses. Trained by Dan Francisco and ridden by Raul Ramirez Jr., Ten Oclock Scholar ran 400 yards in 19.44 seconds, finishing a neck in front of Not a Full Moon. Frankie Shoots, the even-money favorite, was third in the field of 10.

Ten Oclock Scholar is owned by Ed Allred and Tom Seibly. Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos, won the $135,000 Governor's Cup Derby with Really a First ($15.20), who was ridden by Jeff Jerman.

Really a First, one of four Allred-owned runners in the field of 10, finished a nose in front of Short Czech, who was a nose in front of 2-5 favorite My Buddie, also owned by Allred.

Really a First is trained by Scott Willoughby, who has a 65-horse stable for Allred.