06/25/2005 11:00PM

Higher Fire best in Ed Burke Memorial Futurity


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - Higher Fire ran a nearly flawless race to pull a minor upset in Saturday's $1,145,000 for Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos, the first of three seven-figure futurities at the Orange County track this year.

Higher Fire ($15.60) finished 350 yards in 17.236, missing Corona Chick's 1989 track record by 1/100ths of a second. Higher Fire finished three-quarters of a length in front of Fishers Take, who was 1 1-4 lengths clear of Finding Nemo.

In a race marred by troubled trips for many top candidates, Higher Fire broke well and was always near the front under jockey J.R. Ramirez.

Owned by the Dutch Masters partnership and trained by Jaime Gomez, Higher Fire earned $464,100. Third in the Kindergarten Futurity in May, she has won 4 of 5 starts and $504,173.

Higher Fire, one of four fillies in the Burke final, is eligible for a $1 million bonus if she wins the Golden State Million in November and the Los Alamitos Million in December.

*Friday, Be a Bono, the 2004 Quarter Horse of the Year, scored a nose win over Brookstone Bay in the $134,800 Vessels Maturity. Ridden by G.R. Carter, Be a Bono finished 400 yards in 19.574 seconds.

The victory guaranteed him a berth in the $500,000 Champion of Champions over 440 yards in December.