11/18/2010 5:00PM

Late post a concern for Mr Piloto in Two Million Futurity


When All American Futurity winner Mr Piloto starts in Saturday’s 11th race at Los Alamitos, there will be two trials left for the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity for Quarter Horses.

The 12-race program at Los Alamitos on Saturday is dedicated to 400-yard trials for the Los Alamitos Two Million. The 10 fastest times, regardless of finishing positions, will earn berths for the final Dec. 10.

The 11th division will be Mr Piloto’s first start since a nose win as a 22-1 outsider in the 440-yard All American at Ruidoso Downs on Sept. 6. When Mr Piloto approaches the gate for Saturday’s trial, the list of 10 fastest qualifiers may be tough to crack, trainer Felipe Quintero said Thursday.

“It’s kind of hard because the races seem to go slower as the nights go on,” Quintero said. “We’ll know the bubble of the first 10 times.”

Quintero, 27, trains Mr Piloto for Jose Trevino’s Tremor Enterprises. Mr Piloto has won 2 of 4 starts, losing his first two races in futurity trials at Ruidoso Downs in May and July before winning a division of the All American time trials Aug. 19 in a 24-1 upset.

“It was just a matter of time for him to wake up,” Quintero said. “He matured and got straightened up. He ran a hell of a race in the trials.”

Quintero said he has other concerns about Saturday’s trials. Aside from the late post time of approximately 10:55 p.m., Quintero said he is worried how Mr Piloto will perform under lights for the first time. Mr Piloto had a 220-yard workout in 12.90 seconds under lights Oct. 16, but Quintero said he was happier with a 350-yard workout in 17.60 seconds in daytime Oct. 29.

“The horse didn’t work that well the first time,” Quintero said. “It seemed like he was looking around. He had a decent work when he worked in 17.6 seconds.”

Saturday’s 12 trials feature 109 horses.

The strongest trial is the ninth race, which features First Down Illusion, who won the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June. Also in the race are One Sweet Jess, the winner of the Golden State Million last month, and Tough to Tell, who was second in the Governor’s Cup Futurity in July.

Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Hot Hitter starts in the second division.