06/08/2010 11:00PM

Leave the Scene sizzles into Burke


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - At 76, with 50 years of experience in Quarter Horse racing, trainer Blane Schvaneveldt knew quite well what he saw when Leave the Scene zipped 350 yards in 17.21 seconds to win the first division of the Ed Burke Million Futurity trials at Los Alamitos last Saturday.

The suspense of seeing which 2-year-old would be worth following in the $1,064,000 final on June 19 was over after the first of 12 time trials. Schvaneveldt knew he had the horse to beat.

"I knew he was a runner," Schvaneveldt said of Leave the Scene. "We needed to get everything to click. This is the fastest horse I've had in a long time."

Schvaneveldt is the track's all-time winningest trainer, with more than 3,650 wins and 38 training titles.

Years of back trouble have slowed Schvaneveldt's gait, but his enthusiasm and horses like Leave the Scene, the fastest qualifier for the Ed Burke, have helped, and led to the hope that Leave the Scene is good enough to sweep the track's three seven-figure futurities -- the Burke, the Golden State Million in November, and the Los Alamitos Two Million in December. It has not been accomplished since the series was inaugurated in 1998.

"The hard part is keeping them sound," Schvaneveldt said. "Lots of things can happen."

Schvaneveldt knows that firsthand. In 1998, he won the Ed Burke with First Sovereign, who later suffered a fatal back injury when he struck a rail in a training accident.

Last weekend, Schvaneveldt had other runners in the Ed Burke time trials, but four hours and 28 minutes after Leave the Scene had won for the father-son owners Ron and Ronnie Keller of Preston, Idaho, Schvaneveldt had only one qualifier for the final.

For the other owners and trainers, they needed a very fast horse to reach the final, and patience to wait out the evening. Three finalists emerged from the final two races -- Star in the East, who won the 11th race, and Personal Glory and Flying Fig who finished first and second in the final race.

Leave the Scene set such a quick early standard that trainer Jaime Gomez became nervous after the second leg when All N the Jeans, who was third in the Kindergarten Futurity on May 15, won by a convincing 1 1/4 lengths in 17.369 seconds.

"I think the cutoff will be [17.46]," Gomez said. He forecast was not off by much. When Personal Glory (17.27 seconds) and Flying Fig (17.42) ran one-two in the 12th, there was no place in the final for Cash Him Out, who was timed in 17.434 in finishing third behind Leave the Scene. Cash Him Out's time was .05 of a second behind Star in the East's 17.429 seconds from the 11th race.

For Cash Him Out, there is a consolation race, the $30,000 Ed Burke Juvenile on June 19.