12/07/2012 4:14PM

Los Alamitos: Aha Moment ready for Two Million Futurity


Aha Moment would not be a surprise winner of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Dec. 16.

Already this year, the Texas-bred colt qualified to the $2 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Sept. 3, finishing third by 1 1/2 lengths to division leader One Dashing Eagle. In his only subsequent start, Aha Moment won a division of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials on Nov. 25.

The victory put an end to any concern about his fitness in his first start since the All American Futurity.

“He had not raced since the All American, so we were a little concerned that we didn’t give him another workout,” owner Jimmy Harrell said after the trial. “Winning this race with only one workout means he should be a top contender in the final.”

Aha Moment has won 3 of 6 starts and $193,805 for Harrell and his wife, Marilyn, of Leedey, Okla. Trained by Paul Jones, Aha Moment was a maiden race winner at Los Alamitos in his career debut in April. Aha Moment spent the summer with Jones’s division at Ruidoso Downs. His only win in four starts at that track occurred in a division of the All American Futurity trials over 440 yards in mid-August.

The Los Alamitos Two Million is run over 400 yards. Aha Moment set the sixth-fastest qualifying time of 19.82 seconds.

The win left Jones assured that Aha Moment would be ready for the trials. He and jockey Ramon Sanchez had debated the need for a workout in the weeks before the Los Alamitos Two Million trials, but opted against it at Sanchez’s insistence. The jockey regularly gallops Jones’s leading runners.

“Ramon said that the horse was doing great and he didn’t think that he needed another work,” Jones said. “After talking to Ramon, I was convinced not to work him. It was a gamble, but it worked, and now we have a fresh horse going into the final.”

The Los Alamitos Two Million is annually one of the toughest futurities in the nation.

This year’s field is led by fastest qualifier Freedom Choice. Other finalists with major stakes experience are The August Heat, third in the Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park in October; Seperate Interest, second in the Golden State Million at Los Alamitos in November; and Fires Blazin, second in the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June.