06/01/2011 12:50PM

Los Alamitos: Farias qualifies four for Vessels Maturity

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The absence of Freaky has not dented Adan Farias’s older horse division.

Last Sunday, Farias watched four of his horses qualify for the $240,200 Vessels Maturity on June 19 in time trials – Mark It Famous, Chivalry SR, Snitcher, and Whole Lot of Karma. Freaky won the 2009 Vessels Maturity, the year he was named World Champion, but was transferred to a trainer in Oklahoma earlier this spring.

Mark It Famous set the fastest qualifying time for the Vessels Maturity, winning the first of three divisions of the 400-yard trials in 19.20 seconds. The first trial was the most productive, producing five finalists including Simons Wonder Choice, Whole Lot of Karma, Mamas Justice, and Good Reason SA, winner of the Los Alamitos Winter Championship in February. Good Reason SA was the 1-2 favorite in the trial but stumbled at the start and was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Mark It Famous.

Mark It Famous had not started since finishing third in the Rainbow Derby trials at Ruidoso Downs last July. Owned by breeder Robert Williams, Mark It Famous was second in the West Texas Derby in April 2010, but has yet to win a stakes in nine starts. The long-term goal for the 4-year-old gelding is the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 10; the winner of the Vessels Maturity earns an automatic berth to that race.

“He definitely has the talent to run in the Champion of Champions,” said Farias, who won the 2009 Champion of Champions with Freaky.

Chivalry SR and Snitcher finished first and second in the third division of the trials. Chivalry SR has won four consecutive races, including the minor Vandys Flash Handicap last July. The Vessels trial was Chivalry SR’s first start of 2011, a layoff caused by a bone chip in a knee.

Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Chivalry SR overcame a stumble at the start to win the trial by a neck, having led by a half-length midway through the race.

“Everything went great with his surgery, and he’s actually been back for a while,” Farias said. “We had to wait for this race, and you could see that he got a little tired toward the end of his race.”

Farias said that Chivalry SR sustained a cut during the running, but did not think the injury was serious enough to require stitches.