06/15/2011 2:51PM

Los Alamitos: Fire Moon Lady to be Gomez's only Burke starter


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – Having the fastest qualifier in the filly Fire Moon Lady for the $1,126,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity at Los Alamitos on June 26 does not satisfy trainer Jaime Gomez.

At the end of 12 trials last Sunday, Gomez was looking toward the final with Fire Moon Lady but wished that he demanded more from his 2-year-old Quarter Horses in recent weeks.

“I’m in the final, but I should have two or three in the final,” he said.

Gomez has won the Ed Burke three times, most recently in 2009 with LD Fire. Sunday, Gomez started six horses and won two trials – the fourth race with Fire Moon Lady and the 10th race with the highly-regarded Boss Man Blue. But Boss Man Blue’s final time of 17.69 seconds for 350 yards was well outside the 17.505-second clocking of 10th, and last qualifier, Sex On Fire, and far from Fire Moon Lady’s clocking of 17.365 seconds.

“I think I babied them too much,” Gomez said of his approach to the trials. “I should have breezed them. I recognize that.”

In the case of Boss Man Blue, Gomez gave the colt the required two workouts before he finished a troubled second in his debut on May 15, but only galloped the horse since that race. Quarter Horses work very infrequently once their campaigns start.

Fire Moon Lady, owned by the Dutch Masters III partnership, pulled an 11-1 upset in her trial, the most productive of the evening with three finalists. Runner-up Oceanik, a 60-1 shot, was three-quarters of a length behind Fire Moon Lady but a nose in front of Separate Fire. Oceanik and Separate Fire had the eighth and ninth-fastest times but three hours passed after their trial before the list of finalists was confirmed.

Fire Moon Lady had been sixth and fourth in her first two starts, encountering trouble in each.

“The second time she got bumped around and didn’t get a chance,” Gomez said. “This time, she broke like a bullet and kept going. She deserves to have the fastest time.”

Separate Fire, the winner of the Kindergarten Futurity on May 22, was one of 27 trial starters for trainer Paul Jones, who also qualified Hi on the List. He admitted being discouraged as the evening wore on.

“I had a [crummy] night,” he said after the last race. “I had to stay away from tall bridges.”