12/09/2011 12:55PM

Los Alamitos: Last to Fire looks to duplicate trial win in Los Alamitos Two Million


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – Trainer Juan Aleman’s biggest fear is that Last to Fire won’t be able duplicate his trial race in Sunday’s $2,236,300 Los Alamitos Two Million, the richest race in track history.

Last to Fire was the fastest qualifier for the Los Alamitos Two Million. He won his division of the Nov. 20 trials by three lengths, finishing 400 yards on a wet-fast track in 19.72 seconds. I Like the Odds had the second-fastest qualifying time of 19.86, or nearly a length slower than Last to Fire.

“When they run that big of a race in the trials, hopefully he’s got one more in him,” Aleman said earlier this week.

The Los Alamitos Two Million will be Last to Fire’s second major futurity final; the gelding was third after a troubled start in the Golden State Million Futurity on Oct. 30. Igotyourtac, the 44-1 upset winner of that race, is part of the Los Alamitos Two Million field, having won his trial on Nov. 20 in 19.98.

Last to Fire races for Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas and will be ridden by Francisco Rubio, who was aboard for the trial race. Aleman chose post 4 in the field of 10 for Last to Fire when post positions were selected by owners and trainers at a Wednesday afternoon ceremony.

The draft order was determined randomly, and Aleman had the second choice with Last to Fire. Aleman wanted to stay toward the inside, clear of some rivals who have shown erratic form away from the gates this year.

One such culprit is Last to Check Him, who drew the outside and has had troubled starts in several of his races.

“If he gets out with no trouble, he can run a big race,” Aleman said. “The reason I picked the 4 is there are horses with issues on his outside. You hope you get a clean” break.

Igotyourtac has won 4 of 7 starts and $512,498 and is the richest money winner in the field. He breaks from post 8, an outside draw that trainer Paul Jones said he prefers.

“He won out of the 8 [in the Golden State Million], and if I’d had first choice, I’d have picked that,” Jones said. “Now, the horse has to run. He’s really matured into a nice horse. He’s shown he’s got the ability to run with these kind of horses.”