05/25/2011 1:20PM

Los Alamitos: No good reason for Separate Fire to travel


Separate Fire, who extended her unbeaten streak to three races with a record-setting performance in the Kindergarten Futurity at Los Alamitos last Sunday, will be a California girl this year, trainer Paul Jones said on Wednesday.

Jones said that the lure of three seven-figure futurities in June, November, and December is enough to keep Separate Fire at Los Alamitos and not part of the trainer’s string at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

“She’s paid into everything at Los Alamitos, and that’s kind of the plan right now,” Jones said.

Separate Fire won the $339,600 Kindergarten by a half-length over Fixin to Fly, running 300 yards in stakes record time of 15.14 seconds. Separate Fire was the fastest qualifier after running 300 yards in 15.08 seconds in time trials on May 8, the fastest time at the distance for a 2-year-old in track history.

“Everything she’s done has been phenomenal,” Jones said.

Owned by Jose Trevino, Separate Fire will make a relatively quick turnaround for a start in time trials for the $1 million Ed Burke Million Futurity on June 12. The finals of the 350-yard race are June 26. Separate Fire debuted with a win in a maiden race in April.

“So far, she’s stayed really sound,” Jones said. “I’m not real excited about having to run her back so quick in the Ed Burke trials, but how do you pass it up? It’s worth so much money and she’s ready and she’s sound. We’ve got to go for it.”

Jones said he is leaning against sending Separate Fire to Ruidoso for the All American Futurity over 440 yards, which has trials in August and a final on Sept. 5. “Two 440s are a little tough,” he said. “It’s a little hard on horses. Hopefully we’ll have a good shot at the All American with some of the horses we have up there.”

Jones, the nation’s leading Quarter Horse trainer, ranks Separate Fire as his top 2-year-old so far this year, but the filly could have company soon. Natalie Dash, the winner of a maiden race on May 21, and Inmate Separate, a troubled seventh in her debut on May 13, have for weeks been considered by Jones to be highly regarded prospects.

They still have much to do to catch up with Separate Fire. “I would say Separate Fire is better than those two,” he said.