10/28/2011 12:53PM

Los Alamitos: Separate Fire continues on road to bonus in Golden State Million Futurity


Just having Separate Fire qualify for Sunday’s $1,218,400 Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos was a relief for trainer Paul Jones.

Separate Fire won the Kindergarten and Ed Burke Million futurities at Los Alamitos in the spring. With the win in the Ed Burke, she remains eligible for a $1 million bonus if she wins the Golden State and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in December. The bonus, inaugurated in 1998, has never been won.

Separate Fire had the ninth-fastest qualifying time for the Golden State Million in trials on Oct. 16. She raced during a portion of the evening without a tail wind, running 400 yards in 19.90 seconds. Last to Fire, the fastest qualifier, was timed in 19.70 seconds, and had a 10-mile per hour tailwind during his trial.

“She ran a fantastic race,” Jones said of Separate Fire after the trials. “It was a monster effort and there was no tailwind to help her out. She just kept going.”

Concern whether Separate Fire could duplicate her summertime form ended with that performance. Some precocious 2-year-olds are not as dominant in the fall, when the pool of available rivals increases. Racing will not get easier for Separate Fire in Sunday’s final, or in the Los Alamitos Two Million, which annually draws a tough set of trials because of the prize money.

For the Golden State Million, Separate Fire has drawn the outside post in a field of 10. A filly owned by Tremor Enterprises, Separate Fire will be ridden by Ramon Sanchez.

Only one other horse who qualified for the Kindergarten or Ed Burke Million futurities is part of the Golden State Million field. Terrific Synergy finished fourth in the Ed Burke, and won a division of the Golden State Million trials in his next start. Terrific Synergy was timed in 19.80 seconds, helped by a 12-mile per hour tailwind.

Trainer Cody Joiner said after the trials that Terrific Synergy was given a break at a local farm following the Ed Burke.

“To get him into this final, that’s exactly what we were playing for,” Joiner said. “He’s a big colt. He’s now starting to fill out and really become a good-looking horse.”

There will also be support for Long Gone, who was second in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity last month and won a division of the Golden State Million trials.