10/29/2003 12:00AM

Righteous Brother tops Golden State

Email

It took 2000 world champion A Ransom 33 starts - with 21 wins, including 13 in stakes - over five years of racing to earn $1,079,556. His younger brother, Righteous Brother, could earn almost a third of that total in one shot Friday night if he can win the Grade 1, $864,850 Golden State Futurity at Los Alamitos.

With $341,442 going to the winner, the 400-yard Golden State Futurity is the second-richest race at Los Alamitos, behind the $1.3 million Los Alamitos Million on Dec. 12. Next year, the Golden State Futurity will have a $1 million guaranteed purse.

The Friday night program starts an important weekend at Los Alamitos, which on Saturday includes five Grade 1 races on MBNA America Challenge Championship night.

Righteous Brother has the same connections as A Ransom- owned by John and Kathie Bobenreith's Pazazz Quarter Horses Ltd. and trained by Connie Hall.

While A Ransom earned his world title at age 4 and won three graded races during his final year of competition in 2002 as a 6-year-old, Righteous Brother's career is off to a quick start. He has raced six times as a 2-year-old, with three wins, a second, and two thirds. He won the Crown Point Handicap and finished in a dead heat for third in the Grade 1, $342,500 Governor's Cup Futurity.

Righteous Brother was taken to Ruidoso Downs in August for the $1.9 million All American Futurity, but he finished second in his trial and did not qualify for the finals.

After returning to Southern California, Righteous Brother was rested and then pointed to the Golden State Futurity trials. In the last of eight trials on Oct. 17, Righteous Brother and jockey Rodrigo Aceves had a clear path from the start and drew away with long strides to win by 1 1/4 lengths over eighth-fastest qualifier Sapranos Play Boy.

Righteous Brother recorded the fastest qualifying time of 19.630 seconds for 400 yards and will be formidable in the futurity finals if he runs back to his trial win.

Sapranos Play Boy, Brookstone Bay, and Summertime Fly could earn enough to give 2002 champion trainer Paul Jones the record for earnings in a year. Jones is less than $400,000 off the record of $3,531,572, set by Hall of Famer Blane Schvaneveldt in 1984.

Brookstone Bay and Summertime Fly are the strongest of Jones's three futurity qualifiers.

A son of First Down Dash, Brookstone Bay has blossomed for Jones in two starts this fall at Los Alamitos. Brookstone Bay started his career in Wyoming and ran third in his All American Futurity trial.

On Sept. 13, Brookstone Bay won an allowance race over a field that included eventual Golden State Futurity third-fastest qualifier Corona for Me, who closed very well to win the sixth trial in 19.680 seconds.

Brookstone Bay then won his Golden State Futurity trial over the 10th-fastest qualifier, Shyann Cash, who previously had won the California Breeders Freshman Stakes and was third in the Grade 1 Kindergarten behind Hawkish's 300-yard track record of 15.18 seconds.

Fourth-fastest qualifier Summer-time Fly, like the rest of the qualifiers, has the advantage of not having to face divisional leader Hawkish in the Golden State Futurity. Hawkish is preparing for the Los Alamitos Million.

Summertime Fly finished behind Hawkish in three straight races before winning his Golden State Futurity trial, getting up in the final few yards to win by a neck in 19.775 seconds.

A gelding, Summertime Fly has picked up the majority of his $117,067 in earnings for his placings behind Hawkish, primarily a second in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Futurity and a third in the Grade 1 PCQHRA Futurity.