12/08/2010 1:38PM

Start will be key for Flying Fig in Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity


Bad starts prevented Flying Fig from winning two seven-figure futurities at Los Alamitos earlier this year.

The filly’s last chance for glory in such a race arrives in Friday’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, the track’s richest race, and one that trainer Dennis Ekins thinks she can win – with a better start.

“She’s run just brilliantly on the end,” he said Wednesday morning. “She’s got to get away clean. If she can do that, she can be very competitive.”

Flying Fig is the only horse to qualify for all three seven-figure futurities at Los Alamitos this year. She was second, by a half-length, in the $1,064,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity in June after veering out at the start. She was bumped at the start of the $1,230,000 Golden State Million Futurity last month and lost by three-quarters of a length.

“If you’re not clean away from the gate, it doesn’t matter,” Ekins said. “You can overcome a lot but not enough to win a race.”

Considering the way she has finished in major races, Ekins thinks Flying Fig can win the Los Alamitos Two Million with a good start.

“We’re hoping to be even with them 50 yards away from there,” he said.

Owned by Pete Parrella’s Legacy Ranch, Flying Fig rebounded from the Golden State Million loss to win a time trial for the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Nov. 20, finishing 400 yards in 19.46 seconds, the sixth-fastest qualifying time.

“In order to come back in these futurities, you have to have a good horse and you have to stay together pretty good,” Ekins said. “She seems to be doing awfully well. We’ve had her on the track several times, and I think she’s coming up to it good.”

The 10 finalists include fastest qualifier More Than You Know, who was fourth in the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June; One Sweet Jess, who won the Golden State Million; and Hot Hitter, the winner of the Governor’s Cup Futurity in July who was third in the Golden State Million. One Sweet Jess and Hot Hitter have the respect of Ekins.

“These colts that have come back are awfully nice horses,” he said.