06/17/2011 1:16PM

Vessels Maturity at Los Alamitos looks like the spot for Mark It Famous


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – On the evening of June 11, while the runners for a Quarter Horse race were warming up, the 4-year-old gelding Mark it Famous underwent a quick schooling session in the starting gate. The schooling occurred under the lights, just eight days before Sunday’s Vessels Maturity, for which Mark It Famous set the fastest qualifying time in trials on May 29.

“When the horses were warming up, I was schooling him,” trainer Adan Farias said. “His main problem has been the gate. We’ve schooled him a lot, and so far, so good.”

Mark It Famous will be favored in the Vessels Maturity, a 400-yard race that serves as the summer championship for older Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos. The winner receives an automatic berth to the $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 10.

Farias won the 2009 Vessels Maturity with eventual Champion of Champions winner – and eventual World Champion – Freaky, and says that Mark It Famous has the ability to emulate that horse.

“He’s the real deal,” Farias said. “He’s a fast horse.”

Mark It Famous, owned by breeder Robert Williams, has won 5 of 9 starts and $125,614. A 4-year-old gelding, Mark It Famous raced in New Mexico and Texas at 2 and 3, with his best result a third in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park in April 2009 and a second in the Grade 3 West Texas Derby there in April 2010. He joined Farias’s stable over the winter.

“What I like is that he’s faster on the end,” Farias said.

Farias is expected to win the Vessels Maturity. He has four of the 10 qualifiers, including Chivalry Sr and Snitcher, who finished first and second in a division of the trials, and Whole Lot of Karma, who finished third in the trials behind Mark It Famous.

Aside from Mark It Famous, Whole Lot of Karma has impressed Farias and his jockey, Francisco Rubio. “I asked Rubio how he feels, and he said he’s never been better,” Farias said. “I feel like I have the strongest horses.”

The field also includes Good Reason Sa and Mamas Justice, who were first and fourth in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship in February, and Divide the Cash, who was third in the Champion of Champions in December. Good Reason Sa had a poor start in the Vessels trials and finished fifth behind Mark It Famous.