Preview Racing

Ten Juveniles Go After First Million Dollar Futurity Of The Meet
Pete and Evelyn Parrella’s Legacy Ranch's undefeated Platki heads a tough field in the $1,000,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

© Scott Martinez
Ten Juveniles Go After First Million Dollar Futurity Of The Meet

LOS ALAMITOS, CA—JUNE 17, 2017— Pete and Evelyn Parrella’s Legacy Ranch will look to score its richest racing victory ever when their homebred Platki, a full brother to their AQHA champion filly, Flying Fig, heads the running of the $1,000,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

"We’ve ran in some good races and some $1 million events, but we’ve never gotten the ring," Parrella said. "If we win so be it, if we don’t win it so be it. We’re just blessed to be in it. To me I just want everyone to come back safe and sound. The rest will be up to the racing gods. To me the most enjoyable part are the days going into the race. Just to be talked about and to be part of it all, that’s the fun part. To have a horse with the talent to be a part of this race, that’s the joy. We like our chances. (Trainer) Terry Knight is confident and so are we, but if anyone makes a mistake another horse will win the race. We’ll just wait and see what the racing gods decide. We’ll keep doing the same thing.

Fourteen-time AQHA Racing Champion trainer Paul Jones will saddle KVN Corona for owner Keith Nellessen.
© Scott Martinez
"The money is great, but it won’t change my life one way or the other," Parrella added. "It has to do more with earning this win for the people that work so hard with the horses. Shaun and Anita Hadley they raised this horse and I really want to thank them immensely for everything they've done for us. Everyone from the grooms at the ranch to the exercise riders – they help make great horses happen. They usually don’t get recognized, but they work so hard, getting up in the early morning hours every day to work and take great care of the horses. When you have a nice horse, it makes everything so much more fun. That’s what matters the most to me." Sired by Corona Cartel and out of Tender Flyer, Platki will enter the final after posting a ¾ length win and the fastest qualifying time in the Ed Burke trials. The Legacy Ranch-bred runner won his trial in :17.647.

Trainer Terry Knight, whose father saddled 1968 Ed Burk Futurity winner Kaweah Bar in 1968, conditions with jockey Jesus Rios Ayala riding.

Mark and Peggy Brown's Jess My Kiss qualified with the
fifth fastest time after finishing second to KVN Corona.
© Scott Martinez
Keith Nellessen's KVN Corona will come into the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity with the second fastest qualifying time after winning his trial in :17.657 - just 1/100ths of a second behind Platki.

Also sired by Corona Cartel, KVN Corona is undefeated in two starts. McColee Land & Livestock bred runner will be ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Paul Jones.

"I'm partners with Lance Robinson and we started McColee Land & Livestock really as a breeder of Quarter Horses," Nellessen said on trial night. "I actually personally bought KVN Corona and raised him. He's a full brother to another horse that won the (2016 Los Alamitos) Super Derby named Big Lew. His mother (Executive Looks) passed away last year so he's the last colt we had out of her so I decided I would try to buy him and got him and sent him to Paul."

Steve Mickaelian's Apollitical Stone posted the third fastest time for trainer Jose Flores. © Scott Martinez
Under the McColee Land & Livestock banner, Nellesen and Robinson raced Budder Think Twice to a fifth-place finish in the 2015 Ed Burke Million final. "(The Ed Burke) is a great race," Nellesen added.

Owner Steve Mickaelian first became involved in horse racing in the mid-1990s and won the 1998 AQHA California Claiming Stakes and $50,000 Professional's Choice Claiming Stakes Challenge at Lone Star Park with Mr Clean Jeans.

Mickaelian will be taking part of his first ever Grade 1 race with his and Jose Flores' Apollitical Stone, the third fastest qualifier to the Ed Burke Million. Cruz Mendez will ride the son of Apollitical Jess for trainer Jose Flores.

Among the others in the race, Mark and Peggy Brown's Jess My Kiss finished second to KVN Corona and had the fifth fastest qualifying time. Sired by One Sweet Jess and out of Dreaming Of Kisses, Jess My Kiss is a half-brother to 2016 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Kissed By An Eagle.

EG High Desert Farms' Remember To Dash finished
second to fastest qualifier Platki. © Scott Martinez
EG High Desert Farms will go after its third Ed Burke Million victory with the Valentin Zamudio trained Remember To Dash.

EG High Desert Farms won the Ed Burke with AQHA champion colt Hawkish in 2003 and then with AQHA champion filly Walk Thru Crystal in 2015.

Few trainers ever have enjoyed as much success in the Ed Burke as Jaime Gomez, who is a four-time winner in this event. He’ll saddle J Fire Up, a Kiddy Up filly that he bred and partly owns in partnership with Darling Farms and Ernesto Solis. AQHA Champion Owners Lucky Seven Ranch finished third with Lotta Blues Man in last year’s Ed Burke Million. Lucky Seven hopes to be luckier this year with the Mike Casselman-trained Indescribaly Blue.

Abigail Kawananakoa’s Chance To Fire has been outstanding in his two starts and deserves a long look. Purchased at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale for $170,000, Chance To Fire is a half-brother to the multiple stakes winning mare Nymph. Cody Jensen will ride her for trainer Chris O’Dell.

The field will be completed by JGA Racing Stables' Sumokinintheboysroom, a gelding by leading sire Pyc Paint Your Wagon, that posted the fourth fastest time, and by Reliance Ranches’ talented filly SC Vapor Trail, which ran second to Apollitical Stone.

One of three Ed Burke qualifiers sired by Corona Cartel, SC Vapor Trail is out of the Grade 1 stakes winning AQHA champion Spit Curl Diva.

Courtesy of