Hawkish looks to move a step closer to the Los Alamitos Bonanza when he takes on an outstanding field of 2-year-olds in Saturday's $400,000 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity at Los Alamitos.
If Hawkish wins the Ed Burke, he will become the third horse to win the first two legs of the Bonanza, a $1 million cash bonus awarded to any horse that sweeps the Kindergarten, Ed Burke Memorial and Los Alamitos Million futurities.
Trained by Concepcion Balderrama for EG High Desert Farms, Hawkish won the first leg of the Bonanza in style, as he broke the 11-year-old track track record at 300 yards in the Kindergarten on May 17. Hawkish was equally impressive in the trials to the Ed Burke, en route to posting one of the most lopsided wins of the season. With Alex Bautista in the irons, the Ed Allred-bred colt defeated his rivals by three lengths while earning a 96-speed figure. What will the son of Dash Thru Traffic do next?
"I think he'll be just fine in the final," Balderrama said. "He came out of the trials in great shape and has been doing everything right heading into this race."
If Hawkish does his thing, chances are that he will join 1998 champion 2-year-old colt First Sovereign and last year's supertar filly Morning Snow as winners of the first two legs of the Bonanza.
Lucas Racing Inc's entry of Ocean Cartel and A Very Kool Chick are among the top contenders looking to end Hawkish's Bonanza dream. Ocean Cartel scored an easy win in his trial, sailing to victory by a length while earning a 94-speed index. The Corona Cartel sprinter is one of three horses that will be saddled by champion trainer Paul Jones in the Ed Burke final. Jones, who also trains finalists Summertime Fly and Sometimes You Win, is having another terrific year. Just last weekend, the trainer won the Rainbow Futurity with Planet Holland at Ruidoso Downs.
A Very Kool Chick will be looking to follow on the hoofsteps of her millionaire mother - 1999 Ed Burke winner Corona Kool. A Very Kool Chick broke her maiden in the trials and could beat the boys if she improves from her trial effort. Jockey Victor Diaz and trainer Felix Gonzalez will combine with A Very Kool Chick. Gonzalez won last year's PCQHRA Breeders Futurity with the 49-1 longshot Valiantly.
John Andreini, Ron Keller and Blane Schvaneveldt's Pencilmein, the only horse to qualify to this year's Kindergarten, Governor's Cup and Ed Burke finals, will look to give legendary trainer Blane Schvaneveldt a record seventh Ed Burke victory. Schvaneveldt has won the Ed Burke at least once in each of the three previous decades. His most recent wins have come with First Sovereign (1998), Flomont (1989) and The Katchina Doll (1982). His first win came with Bobbys Angel in 1975.
Double Bar S Ranch's Dividends Declared, who ran second in a photo finish in the Governor's Cup final, Vinewood Farm's Oh So Susie and Jolene and Richard Connors and Kim Gillette's Fly This will complete the field.