Equine and human relationships between father and son will be at the forefront of the Father’s Day futurity feature at Los Alamitos Race Course, the Ed Burke Million (G1) over 350 yards.
Trainer Terry Knight, who will saddle fastest qualifier Platki, will try to channel the success of his father, C.R. “Chay” Knight, in the prestigious Southern California futurity almost five decades earlier.
Owner Steve Mickaelian will be represented by his first Grade 1 finalist, Apollitical Stone, a culmination of two decades in the sport first begun through his father.
And the two fastest qualifiers — Platki and KVN Corona — share the same father, sire Corona Cartel, who also sired 2016 Ed Burke champion Chazaq.
AQHA Hall of Fame member Kaweah Bar won the Ed Burke for Chay Knight in 1968, and Platki will attempt to do the same for Terry Knight in 2017 in the race that now carries a purse that is about $970,000 more.
Platki, a full-brother to 2010 champion 2-year-old filly and Ed Burke Million runner-up Flying Fig, is unbeaten in two races. The bay colt bred and owned by Pete and Evelyn Parrella’s Legacy Ranch clocked :17.647 in winning the seventh of 12 350-yard trial races on June 4 under jockey Jesus Ayala against fellow finalist Remember To Dash.
Platki’s sire, Corona Cartel, will also be represented in the Ed Burke finals by KVN Corona and SC Vapor Trail. KVN Corona was just 1/100 off Platki’s qualifying time in winning the sixth trial for jockey Ramon Sanchez and trainer Paul Jones, despite being bumped at the start and having to make up more than a length through the stretch. SC Vapor Trail, who is out of 2010 and 2011 AQHA champion aged mare Spit Curl Diva, qualified ninth-fastest in a second-place finish in the 11th trial to Apollitical Stone.
Apollitical Stone’s third-fastest qualifying time of :17.705 for jockey Cruz Mendez and trainer Jose Flores vaults owner Mickaelian to Quarter Horse racing’s highest level two decades after taking over the family’s racing operations when, he said, his father became ill.
Sumokinintheboysroom qualified fourth-fastest in :17.713 with the trials’ biggest margin of victory, 1 1/4 lengths. Chance To Fire could also contend after overcoming trouble in her trial win.
Wrangler Racing Ace Jonathan Horowitz’ Top Four Selections:
Chance To Fire