Ocean Runaway all but wrapped up the 2-year-old championship for quarter horses with a decisive victory in the $1,509,424 Los Alamitos Million Futurity on Friday night at Los Alamitos.
In the richest race in the 54-year history of the track, the gray son of First Down Dash overcame a slow start, exploding late as the 7-10 favorite to win going away over longshots Hardly Hateful and Tell Em Im Gone, who finished second and third.
It was the fifth win in 10 starts for the California-bred, who is owned by Gary Muller and trained by Dennis Ekins. It was his second victory in a $1-million race; he had taken the $1,002,400 Golden State Derby on Nov. 7. It was also his third Grade I win of 2004. He earned his first stakes victory in the Governor's Cup Futurity on June 19.
In giving jockey Alex Bautista his first win in the Los Alamitos Million Futurity, Ocean Runaway, who was bred by Dan Lucas, completed the 400 yards in a stakes-record 19.40 seconds, bettering the mark of 19.53 set by A Regal Choice a year ago.