01/05/2006 12:00AM

Apollitical Time gets outside post

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Apollitical Time, winner of the Los Alamitos Super Derby, is one of three mares coming out of the Grade 1 Champion of Champions to return in the Grade 1, $110,550 Charger Bar Handicap for fillies and mares on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

The other Champion of Champions competitors in the 400-yard Charger Bar, which attracted a full 10-horse field, are Texas Chatterbox and Apollos Favorite.

Apollitical Time put herself among the top prospects for 2005 champion 3-year-old filly honors by winning the Los Alamitos Super Derby over eventual Champion of Champions winner Ocean Runaway, the leading contender for champion 3-year-old colt. Apollitical Time then finished third in the $500,000 Champion of Champions, making her the highest-placed female in the race.

In the Los Alamitos Super Derby, Apollitical Time ran a flawless race to defeat Ocean Runaway by a half-length in a stakes-record 19.36 seconds for the 400 yards, the same distance as the Charger Bar Handicap. In the 440-yard Champion of Champions, Apollitical Time had another excellent start before drifting in and finishing behind Ocean Runaway and longshot Like Frankie and Me.

Apollitical Time drew the outside post position for the Charger Bar and carries high weight of 126 pounds, giving two pounds to Texas Chatterbox, Apollos Favorite, Mini Rock, and First Down Runner.

Texas Chatterbox made an impressive Los Alamitos debut in the Grade 1 Ford Distaff Challenge Championship on Nov. 5 when she upset Mini Rock by three-quarters of a length, covering 400 yards in 19.60 seconds. Three-time national champion trainer Paul Jones then started her in the Z. Wayne Griffin trials, races that fill any open Champion of Champions berths, and she earned a spot after finishing fifth behind Ocean Runaway. Texas Chatterbox was seventh in the Champion of Champions.

Last fall, Apollos Favorite was second to Mongoose Jet Eye, the champion aged mare of 2004, in the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Invitational Handicap and then won the Grade 2 Las Damas Handicap, each filly-mare stakes. She then dead-heated for third behind Ocean Runaway in their Z. Wayne Griffin trial and ran ninth in the Champion of Champions.

Trainer Blane Schvaneveldt has kept the 7-year-old Mini Rock, the defending Charger Bar winner, at the top of her game through 34 career starts with 12 wins, 12 seconds, and 5 thirds for earnings of $470,518. She has won or placed in 21 stakes.

Last summer, Mini Rock scored back-to-back wins in the Grade 3 California Breeders' Matron Stakes and the Grade 3 Ford California Distaff Challenge. In her three starts since those wins, she was fifth in the Las Damas as the odds-on favorite, and second in the Ford Distaff Challenge Championship and the First Down Handicap, a race against males. The fifth in the Las Damas is her only off-the-board effort in her last 16 starts dating back to June 2003, with 15 of those starts in stakes company.

The 4-year-old First Down Runner is in her best form since early in her freshman season, coming off an upset win in the Grade 1 Southern California Derby. As a 2-year-old, First Down Runner was a close third in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity and fifth in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity at 7-2 odds.