09/18/2007 11:00PM

Apollitical Time seeks first 2007 win in Vessels

EmailChampion Apollitical Time carries high weight of 126 pounds in the Grade 1, $250,000 Mildred Vessels Handicap for fillies and mares at Los Alamitos on Friday night, when she goes for her first 2007 win after three defeats.

Apollitical Time was named the 2006 champion aged horse and champion aged mare mainly on the strength of a four-stakes winning streak that included the Mildred Vessels, Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship, and Grade 2 California Challenge Championship.

This year, Apollitical Time is trying to regain her winning form after racing to a pair of thirds from three starts. In her latest start, she was fourth in the California Challenge Championship as the 2-1 favorite behind champion Strawkins, Budj, and Leading Spirit, who was a close second in last week's Grade 1, $110,000 Go Man Go Invitational.

Champion Blues Girl Too races against older fillies and mares for the first time in the Mildred Vessels. She earned the 2006 champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly titles when she won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million and finished second in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Golden State Million and the Grade 1, $1.1 million Ed Burke Million.

Blues Girl Too could be on her way to a second championship after winning the Grade 1 Golden State Derby in her most recent out, her second 2007 start.

"We want Blues Girl Too to win the 3-year-old filly championship," trainer Joe Bassett said. "We feel the Mildred Vessels will help us reach that goal."

The 9-year-old Five Bar Molly is trying to sweep both Vessels races at Los Alamitos. She won the Vessels Maturity to earn a berth in the Grade 1, $1 million Champion of Champions on Dec. 15.

Blazin Fire is a now horse, with two wins in two starts since returning from a layoff. She overcame trouble to win the John Deere California Distaff Challenge as the

7-10 favorite. Last year, she was second to Apollitical Time in the Mildred Vessels and then beat fillies and mares in the Grade 2 Las Damas Handicap.

Also on Friday night, Grade 1 El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Not a Full Moon and Grade 1 La Primera Del Ano Derby runner-up Jess Sass Me race in the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby.

Heartswideopen has chip surgery

All American Futurity winner Heartswideopen underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Monday, according to trainer Carl Draper.

The surgery removed chips from her right knee and right ankle.

"She's excellent," said Draper. "She cleaned up well. She should be 100 percent for next year."

Draper plans on a 2008 campaign similar to the one he used to win the 2005 world championship with DM Shicago. The gelding won the 2004 All American Futurity and then swept the Ruidoso, Rainbow, and All American derbies at Ruidoso Downs. He is the only All American Futurity winner to come back and win the three Grade 1 derbies.

Heartswideopen is eligible for the $305,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship at Zia Park and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million at Los Alamitos on Dec. 14. She will now miss those races.

Draper said he thought she would have risked cartilage damage if she had raced without surgery.

Heartswideopen is a leading contender for juvenile championship honors after winning the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity in stakes-record time and winning the All American Futurity as the favorite. She raced to the all-time fastest All American Futurity qualifying time and the fastest 440 yards ever by a filly or mare when she won her All American Futurity trial in 20.921 seconds.

Carters Cartel back in trials

Two-time Grade 1 futurity winner Carters Cartel begins his fall run toward a possible championship when he starts in the trials to the Grade 1, $530,000 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Futurity trials on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Carters Cartel won the Grade 1, $366,000 Kindergarten and the Grade 1, $1.1 million Ed Burke Million, his latest start, on June 23. Trainer Jaime Gomez then rested the colt and is bringing him back for a fall campaign scheduled to include the Grade 1 Golden State Million and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million.

If he adds wins in those two races to his Ed Burke Million victory, he will earn the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza.

Gotta Get heads Hobbs

Champion Gotta Get will be favored to gain his third straight win when he heads the 10 horses in the Grade 2, $55,000 James Isaac Hobbs Stakes on opening day at Zia Park on Saturday afternoon.

Last year's champion aged gelding, Gotta Get comes off a win in the Grade 3 Lineage Championship when he galloped across the finish line 1 1/2 lengths in front. Only two horses ran against Gotta Get, the 1-20 favorite.

Gotta Get earned his championship when he won seven stakes in seven 2006 starts, including two at Zia Park.

Also in the Hobbs are Grade 2 Zia Derby winner Eddie Stinson and 2006 Hobbs runner-up Look for Wranglers, who returned from a nine-month layoff to easily win a Ruidoso Downs allowance race on Aug. 25.