02/20/2002 12:00AM

Babe Watcher seeks first Grade 1 win


Babe Watcher, winner of the Grade 2 Sunland Fall Futurity, will be after his first Grade 1 victory in the $210,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby Saturday night.

Babe Watcher, owned by Francisco Gonsalez and trained by Jaimie Gomez, won the Grade 2 Sunland Fall Futurity at Sunland Park in his final 2001 start and then came back to set the fastest qualifying time to the Winter Derby on Feb. 9.

With Joe Badilla Jr in the irons, Babe Watcher won the first of four Winter Derby trials by a length. His fastest qualifying time was 19.99 seconds for the 400 yards.

While Babe Watcher scored his biggest win away from Los Alamitos when he took the Sunland Fall Derby, he has done well at Los Alamitos. He was second by a nose in the Grade 1 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and fourth in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity here.

Panther Mountain, owned by Guy Weimer, has responded well for trainer Chuck Treece since arriving at Los Alamitos from the intermountain region last fall.

In five starts at Los Alamitos, Panther Mountain has four wins and a second, the place finish came in the Cypress Sophomore Handicap as the 3-5 favorite on Jan 5. In his first two Los Alamitos starts he won a pair of allowance races and then took the QHBC Juvenile Classic.

Panther Mountain qualified for the Winter Derby with a half-length trial win in 20.01 seconds for the 400 yards, the second-fastest qualifying time.

Agouti, who defeated Panther Mountain in the Cypress Sophomore Handicap, was second to that rival in their Winter Derby trial. Agouti qualified for the Winter Derby with the fourth fastest time (20.09 seconds).

Kama Shootin aims for seventh straight

Kama Shootin, owned by Lola Willis and Joyce McBride, carries highweight of 126 pounds over the rarely raced distance of 1000 yards in the Grade 3, $30,000 Budweiser Handicap on Saturday at Sunland Park.

Kama Shootin, trained by Steve Stephens, has become the southwest's most accomplished distance specialist since his winning streak started with an allowance win at Ruidoso Downs on June 10.

In his most recent three starts he has won three Grade 3 stakes at 870 yards with two of those victories at Sunland Park.

The Thoroughbred Terminator Won comes into the Budweiser Handicap after three straight wins at five and 5-1/2 furlongs.

First Down Dandy's victory a fluke?

First Down Dandy, owned by Molly Morris and trained by Roy Marcom Jr., will try to prove that his 24-1 trial victory was not a fluke when he brings fastest qualifier status into the Grade 3, $73,829 Casino Cash Derby at Sunland Park on Sunday afternoon.

First Down Dandy won his trial in 17.575 seconds for 350 yards. It was his second win from 11 starts.

The 7-10 favorite in that trial was Its Called Splash, who finished second and qualified for the finals. He won the Grade 3 Four Corners Futurity.

All American Futurity finalist Love That Chapelle won his Casino Cash Derby trial by three-quarters of a length with the second-fastest time of 17.605 seconds for 350 yards.