10/09/2008 12:00AM

Blue Piranha, Amador Gold look tough in Autumn


Governor's Cup Futurity third-place finisher Blue Piranha and Ford New Mexico Juvenile runner-up Amador Gold head the 350-yard, $25,000 Autumn Handicap for juveniles Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Blue Piranha ran third behind the highly regarded Hard Hitting in the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity and then returned to capture a nonwinners-of-two allowance race in his most recent start.

The gelding finished sixth in his career debut, but has finished on the board in each of his six subsequent starts.

Amador Gold summered at Ruidoso Downs and capped her three starts at the mountain track with a close second in the Grade 3 Ford New Mexico Juvenile Challenge. She then shipped to Los Alamitos, where she started her career, to finish fifth in her PCQHRA Breeders Futurity trial as the 7-5 favorite after being fractious in the gate.

Brother-sister combo tops Zia stakes

The brother-sister combination of Noconi and Brenda Beautiful head the Grade 2, $131,000 Hobbs America Derby and the Grade 2, $230,000 Hobbs America Futurity, respectively, on Sunday afternoon at Zia Park as the fastest qualifiers.

Noconi and Brenda Beautiful are each out of the Dash for Cash mare My Dashing Lady. Noconi is sired by Mr Jess Perry, while Brenda Beautiful is by the Mr Jess Perry-sired Feature Mr Jess.

They are each homebreds owned by R.D. Hubbard and Johnny T.L. Jones Jr. and are trained by Paul Jones. Hubbard also is represented in the derby by Three Past Six and Hawkin Had It, whom he owns with other partners.

Noconi is a proven Grade 1 winner by virtue of his victory in the $1,066,000 All American Derby over champion Heartswideopen on Aug. 31. That win earned the gelding a berth in the Grade 1, $1 million Champion of Champions on Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos. His connections decided to participate in the Hobbs America Derby - he was second in the 2007 Hobbs America Futurity - before shipping him to California. He easily won his Hobbs America Derby trial by two lengths, with the fastest qualifying time of 21.312 seconds for 440 yards.

Brenda Beautiful is a late-developing filly who may have Grade 1 potential. She started twice early in this summer's Ruidoso Downs meet, but then the small filly was turned out to mature. After a restful month, she was returned to training and won her maiden with a 16-1 upset victory over Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity winner Jess Significant in their Hobbs America Futurity trial. Brenda Beautiful raced the 400 yards in 19.186 seconds, while Jess Significant was timed in 19.353 for the top two qualifying times from five trials.

Ketel Won, Carters Cartel head to stud

Ketel Won and Carters Cartel, each a 2007 champion, will begin stud duty in 2009. Ketel Won will continue to race this fall, while Carters Cartel has been retired.

Defending champion aged horse and champion aged stallion Ketel Won, a strapping son of 2008's leading sire of money earners, Stoli, will stand at JEH New Mexico in Hondo, N.M. Ketel Won closed out his 2007 with Grade 1 wins in the $200,000 Zia Park Championship and the $400,000 The Championship at Sunland Park. In his 2008 debut, he easily won the All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs.

Carters Cartel, the 2007 champion 2-year-old colt, will stand at Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Okla. He raced to his 2007 Grade 1 wins in the Kindergarten and Ed Burke Million, setting the Los Alamitos 350-yard track record of 17.179 seconds with his Ed Burke Million win. The son of leading sire Corona Cartel is out of 1993 champion 2-year-old filly Jumping Tac Flash.