10/16/2007 11:00PM

Carters Cartel tops Golden State Million trials

EmailCarters Cartel gets back on the path to chasing the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza when he starts in the trials to the Grade 1, $1,157,700 Golden State Million on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

The Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza goes to the connections of a horse who can win the Grade 1 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity, the Golden State Million, and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million on Dec. 14.

The Jaime Gomez-trained Carters Cartel won the Ed Burke Million with a track record 17.17-second time for 350 yards. Gomez then said they would concentrate on the bonus. Carters Cartel, however, surfaced in the trials to the Grade 1 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders Futurity and raced to the fastest qualifying time. He would have been the odds-on favorite in the Futurity, but was scratched and pointed to the Golden State Million trials.

Carters Cartel is a prime contender for champion 2-year-old honors along with Heartswideopen, winner of the Grade 1, $2 million All American Futurity and the stakes-record winner of the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby. Carters Cartel has a win in the Grade 1 Kindergarten to go with his record-setting win in the Ed Burke Million.

Also in the Golden State trials is the promising New Mexico Juvenile Challenge winner Pappasito, a son of leading sire Corona Cartel and All American Futurity winner Strawberry Silk.

Super Derby trials loaded with talent

An excellent crop of 3-year-olds this year means that the trials Saturday night to the year's richest derby - the Grade 1, $815,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby - are very deep.

The derby trial cast stars 2006 champion 2-year-old Blues Girl Too, 2006 champion 2-year-old colt FDD Dynasty, and 2006 champion 2-year-old gelding Jess You and I. Also entered are Grade 1 winners Don't Let Down, No Secrets Here, and A Stoli Mate.

Blues Girl Too and FDD Dynasty each comes off a Grade 1 stakes win over older horses. Blues Girl Too defeated mares in the $250,000 Mildred Vessels Handicap and FDD Dynasty defeated his elders in the $100,000 Go Man Go Invitational.

Jess You and I, winner of the 2006 Golden State Million, has been competing in minor stakes and won a Los Alamitos 350-yard allowance race over No Secrets Here in a fast 17.25 seconds.

Don't Let Down won the Grade 1 All American Derby, No Secrets Here won the $2 million All American Futurity, and A Stoli Mate won the $202,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Challenge berths at stake at Turf Paradise

The final invitations to pair of stakes during the Challenge Championships at Los Alamitos on Nov. 3 will be up for grabs in two divisions of the West/Southwest Challenge at Turf Paradise on Sunday.

The Grade 3 West/Southwest Challenge for older horses at 440 yards brings together trial winners Brindis Por Cayenne and Value the Man, a pair of 4-year-olds who impressed in Grade 1 races as juveniles. Brindis Por Cayenne was third in the Grade 1, $2 million All American Futurity while Value the Man won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Million.

Brindis Por Cayenne won the Grade 2 Sunland Park Winter Derby and the Grade 3 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes earlier this year.

Value the Man raced to his only 2007 win when he won his Challenge trial by 3 1/2 lengths.

In the Ford West/Southwest Challenge for 2-year-olds, Reas Fast Man is the top qualifier after winning his trial by a half-length. He was a close second in the Grade 3 Four Corners Futurity three starts ago.

Stoli Powered and LP Leading Effort finished second and third in their trial and have the second- and third-fastest qualifying times. Stoli Powered won the Grade 3 Pot o' Gold Futurity, and LP Leading Effort won the Pomona Juvenile Championship.