10/12/2005 12:00AM

Cash for Kas gets her season started late

Email
Scott Martinez
Cash for Kas makes her 2005 debut in the Grade 2 Las Damas 'Cap.

Champion of Champions winner Cash for Kas makes her 2005 debut Friday night, when she meets Mini Rock, undefeated in 2005, in the Grade 2, $82,700 Las Damas Handicap at Los Alamitos.

Cash for Kas, the 2004 champion 3-year-old filly, is making her first start since finishing fourth in The Championship at Sunland Park on Dec. 26. She secured her championship when she defeated world champion Be a Bono by a nose in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions. In 2004, she was second in the Grade 1 All American Derby, a neck behind champion 3-year-old colt Brimmerton, and third in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby, a neck behind winner Be a Bono.

Mini Rock, 6, has finished on the board in 27 of 31 starts, including 12 wins, and may be headed for her first championship season, with 3 wins from 3 starts this year. She wrapped up her winter campaign with a win in the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap and returned this summer to take the Grade 3 California Distaff Challenge and the Grade 3 John Deere California Distaff Challenge Championship.

World champions face off

Whosleavingwho and Be a Bono, a pair of world champions, will each be after his third Grade 1 win this year in the Grade 1, $200,000 Los Alamitos Championship on Saturday night.

Whosleavingwho was the co-world champion in 2002, and Be a Bono was the world champion in 2004.

A 7-year-old, Whosleavingwho has 22 wins and 11 seconds from 43 starts. He is not showing his age, having scored Grade 1 wins in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship and the Go Man Go Invitational this year. In the Go Man Go, his latest start, he ran 400 yards in a stakes record 19.40 seconds, just .06 seconds off the track record, as the oldest horse in the race by two years.

Be a Bono, the even-money choice in the Go Man Go, disappointed his backers with a fifth-place finish after a troubled trip, the lowest finish of his 14-race career. He earned that favoritism after wins in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity and the Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship in his two previous starts.

Catchmeinyourdreams will be trying to win the Los Alamitos Championship for a record third straight year. He is in peak form, coming off a win in the Grade 2 MBNA America California Challenge Championship in 21.26 seconds for 440 yards.

Last chance for championship berths

Streakin Kilobyte starts in the Grade 2, $77,760 MBNA America West Southwest Championship, and trainer Jay Pitcher sends out three horses in the Grade 3, $37,620 Ford West Southwest Juvenile Challenge on Sunday at Turf Paradise.

These stakes are the last opportunities for horses to earn berths in their respective races in the MBNA America Challenge Championships on Nov. 5 at Los Alamitos.

This year, Streakin Kilobyte has started in two regional MBNA-sponsored races for older horses at 440 yards. His best effort was a head-bobbing second in the Grade 2 Northwest Challenge Championship at Wyoming Downs.

Pitcher's three 2-year-olds in the Ford Juvenile are fastest qualifier BK Saxton, two-time futurity winner Gigarad, and Cowboy Classic Futurity runner-up Molten Lava.

Two seek first derby victory

Cronus and Scrutinizer, each with a second in a Grade 1 derby, look for a first derby win in the $130,000 Hobbs America Derby on Sunday afternoon at Zia Park.

Cronus was second in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Derby on May 21, rested through the summer, and then came back to set the fastest qualifying time to the Hobbs America Derby, 21.657 seconds for 440 yards.

Scrutinizer finished second in the Grade 1 All American Derby, his only setback in his last four races, and then won his Hobbs America Derby trial by a half-length. DM Shicago, a leading contender for 2005 world champion honors, defeated him in the All American Derby.

Also Sunday, Winning Awards goes for his third straight win and first stakes win in the $170,000 Hobbs America Futurity. Winning Awards won a minor stakes at Ruidoso Downs and then came back to win his Hobbs America trial with the fastest qualifying time, 19.633 seconds for 400 yards.