11/03/2005 12:00AM

Catchmeinyourdreams: Feet bad, chances good

Ty Wyant
Prankster CF goes for his seventh win in seven starts at 870 yards in the Distance Challenge.

Catchmeinyourdreams, the even-money morning-line favorite in the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship on Saturday, is in position to make a third straight championship title run because of meticulous care of the gelding's fragile feet by trainer Chris O'Dell.

The MBNA America Challenge Championship, for Quarter Horses at 440 yards at Los Alamitos, is the headline stakes on a 13-race card featuring five Grade 1 events, all season-ending divisional events in the MBNA America Racing Challenge series.

Also to be run are the $175,000 Bayer Legend Derby Challenge Championship, $150,000 Ford Juvenile Challenge Championship, $100,000 John Deere Distaff Challenge Championship, and the $100,000 MD Barns Distance Challenge Championship. The Distaff Championship and the Distance Championship should also have bearing on 2005 championship titles.

O'Dell has given Catchmeinyourdreams's chronic foot problems much attention. The gelding has slow-growing feet that are sensitive to the slightest irritation.

"He could be walking to the track and step on a small stone and have problems," O'Dell said, as the gelding's front legs were soaking in a turbulator, a portable Jacuzzi-like spa for horses. "We are always taking care of his feet and shoe him well in advance of his races. When he is away from the track he goes to my house a few miles away and we care for his feet every day.

"It hasn't been easy, but we have his feet in good shape. We're really proud of him."

As usual, Catchmeninyourdreams is making a late-season run at a championship title. The two-time defending champion aged gelding won the Grade 2 MBNA America California Challenge, then took the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship for a record third straight year in his most recent start on Oct. 15. His last defeat was on July 30 in the Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Championship - to defending world champion Be a Bono, a prime rival for the 2005 champion aged gelding title.

A Long Goodbye, the world-record holder at 440 yards, makes his Los Alamitos debut in the MBNA America Challenge Championship. The New Mexico-based gelding set the quarter-mile world record of 20.68 seconds when he won the Grade 1 MBNA America New Mexico Challenge on April 3 at Sunland Park. He has one minor stakes win in four starts since his record-setting victory.

Mini Rock even money in Distaff

Even-money morning-line favorite Mini Rock aims to stay on track for her first championship title in the John Deere Distaff Challenge Championship.

This year, Mini Rock has been the class of the aged mare division with three straight stakes wins, including the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap, before finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Las Damas Handicap as the odds-on favorite in her most recent start. That fifth-place finish ended a streak of 13 on-the-board finishes, 12 in stakes company.

Prankster out to ice champion distance title

Prankster CF, the 2-5 morning-line favorite, puts his 870-yard record of 6 wins in 6 starts on the line in his quest for the champion distance horse title in the MD Barns Distance Challenge Championship.

Prankster CF, by 1997 Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, won five straight races at 870 yards, four of them stakes, before a troubled seventh-place finish in the 440-yard MBNA America California Challenge behind Catchmeinyourdreams. He came back to win the 870-yard MD Barns California Distance Challenge in 44.27 seconds, his career-best time, in his most recent start.

Local success runs deep in Legend Derby

LDS Dash for Dylan, Dasha Freda, and Tell Em Im Gone, three horses with success at Los Alamitos, should be dangerous in a deep 400-yard Bayer Legend Derby Challenge Championship.

LDS Dash for Dylan won the $123,500 Los Alamitos Maiden and comes off an impressive 1 1/4-length win in the Old Habits Handicap.

Dasha Freda has won half of her six 2005 starts, including the Grade 3 Bayer Legend California Derby Challenge, and was a close second in the Grade 2 La Primera Del Ano Derby.

Tell Em Im Gone is making his first start at Los Alamitos since finishing third in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Los Alamitos Million on Dec. 10. He is coming off a win in the Bayer Legend Oklahoma Derby Challenge at Blue Ribbon Downs.

Juvenile Challenge wide open

The lightly raced and undefeated Snowbound Sapphire and Makeala both come off layoffs in a wide-open Ford Juvenile Challenge Championship. The Los Alamitos-based Snowbound Sapphire scored her third straight win last out in the Grade 2 Ford California Juvenile Challenge on Aug. 26.

Makeala is making her first appearance since winning the Grade 3 Ford East Juvenile Challenge on May 22 for her third win in three starts.

Five others enter the Juvenile off at least one victory, including Startlet Hawk with a three-race win streak.