06/19/2002 11:00PM

Champions Night should live up to its billing


A Ransom, the 2000 world champion Quarter Horse, heads an outstanding card that includes four 2001 champions and 10 stakes races collectively worth more than $840,000 during Saturday's third annual California Breeders Champions Night at Los Alamitos.

Here's a rundown of the major stakes:

Spencer Childers Championship

A Ransom, who has been masterfully handled by trainer Connie Hall, is making his seasonal debut in the Grade 1, $159,250 Spencer Childers Championship. He is in search of his second world championship in three years. After winning the world title in 2000, A Ransom was second in the 2001 world champion voting to Tailor Fit.

A Ransom is making his first start since winning the Grade 1 Championship at Sunland Park on Dec. 29.

"Connie has A Ransom looking great," said jockey Carlos Bautista. "I'm looking forward to riding him again."

Challenging A Ransom in the Spencer Childers Championship are Dashin Bye and Whosleavingwho.

Dashin Bye is bidding for his first championship title. Last year he won his first five starts, including the Grade 1 Bayer Legend Challenge Championship and the All American Gold Cup, before finishing sixth in the Texas Classic Derby on Nov. 30.

Whosleavingwho, the 2001 champion 3-year-old gelding, is making his 2002 debut after winning three stakes last year, including the

Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Marathon Stakes

Sign of Lanty, the 2000 and 2001 distance champion, is looking to win the Grade 3, $26,550 Breeders Marathon Stakes, over 870 yards, for the second time.

The John Cooper-trained Sign of Lanty won the 2000 Breeders Marathon, one of his 16 stakes wins at 870 yards. He was second in last year's Breeders Marathon.

This year, Sign of Lanty finished in a dead heat for the win in the Moonshiner Handicap while toting 130 pounds, and comes off an allowance win on June 6.

Rock N Strawfly defeated Sign of Lanty in the Grade 3 MCI New Mexico Challenge on March 17. He then set the world record for 870 yards (43.845 seconds) on April 7.

Matron Stakes

Tiny First Effort, the 2001 champion 3-year-old filly, begins her summer campaign in the Grade 3 $54,400 California Breeders Matron Stakes.

Winner of the Grade 1 Southern California Derby last year, Tiny First Effort was fourth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship to stablemate Corona Kool before being bred this spring.

Tiny First Effort will be challenged by La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Mini Rock.

Sophomore Stakes

Your First Moon, the 2001 champion 2-year-old, launches her 2002 run for another title in the Grade 3, $27,000 California Breeders Sophomore Stakes.

Last year she grabbed Grade 1 futurity wins in the Los Alamitos Million and the Governor's Cup Futurity.

Trainer Danny Cardoza said Your First Moon will point to the All American Derby and the fall races that traditionally determine champions.

Governor's Cup Futurity

Fastest qualifier Flys R Streakin, sixth in the Grade 1 Kindergarten after a bumpy trip, looks to make amends in the Grade 1, $349,000 Governor's Cup Futurity.

Flys R Streakin was the even-money favorite in the Kindergarten but was bumped out of contention at the start. He won his Governor's Cup trial by 1 1/2 lengths in 17.665 seconds for the 350 yards.

Another Kindergarten finalist, Doreme Fasolasi Win, made the Governor's Cup Futurity finals after winning his trial.

Governor's Cup Derby

Last Shall be First, winner of the Dash for Speed Handicap, is after her third win from as many 2002 starts in the Grade 1, $136,000 Governor's Cup Derby.

Trained by Dan Francisco, Last Shall Be First defeated 7-5 favorite Inthewinkofaneye in the second of two trials on June 8.

Don't Dink With Me, second in the Grade 2 El Primero Del Ano Derby, rallied to win the first trial.

Retama: Derby, Futurity close meet

Shining Sky, the 2001 champion 2-year-old gelding, launches his 2002 stakes campaign in the Grade 2, $136,800 Retama Park Derby on Saturday.

Shining Sky won last year's Grade 1 Retama Park Futurity and Grade 1 Sam Houston Futurity before finishing second in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Futurity.

On closing day Sunday, fastest qualifier Shake Em White meets Manor Downs Futurity runner-up Moon Shake in the Grade 1, $260,550 Retama Park Futurity.

Shake Em White, third in the Manor Downs Futurity, won his 350-yard trial in 18.16 seconds.