10/30/2002 12:00AM

Check Him Out seeks third straight derby


Fastest qualifier Check Him Out seeks his third consecutive derby win in Friday night's Grade 1, $288,950 Los Alamitos Derby at Los Alamitos.

Owned by Zory Kuzyk, John Andreini, and trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, Check Him Out won the Grade 1 Golden State Derby and the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Derby in his last two stakes appearances. He is riding a four-race winning streak dating back to his Golden State Derby win on Aug. 17. During his winning streak he has victories in the trials to the PCQHRA Derby and the Los Alamitos Derby, along with his derby wins.

Check Him Out, ridden by Sam Thompson, had to work to win his Los Alamitos Derby trial by posting the fastest qualifying time of 19.600 seconds for 400 yards. He defeated second-fastest qualifier Agouti by a scant .01 seconds.

Sassy Smith, owned by Dutch Masters III, may be returning to her solid 2-year-old form. Last year, she was a championship contender with Grade 1 wins in the Kindergarten and the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. She raced to her first win from five starts this year when she won her Los Alamitos Derby trial by a nose over Coronado Handicap winner Miami Cartel. Sassy Smith won the first of three trials in 19.720 seconds, good for the fourth-fastest qualifying time.

"Surprise, surprise," said co-owner Denny Boer of Dutch Masters III. "Just when we least expected it from Sassy Smith she scores a nice win."

Panther Mountain, winner of the third trial, has the opportunity to win the two richest derbies this year at Los Alamitos. He won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February.

Panther Mountain won his Los Alamitos Derby trial in 19.775 seconds by a nose margin over Ronnie Jace, winner of the 2001 Grade 1 American Airlines Challenge Championship.

The winner of the Los Alamitos Derby earns a starting berth in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion Of Champions on Dec. 14.

Meteoric tops richest Golden State

Meteoric, owned by Dutch Masters III, puts his 7 for 8 career record on the line Sunday night at Los Alamitos in the Grade 1, $733,950 Golden State Futurity, the richest running in the 22-year history of the stakes.

Meteoric has been sensational this year for trainer Lin Melton. The gelding started his career with six straight wins before running third in the Grade 1, $1.9 million All American Futurity. In the All American Futurity, Meteoric was beaten by a margin of only two heads.

Meteoric made his Los Alamitos debut in the third of eight Golden State Futurity trials on Oct. 19 when he rallied from a tardy start to gain a three-quarters of a length victory. His time of 19.67 seconds for the 400 yards topped the qualifiers.

Trainer John Bassett will be challenging Meteoric with four qualifiers - First Place Queen, Corona Caliente, The Blues Man, and Lotta Bang.

First Place Queen won the first trial by 1 1/4 lengths in 19.81 seconds. Corona Caliente, a $700,000 yearling purchase, won his maiden in the second trial. The Blues Man won the fifth trial by 1 1/4 lengths. Lotta Bang finished second to PCQHRA Breeders Futurity runner-up Deefirst in the fourth trial.