08/29/2003 11:00PM

Dash of Perry has look of millionaire


Dash of Perry may be peaking at the most lucrative time for a Quarter Horse.

On Aug. 14, the 2-year-old filly won her maiden in the sixth division of the All American Futurity trials at Ruidoso Downs.

Her winning time over 440 yards - 21.409 seconds - was fast enough to earn a berth in to Monday's $1,896,250 final and give owners Bill and Mary Eiland and Russell and Brook Harris a solid chance at the $1 million first-place purse.

Russell Harris is one of Quarter Horse racing's most successful trainers, with six champions and more than 1,300 winners to his credit. But in a 32-year career, he has never won the All American, the sport's richest race.

Harris thinks Dash of Perry has an excellent chance.

"This has worked out how we wanted," he said. "We wanted her to be ready for Labor Day. She legitimately wants 440."

Ten 2-year-olds were entered on Thursday, but only nine are expected to start. Latest Version, the fastest qualifier, suffered a leg injury in the trials and will not start, according to trainer Paul Jones.

Planet Holland, the winner of the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on July 20, is the expected favorite. Trained by Jones, Planet Holland set the sixth fastest qualifying time in the trials.

Of the 10 finalists, five are geldings, three are colts, and two are fillies.

The race was won last year by the filly AB What a Runner, who entered the race unbeaten in two starts and had the fastest qualifying time.

The Harrises raised Dash of Perry at their farm in Bandera, Texas, and deliberately gave her a light campaign this summer.

"We raised the filly at our house and broke her at the house," Russell Harris said. "It's been a real neat experience."

Dash of Perry did not begin racing until the Ruidoso Downs meeting opened in late May. She finished second in her first three starts, two of which were trials for major futurities.

In the All American trials, Dash of Perry won the sixth of 18 divisions by 1 3/4 lengths under G.R. Carter, who won the 1998 All American Futurity with Falling in Loveagain.

Harris contends that Dash of Perry has enough experience to be a factor in the All American.

"She couldn't be coming up to it any better," he said. "If we don't win, it's because we got outrun. If we're close halfway, I think we'll be real tough on the end."