06/28/2005 11:00PM

Dasha Freda on verge of breakthrough


Dasha Freda will try for her first stakes victory against a field that includes three Grade 1-caliber Quarter Horses in Friday night's Grade 3, $46,890 Bayer Legend California Derby Challenge at Los Alamitos.

Dasha Freda, fifth in last year's Grade 1 Ed Burke Futurity, has always shown promise for trainer Donna McArthur, but has yet to break through at the stakes level.

She now be approaching her best form. Two starts ago, Dasha Freda was second, beaten a neck, in the Grade 2 La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies, and followed that near-miss with a fastest-qualifying victory in her Bayer Legend Derby trial. She was timed in 19.440 seconds for the 400 yards with second-fastest qualifier Modem a neck back.

Dash on a Mission was a troubled fourth in that trial, but still qualified with the 10th fastest time of 20.30. Last year, he won 3 of 5 starts, including the Grade 1 Juvenile Challenge Championship and the Grade 3 California Juvenile Challenge Championship.

Other proven Grade 1 horses in the field are La Jolla Ca, third in the Kindergarten, and Have a Coronary, seventh in the All American Futurity.

Delta: Pair of Firecrackers

Magical Thunder heads the Grade 2, $231,300 Firecracker Futurity and Check the Account tops the Grade 2, $96,100 Firecracker Derby on Sunday at Delta Downs.

Magical Thunder improved to 2 for 2 when he won his trial in 17.658 for 350 yards over a muddy track.

Second-fastest qualifier Sin Tacha Perry, a half-sister to 2002 co-world champion Streakin Sin Tacha, will be dangerous in the futurity after her half-length trial win to remain undefeated in two starts.

Trainer Heath Taylor has a big shot in the derby with the winners of the two trials, Check the Account and Streakin Attitude.

Check the Account scored a 7-1 upset in her trial for her first win from four starts this year. She was timed in 19.734 for the 400 yards and led six qualifiers from the second of two trials across the finish line.

Streakin Attitude won her trial after a couple of close seconds in allowance races.

Canterbury: 'First Down' tops futurity

First Down Sixes won her maiden in the second of four trials to become the fastest qualifier to the Grade 3, $62,600 Northlands Futurity on Sunday at Canterbury Park.

First Down Sixes finished fourth in her career debut at Remington Park, but improved for trainer Ed Hardy at Canterbury with a 1 1/2-length trial win in 17.819 for 350 yards.

Arapahoe: 'Kick Em' sharp

Kick Em in the Buds comes off a quick trial victory in 17.32 for 330 yards when he faces Colorado-breds in the $95,690 Cherry Creek Futurity on Saturday at Arapahoe Park.

Kick Em in the Buds won his maiden in his second start when he defeated Whos Kissin Who by a nose.