09/01/2005 11:00PM

DM Shicago formidable

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Ty Wyant
DM Shicago will go for his fourth Grade 1 victory in Sunday's All American Derby.

DM Shicago will be a strong favorite to become the third horse to sweep the three Grade 1 derbies at Ruidoso Downs in the $819,388 All American Derby on Sunday.

DM Shicago has made each of his 10 starts at Ruidoso and has six wins, including three Grade 1 stakes, and earnings of $1,401,389. His best distance is 440 yards, which makes him a perfect fit for the All American Derby. In addition, DM Shicago seems to be in peak form.

The sole negative could be his post position. In a draft-style draw for the stakes, trainer Carl Draper had the ninth selection and took the 2 hole. The only other option was the rail.

"At least it wasn't the fence," Draper said.

DM Shicago won the 2004 All American Futurity in a stakes record 21.000 seconds for 440 yards and then was given a winter's rest. He suffered his sole 2005 setback in his seasonal debut when he finished second behind Mighty Invictus in their 400-yard Ruidoso Derby trial. Then DM Shicago stepped forward in the Ruidoso Derby finals with a neck win. The distance extended to 440 yards for the Rainbow Derby with DM Shicago winning his trial by three lengths, and then he pulled away from 2004 champion 2-year-old Ocean Runaway to win the Rainbow Derby by three-quarters of a length.

In the All American Derby trials, DM Shicago raced on an off track for the first time and responded with the fastest qualifying time of 21.188 for 440 yards on the muddy surface.

The All American Derby winner receives an invitation to the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 10 at Los Alamitos. If DM Shicago can win the All American Derby winner's share of $409,694 and the Champion of Champions winner's share of $250,000, his earnings would swell to $2,061,083 and place him second on the all-time list behind Refrigerator ($2,126,309).

Trainer Paul Jones will send out four proven Los Alamitos stakes horses in the All American Derby. Last year's national champion trainer saddles Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner One More Habit, Grade 2 El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Dutch Schultz, Grade 2 La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Louisiana Eye Opener, and Grade 1 Golden State Million runner-up Like Frankie and Me.

Capping the Labor Day weekend at Ruidoso is the Grade 1, $1.9 million All American Futurity on Monday afternoon. Trainers Heath Taylor and Jones each has three horses in the Futurity. Fastest qualifier Make a Secret leads Taylor's threesome, while Shesnowlady, fourth in the Rainbow Futurity, heads Jones's contingent.