04/01/2008 11:00PM

Draper loaded for West Texas Futurity


The Grade 1 futurity season in New Mexico starts on Friday afternoon at Sunland Park when 11 trials are held for the Grade 1, $300,000 West Texas Futurity, headed by an interesting matchup in the second trial.

Meeting in the second trial are LS Separatist and Jesstifiable, each coming off a maiden win. The Carl Draper-trained LS Separatist won his maiden at first asking by a length, while the Blane Wood-trained Jesstifiable prevailed by a neck in his career debut.

"LS Separatist is a nice colt who could qualify," said Draper.

Draper also has two maiden winners owned by La Feliz Montana Ranch in the trials, Jess Significant and Little Rebas Corona.

Draper is optimistic about his first-time starter Misty Blue Mercedes in the ninth trial.

"Her dam, Hidden Dragon, was one of the fastest horses I've trained, and this filly could be a superstar," Draper said. "I debated whether to run her or not, but concluded that I would be giving her an out before the Ruidoso meet anyway."

Furrtreeous begins season

Furrtreeous makes his first start since winning the $305,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship at Zia Park on Dec. 2 when he races in the third of three trials to the Grade 1 Remington Park Derby on Friday night at the Oklahoma City track.

The Oklahoma-based Furrtreeous shipped to Zia Park for the Southwest Juvenile Championship and rallied for a neck win under 66-year-old jockey Roy Brooks. A winner of 5 of 8 starts, Furrtreeous also has a win in the Gold Cup Futurity at Fair Meadows and a third in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity.

Meeting Furrtreeous in the deep third trial are Miss Blue Chew and Brighton Beach.

Miss Blue Chew is after her first win since starting her career with five straight victories. Those wins included the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity and the Grade 2 Blue Ribbon Futurity. She has lost six straight since her last win, which came in June.

Brighton Beach has always shown promise, with 4 wins from 7 starts and a fourth-place effort in the Grade 1, $625,000 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. He won his trials to the Grade 1 All American Futurity and the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Futurity, but failed to qualify for either.

Risking $15,000 on Spit Curl Diva

Owner Elbert Brown paid the $15,000 supplemental fee to race Spit Curl Diva in the trials to the Grade 1, $550,000-estimated Remington Park Futurity on Saturday night. There will be 10 trials held at 350 yards.

Spit Curl Diva won the Grade 2 Blue Ribbon Futurity at 10-1 odds on March 15 in her second start. She won by 1 3/4 lengths in 16.78 seconds for 330 yards.

Also in the trials is Louisiana Senator, who won his maiden at first asking on March 20 at Remington Park. The Mike Joiner-trained colt won a 250-yard training race in 13.33 seconds before his maiden win in 13.51.

Dashin Cant Wait comes into the trials off a head maiden victory in 13.36. He finished fifth as the 6-5 favorite in his career debut at Louisiana Downs.

West Texas Derby comes up salty

Gone to the Mountain is among three sharp horses coming off back-to-back wins in the Grade 2, $130,000 West Texas Derby on Saturday afternoon at Sunland Park.

Gone to the Mountain took the Grade 2 Hobbs America Futurity at Zia Park on Oct. 14 at nearly 20-1 odds for his only stakes win. He started his 3-year-old season at Sunland Park with an allowance win, and he won his West Texas Derby trial in the second-fastest time of 19.223 for 400 yards.

A Real Shaker and Gettin the Cash, like Gone to the Mountain, are 2 for 2 at Sunland Park.

A Real Shaker, fourth in the Hobbs America Futurity behind Gone to the Mountain, took a first-level allowance, and he won his West Texas Derby trial in the fastest time of 19.169 seconds.

Gettin the Cash was sidelined after finishing third in the Grade 2 TQHA Futurity on July 14 before returning with an allowance win at Sunland Park on Feb. 23. He then won his West Texas Derby trial by 1o1/4 lengths.