03/06/2002 1:00AM

Dunit Runnin aims for another Derby


Dunit Runnin, fresh from a win in the Casino Cash Derby on Feb. 24, tries to get in position for another derby win when he starts in the trials to the Grade 2 West Texas Derby on Friday at Sunland Park.

The horses with the 10 fastest times from the four 400-yard trials qualify for the West Texas Derby on March 24.

This year at Sunland Park, Dunit Runnin picked up his sole career stakes win for owner Blanca Rivera when he took a nose decision in the Grade 3 Casino Cash Derby. Friday he will start in the third trial for trainer Juan Gonzalez with Juan Vasquez riding from post 8.

The first trial will pit Four Corners Futurity winner Its Called Splash, Rainbow Futurity finalist Not Better Than This, and two-time futurity qualifier Kiptys First Dash.

He Doll, Sailing Thru Traffic to meet

He Doll and Sailing Thru Traffic, a pair of promising 870-yard runners, come off trial wins to meet in the Grade 3, $77,000 Catalina Derby at 870 yards on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

He Doll, owned by Margarito Farias and trained by Jorge Farias, has two wins from as many starts at 870 yards. He won an allowance race by three lengths on Jan 17 and then rolled to a seven-length victory in his Catalina Derby trial. His 45.40-second time for the 870 yards in his trial was the fastest time from the two trials.

Sailing Thru Traffic, owned by Mike Pegram and the Vessels Stallion Farm, won his first start at 870 yards win a one-length trial victory for trainer Danny Cardoza, who was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame last Sunday night.

Derby action starts in Texas

Fastest qualifier Corona Silver faces his toughest challenge when he makes his stakes debut in the Grade 3, $68,339 Longhorn Derby on Saturday at Manor Downs near Austin.

Corona Silver comes off the biggest race of his five-race career when he upset Grade 1 Dash for Cash Futurity runner-up Backed by Speed in their trial on Feb. 23.

Corona Silver, owned by Mel Cook and trained by Lewis Jordan, won the trial with a 17.77-second time for the 350 yards, the quickest time from five trials.

Backed by Speed, who was a half-length behind Corona Silver, qualified for the finals with the third-fastest time of 17.84 seconds.

Corona Kool first into Champions

Defending champion aged mare Corona Kool earned a Champion of Champions invitation by virtue of her victory in the Grade 1, $200,000 Los Alamitos Winter Championship. She will now be bred and will have minor surgery.

Corona Kool, a gate scratch in the 2001 Champion of Champions, is the first horse to receive an invitation to this year's Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 14.

Trainer Donna McArthur said Corona Kool will be bred - probably to Chicks Beduino - and that embryo will be transferred to another mare.

After being bred, Corona Kool will have minor ankle surgery to remove a chip before resuming training.