10/02/2007 11:00PM

Frankie Shoots sharp after layoff

EmailFrankie Shoots is in a prime position to gain his first major stakes win in the Grade 2, $191,000 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders Derby on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Trainer Paul Jones scratched Frankie Shoots from the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February because of an injury and then brought the colt back to set the fastest-qualifying time to the Breeders Derby. He raced the 400 yards in 19.540 seconds to win by three-quarters of a length.

"It was a minor injury, and because we like the horse so much, we decided to not take any risks and give him time off," owner Jose Santos said of the decision to withdraw from the Winter Derby.

A winner of 4 of 7 starts with 2 seconds, Frankie Shoots won the Corona Chick Handicap a year ago and was a close second to Winter Derby winner A Stoli Mate in their Winter Derby trial, his final start before the eight-month layoff.

Owner Ed Allred has two horses in the Breeders Derby, Ten Oclock Scholar and Look Her Over. Ten Oclock Scholar won his trial with the second-fastest time of 19.570 seconds and was third in the Gradeo2 Governor's Cup Derby. Look Her Over won the California Breeders 550 Sophomore at 550 yards.

Carter's Cartel key to Futurity

On Saturday, the Grade 1, $484,000 PCQHRA Futurity will be held with one overriding question: Will Carter's Cartel run? The two-time futurity winner has the fastest qualifying time, but may not run in order to focus on winning the $1omillion Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza. Winner of the Ed Burke Million, Carter's Cartel would earn the $1 million bonus if he also wins the Grade 1 Golden State Million (Nov. 2) and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Million (Dec. 14).

At Wednesday's draw for the Futurity, Carlos Huerta was named to ride Carters Cartel instead of Alejandro Luna, who has ridden him in each of his six starts. Luna was named to ride the Gomez-trained second-fastest qualifier Velvetins. This could indicate that Carter's Cartel will be scratched.

Lone Star: Country Chicks Man returns

Country Chicks Man will be back to defend his title in Saturday's Grade 1, $100,000 Refrigerator Handicap, an opening weekend highlight of the 10th fall meet at Lone Star Park, which begins Friday night.

Country Chicks Man won last year's Refrigerator Handicap by 1o1/2 lengths. That was his fourth stakes win during a season that was rewarded with the champion aged gelding title.

Country Chicks Man won the Sooner Stakes and the Remington Park Championship this past spring, and recently ran a lackluster seventh in the Grade 1 Go Man Go at Los Alamitos.

The Lone Star meet offers 27 stakes races. The 2-year-olds point to the Grade 1, $450,000 Dash for Cash Futurity on Oct. 27 and the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity on Dec. 1, annually the richest race in Texas. The top races for 3-year-olds are the Grade 1, $175,000 Dash for Cash Derby on Oct. 27 and the Grade 1, $400,000 Texas Classic Derby on Dec. 1.

The average purse distribution, including stakes, is $80,000 per day for the 32 nights.

"We have over 1,000 horses on the backside and 35 percent of our entries are ship-ins," said racing secretary Mike Shamburg. "Horses are here to run."

The nine-week season concludes on Dec. 1. Racing runs on a Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule with a 7:35 p.m. Central first post time.

Zia: Lubbock a good betting race

A full field of fillies and mares, many with stakes credentials, make the Grade 2, $55,000 Lubbock Stakes at Zia Park on Saturday afternoon an attractive wagering race.

First Wicked Lady, second in the 2006 Grade 1 All American Derby, returns to New Mexico after qualifying for the Grade 1, $147,000 Vessels Maturity at Los Alamitos.

Ms Misty Brown comes back from a five-month layoff after winning her two starts before the layoff. She easily won a conditioned allowance race and then stepped up to win the Sunland Invitational Handicap.

Buckshot Delight comes off a win in the La Mariposa Stakes and Ms Klee won the Buttons and Bows Handicap in her latest start.

Super Derby purse rising in 2009

The 2009 Los Alamitos Super Derby for Quarter Horses will have a guaranteed purse of $1 million, the track has announced.

That will make the 400-yard Derby the richest race for 3-year-olds in the sport. Scheduled for November 2009, the race will offer $300,000 in added money and has a projected purse of $1.25 million

This year, the Super Derby on Nov. 10 has a guaranteed purse of $500,000.

Los Alamitos will have five races worth $1 million or more, including the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in December.

The first nomination stage for the 2009 Super Derby will close on Nov. 15.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen