10/07/2009 11:00PM

Freaky returns, faces Jess You and I


Freaky, a 4-year-old gelding, has already had a phenomenal season at Los Alamitos. He set three track records in the spring - at 350 and 400 yards - before earning a well-deserved late summer vacation.

If he continues that form this fall, Freaky will be World Champion.

On Saturday, Freaky returns from an 11-week break to start in the $150,000 Los Alamitos Championship. At stake is another opportunity to solidify his status as the leading older Quarter Horse in the nation and a vital prep to the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 12, a race that annually plays a pivotal role in World Champion voting.

Trainer Adan Farias said that the nearly three-month break has helped Freaky.

"I trained him lightly and freshened him a little bit," Farias said.

Owned by Armando Aguirre, Freaky set a 350-yard track record of 17.14 seconds in an allowance race in March. He set the 400-yard mark of 19.17 in the Vessels Maturity trials on May 30 and lowered it to 19.15 in the final on June 19. In the Spencer Childers Championship on July 25, Freaky ran 400 yards in 19.19.

Farias said he will not focus on the clock for the Los Alamitos Championship.

"I'm not interested in time," he said. "I can turn him loose in the Champion of Champions."

Freaky will face Jess You and I, the winner of the 2008 Champion of Champions who returned from a six-month layoff to win the Go Man Go Handicap on Sept. 11. Trained by Jaime Gomez for Double Bar S Ranch, Jess You and I will give Freaky his sternest test of the year. Earlier this year, Jess You and I won the Los Alamitos Winter Championship. His career record of 12 wins from 21 starts and earnings of $1,320,786 are the highest in Saturday's field.

"It will be interesting going against Jess You and I," Farias said. "I'm not worried about the race, win, lose, or draw. He's been staying healthy. I think we should be all right."

Farias has four of the 10 entrants, including Fighter on Fire, JP Rhythm, and My Lady First. Fighter on Fire won the California Challenge Championship in August; My Lady First was second in the Mildred Vessels Handicap for fillies and mares in September; and JP Rhythm was fourth in the Go Man Go Handicap. JP Rhythm is the only female in Saturday's race.