05/10/2007 12:00AM

Futurity trials are filled with fresh faces


There are numerous unfamiliar names among the 74 2-year-olds in the nine trials to the Grade 1, $200,000 Heritage Place Futurity on Saturday night at Remington Park, since only two finalists from the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity on April 22 returned for the Heritage Place trials.

The two Remington Futurity finalists in the 350-yard Heritage Place trials are Southern Takes All and Fast Prize Doll, who finished fourth and fifth.

Southern Takes All is still a maiden after three outs, with his best effort a close second-place finish in his Remington Futurity trial two starts ago.

Fast Prize Doll has stakes seasoning, with a third in the Harrah's Entertainment Futurity at Louisiana Downs to go with her troubled fifth-place effort in the Remington Futurity.

Proven talent runs deeper in the trials to the Grade 1, $100,000 Heritage Place Derby on Sunday.

First Carolina returns after her dominating daylight win in the Remington Park Derby. She remained undefeated at Remington from five local starts with the 1 3/4-length win. Last year, she won the Heritage Place Futurity.

Don't Let Down makes his 2007 debut after winning 6 of 11 starts and $413,204 at 2. He won the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park and was only a head behind First Carolina in the Heritage Place.

Valiant Hero also makes his seasonal debut after closing out his 2006 season with a win in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Futurity. A son of all-time leading sire First Down Dash and 1997 broodmare of the year Corona Chick, Valiant Hero has won 4 of 8 starts and $489,438.

Country Zevi keeps producing quality runners

Owner, breeder, and trainer Sparky Mullins, who also grooms his horses, should be sure that his broodmare Country Zevi receives the best care and feed.

For Mullins, a retired Veterans Administration employee, Country Zevi has produced the fastest qualifiers to two Sunday races, the Grade 1, $101,700 Oklahoma Challenge - SM Country Cowboy - and the Grade 3, $45,090 Oklahoma Distaff Challenge - Eyesa Country Miss.

Additionally, Country Zevi's son Country Chicks Man, the 2006 champion aged stallion, returned from breeding duties to win the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes for Mullins last Sunday. It was his third straight win in the stakes for Oklahoma-breds.

SM Country Cowboy, third in the Leo Stakes two starts back, topped the qualifiers to the Oklahoma Challenge when he prevailed over second-fastest qualifier Valdasher by a head in 21.686 seconds for 440 yards.

Eyesa Country Miss pulled away to win her Distaff Challenge trial by two lengths for her 10th win from 27 starts. She raced the 400 yards in 19.846 seconds.

Also on Sunday, trial winners GHF Kool Kotton and First to Ramble meet in the Gradeo3, $42,120 Red Cell Distance Challenge at 870 yards.

GHF Kool Kotton posted the fastest qualifying time of 45.219 seconds in his first victory since winning the Central Distance Challenge on Aug. 11. First to Ramble should be favored after racing to three straight wins.