11/26/2010 3:23PM

The Goodbye Kisser going for five wins in a row


Even though trainer Paul Jones has put away American Runaway for the year, he still has a standout 2-year-old to run Sunday in the Grade 1, $200,000 Southwest Juvenile Quarter Horse Championship at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M.

The Goodbye Kisser will be seeking her fifth straight win when she starts in the 440-yard invitational. The race has drawn a deep field of 10 that includes West Coast Hawk, winner of the Grade 1 Kindergarten Futurity at Los Alamitos in May, and Prospect to the Top, who took the Grade 2 Hobbs America Futurity last month at Zia.

American Runaway is ranked as the nation’s top 2-year-old, according to the latest poll put out by the American Quarter Horse Association. He is being freshened and will return to action next year at Ruidoso Downs, said Jones. The Goodbye Kisser, meanwhile, can move up in the rankings with a win Sunday. She is eighth in the nation, and because she is not eligible for some rich year-end futurities at her California base, such as next month’s Los Alamitos Two Million, she was sent to New Mexico for the prestigious Juvenile Championship.

“This was a good opportunity because I have a stable at Zia,” said Jones.

The Goodbye Kisser won her debut in April, and after a third-place finish in a conditioned allowance she has not lost since. She has reeled off four straight wins since August, and on Sunday will be seeking her second Grade 1 win behind her half-length score in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity at Los Alamitos on Oct. 2.

“She’s been a star right from the beginning,” Jones said. “She’s truly shown talent right from the start.”

Ramon Sanchez has the mount on The Goodbye Kisser, who is a daughter of First Down Dash.

The chief threat could be West Coast Hawk, who is ranked 10th among 2-year-olds in the AQHA poll. He made his first start since the Kindergarten on Oct. 15, and was second in a trial at Los Alamitos. He has reason to move forward in his second start back for trainer Jose Flores, who has given the mount to G.R. Carter Jr.

Prospect to the Top, who is the nation’s fourth-ranked 2-year-old, won the Hobbs by 1 1/2 lengths in his last start Oct. 10. Earlier this year, he was seventh in the All American Futurity. Trainer Ralph Muniz has given the mount to Jacky Martin.