01/27/2010 12:00AM

Hoist Mission one to watch at Los Al


Hoist Mission ended his 2009 campaign with a nose victory in the Challenge Juvenile Championship at Los Alamitos in October, a strong performance that left observers wondering how much the gelding would accomplish this year.

Hoist Mission was not eligible for the last major futurity of the season, the Los Alamitos Two Million in December, leaving Friday's trials for the $200,000-estimated Winter Derby as his next objective.

Trainer Blane Schvaneveldt expects the Utah-bred gelding to qualify to the 400-yard final, which is on Feb. 19.

"He should run really well," Schvaneveldt said. "We gave him a little time off and freshened him, and he's doing good."

Owned by breeder Michael Isom, Hoist Mission has never been worse than second in seven starts, including a minor stakes at Los Alamitos last October and the Bitterroot Futurity in Idaho last May.

In Friday's trials, Hoist Mission drew the rail in the last of four divisions, the evening's seventh race. The horses with the 10 fastest times, regardless of finishing positions, earn berths to the final.

Schvaneveldt has a contender in the tough second division in Sparky E Boy, who won two minor stakes last fall. Sparky E Boy must beat Princelike, who was third in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders' Futurity in October.

"He should be really tough," Schvaneveldt said of Sparky E Boy.

The second division also includes Harems Last Dash, a full-brother to 1991 All American Futurity winner Royal Quick Dash; First Soveriegn, a two-time futurity winner in 1998; and A Regal Choice, the winner via disqualification of the 2003 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

Harems Last Dash has won 2 of 4 starts and is trained by Cody Joiner.

* Freaky, the 2009 World Champion, is expected to make his 2010 debut in Saturday's trials for the $200,000-estimated Los Alamitos Winter Championship. Freaky has not started since winning the Champion of Champions last month.

The winner of the 400-yard Winter Championship on Feb. 20 gets an automatic berth to the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 11.

Owned by Armando Aguirre and trained by Adan Farias, Freaky, 5, won 6 of 9 starts and $580,860 in 2009.

* Los Alamitos has eliminated Thursday racing until the end of March, and will offer racing on Fridays through Sundays during that span, the track announced last weekend.

Los Alamitos has a shortage of race-ready Quarter Horses, a problem that will be alleviated to an extent when 2-year-old racing begins in April. Last winter, the track ran four days a week but struggled to fill Quarter Horse races, averaging 6.98 starters per race. The average field sizes were higher for Thoroughbreds (7.46) and Arabians (7.69). Arabians are not racing at Los Alamitos this winter.