11/19/2008 12:00AM

Jess You and I out to clinch Champions berth


Go Man Go Handicap winner Jess You and I heads a very deep Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Stakes at Los Alamitos on Friday night. The Directors Stakes is the year's final qualifier for the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions.

The 440-yard Champion of Champions, a pivotal race in determining the year's world champion Quarter Horse, will be held Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos. The Champion of Champions consists of winners of selected Grade 1 stakes and the Directors Stakes. If any of the qualified horses aren't entered for the Champion of Champions, a top alternate would draw in, followed by the highest-placed horses from the Directors, which serves a Champion of Champions trial race.

Jess You and I's win in the Go Man Go made him the top alternate. If he wins the Directors Stakes he will have a guaranteed Champion of Champions berth.

Jess You and I, the 2006 champion 2-year-old gelding, is in the best form since his juvenile season. He fought to an allowance win over 2006 All American Futurity winner No Secrets Here on Aug. 24 and then defeated that rival by a neck in the Go Man Go Handicap.

No Secrets Here returns in the Directors Stakes after finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship as the 5-2 favorite.

Little Bit of Baja is looking for a return trip to the Champion of Champions after finishing second last year behind world champion Blues Girl Too. He was third in the Go Man Go.

Separate Bet, winner of the 2007 Grade 1 Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs, comes off an impressive allowance win at Los Alamitos when he raced the 350 yards in 17.32 seconds.

Tres Passes, Foose lead trials

The winners of the two $1 million futurities held at Los Alamitos this year, Tres Passes and Foose, lead the nine trials to the Grade 1, $2,050,000 Los Alamitos Two Million at the Southern California track on Saturday night.

The juveniles with the 10 fastest times from the 400-yard trials return for the futurity finals on Dec. 12.

Hall of fame trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, winner of the AQHA champion trainer title for each of the first 12 years of the award's existence, gained his first win in a $1 million race when Tres Passes upset Foose in the Golden State Million on Nov. 1. A 22-1 outsider, Tres Passes defeated 1-2 favorite Foose by 1 1/4 lengths.

Tres Passes was overlooked in the wagering of the Golden State Million despite having won the Ed Burke Juvenile and having finished fifth in the Grade 1 Kindergarten.

Foose, trained by six-time defending champion trainer Paul Jones, was the odds-on favorite in the Golden State Million after impressively winning his four previous starts, including the Ed Burke by a length. The colt got off to a poor start in the Golden State Million, but still closed for second behind Tres Passes.

Jones also saddles Kindergarten winner Revv It Up, Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity runner-up PB and Crackers, and Rainbow Futurity third-place finisher Inseperable.

Sixish returns for the Two Million trials after winning the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity by three-quarters of a length. He was second in the Ed Burke Million and the Kindergarten.

Hard Hitting won three straight races, including the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity, before finishing fourth as the 3-10 favorite in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, his most recent race.