02/19/2009 1:00AM

Jess You and I tries to regain the groove


Two-time champion Jess You and I's 19-race career has been defined by hot streaks. He will shoot for his third Grade 1 victory in his last four starts in Saturday night's $240,700 Los Alamitos Winter Championship.

Eight of the 5-year-old Jess You and I's 10 wins have come during streaks: a three-race winning streak that ended in his last start and a five-race winning streak at the start of his career.

Jess You and I scored a stunning 15-1 win in the 2008 Champion of Champions, winning by a head in 20.94 seconds for 440 yards. His time was the first sub-21-second quarter-mile ever at Los Alamitos. The previous track record of 21.13 seconds was set by world champion Blues Girl Too in the 2007 Champion of Champions.

Jess You and I won the Go Man Go Handicap at Los Alamitos in September over All American Futurity winner No Secrets Here and Little Bit of Baja, who went on to finish second in the Champion of Champions. Trainer Jaime Gomez then rested Jess You and I until the Champion of Champions, and he responded with his track-record victory.

The Champion of Champions win secured Jess You and I the 2008 champion aged horse and champion aged gelding titles.

In 2006, Jess You and I won his first five starts before finishing fourth behind Blues Girl Too in the Los Alamitos Two Million. He also won the Grade 1, $1 million Golden State Million and was named that year's champion 2-year-old gelding.

Jess You and I was a close third in his Winter Championship trial, a loss that ended a three-race winning streak.

Stylish Jess BR finished first in that trial. She won the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Handicap over fillies and mares and was second behind champion 3-year-old colt One Famous Eagle's stakes-record victory in the Grade 1, $933,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby.

Topping the Winter Champ-ionship qualifiers was My Lady First, who qualified for her sixth Grade 1 race. Her best Grade 1 efforts have been thirds in last year's Los Alamitos Winter Derby and La Primera Del Ano Derby. She won her 400-yard Winter Championship trial in 19.455 seconds for 400 yards.

The Winter Championship winner receives the first invitation to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions in December.

'Martini' heads Mardi Gras

Martini Mountain goes for his third stakes win against Louisiana-breds in the $80,550 Mardi Gras Derby on Saturday at Louisiana Downs.

Martini Mountain has won the Grade 2 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile and the Louisiana Juvenile Stakes. He won the Champions Day Juvenile two starts ago and then took his derby trial by a length with the second-fastest qualifying time of 20.319 seconds for 400 yards.

The fastest qualifier is San Ridge Kid with a 20.250-second time. He is making his first stakes appearance after moving up through the claiming and allowance ranks.