07/25/2007 12:00AM

Joiner sends out favorites in two richest races


New Mexico-based trainer Mike Joiner continues to make an impact in the California-bred ranks when he sends out the favorites in the Grade 1, $400,000 Governor's Cup Futurity and the Grade 2, $170,000 Governor's Cup Derby, the two richest races on California Champions Night at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

California Champions Night offers nearly $1 million in purses for Cal-breds through 12 stakes races.

Joiner trains the Governor's Cup Futurity's fastest qualifier, My Buddie, and the Governor's Cup Derby's fastest qualifier, FDD Dynasty, each ridden by G.R. Carter Jr.

My Buddie has been the rising star among the Los Alamitos-based juveniles since he won his maiden in his first start on June 21 by more than four lengths, covering 350 yards in 17.30 seconds. The track record of 17.17 was set by Carters Cartel on June 23 in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million.

My Buddie made an eye-catching rush to win his Governor's Cup Futurity trial by a head in 17.340 for 350 yards. He raced the final 220 yards in 9.22 seconds, believed to be the fastest final 220-yard clocking since Los Alamitos began timing the final eighth in 2002.

Bikers Bono brings a 3-for-3 record into the futurity, his stakes debut. He won the fourth of six trials by a length in 17.350 seconds, the second-fastest qualifying time.

In the Governor's Cup Derby, FDD Dynasty makes his first stakes start since being named the champion 2-year-old colt of 2006. He won the Ed Burke Million to give Joiner his first Grade 1 win in California, was second by a head in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million, and was third in the Grade 1 Golden State Million.

FDD Dynasty returned from a seven-month layoff to overcome a troubled start and roll to a two-length Governor's Cup Derby trial win. His time of 19.460 seconds for 400 yards was the quickest from three trials.

"He had small chips removed in December, and after seven months off you don't know what to expect," said co-owner Pat Guthrie. "We're gratified with his trial and are really looking forward to another good year."

Also in the Governor's Cup Derby are Not a Full Moon, winner of the Grade 1 El Primero Del Ano Derby; Checknbac, dead-heat winner of the Governor's Cup Futurity; and First Down Morn, a close third in the El Primero Del Ano Derby.

In the Grade 1, $150,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship for older horses, three-time defending champion Be a Bono is absent. However, four-time champion Catchmeinyourdreams may be able to step forward after finishing second in the past two runnings.

Apollitical Time could be favored in the Childers after being named the 2006 aged champion over Be a Bono and Catchmein-

yourdreams. She won five straight races last year, including the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship and the Grade 1 California Challenge Championship in 21.18 seconds for 440 yards, the all-time fastest clocking at night at Los Alamitos.

Gun Battle tops Zia Festival

All American Futurity runner-up Gun Battle ranks as the solid choice to sweep the Zia Futurity-Zia Derby double when he starts in the Grade 2, $93,272 Zia Derby on Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.

The Zia Derby is the strongest stakes in the Zia Festival program, with more than $1 million in purses offered to New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

In a rare occurrence, the top three finishers in last year's Zia Futurity have the top three qualifying times, in the same order, to the Zia Derby.

Gun Battle won the Zia Futurity by a half-length and then finished second in the All American Futurity as the 5-2 favorite. He finished a neck behind No Secrets Here's stakes-record performance in the All American.

Gun Battle returned from a more than six-month layoff to win his 400-yard Zia Derby trial in 19.650, the fastest qualifying time.

Second-fastest qualifier Mightys First Call was second in the Zia Futurity and then fourth in the All American Futurity as the high-placing filly.

Third-fastest qualifier Mister WW was third in the Zia Futurity. He then won the Grade 1 Shue Fly Stakes and the NMHBA Stakes in back-to-back starts, and finished a close second in the Grade 2 West Texas Derby.