09/02/2004 11:00PM

Jones gang half of derby


With a team led by the fastest qualifier, Brookstone Bay, and two major stakes winners, A Regal Choice and Planet Holland, trainer Paul Jones will start five of the 10 finalists in Sunday's $553,592 All American Derby for Quarter Horses at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

Planet Holland, coupled with trial winner Dejon, is the likely favorite. Planet Holland was third in the 2003 All American Futurity. Earlier this year, he was second in the Ruidoso Derby and third in the Rainbow Derby.

Jockey Saul Ramirez, Jr. rode Planet Holland, Brookstone Bay and the Jones-trained Cash for Kas to wins in the Aug. 20 time trials and has chosen to ride Planet Holland.

"He may not be the fastest horse, but he's very consistent," Jones said of Planet Holland.

Brookstone Bay, who has yet to win a stakes, zipped 440 yards in 21.16 seconds in the trials, outfinishing top contender Brimmerton by 1 1/2 lengths. Brookstone Bay was the fastest qualifier to the 2003 Golden State Futurity at Los Alamitos but was ninth in the final.

A Regal Choice, who won his trial for the All American Derby, was the promoted winner of the Los Alamitos Million last December following the disqualification of Corona for Me.

Jones's team faces challenges from Brimmerton, the winner of the Rainbow Derby; Hadtobenuts, an impressive trial winner; and By By JJ, the winner of the 2003 All American Futurity.

By By JJ, second to Planet Holland in the trials, is winless in four starts this year.