05/22/2007 11:00PM

Juveniles take center stage on opening day


The Quarter Horse juvenile division should gain some clarity Friday when 160 hopefuls start in the 16 trials to the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity on opening day of the summer season at Ruidoso Downs.

The 60-day meet runs through the traditional Labor Day closing and, as always, is highlighted by the three Grade 1 futurities that make up the All American Triple Crown Series - the Ruidoso Futurity on June 10, the Grade 1, $625,000 Rainbow Futurity on July 22, and the Grade 1, $2 million All American Futurity on Sept.o3.

The young futurity season has yet to have a juvenile stand out. Wild Six, winner of the Grade 1, $266,000 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park at 8-1, leads the top three finishers from that 300-yard stakes into the 350-yard futurity trials. Runaway Romance nosed out Tres Fames for second place.

Heartswideopen, the 4-5 favorite in the West Texas, finished a lackluster sixth and also returns in the Ruidoso Futurity trials.

Shake Em Shiney, second in the Grade 1 Manor Downs Futurity, goes for his second win from three starts in Friday's trials.

On Saturday, Remember Me Rose and Saint Shackleton return to the location of their best juvenile efforts when they start in the trials to the Grade 1, $200,000 Ruidoso Derby.

Remember Me Rose, a $25,000 supplemental nominee to the derby, finished second as the 1-2 favorite in the Rainbow Futurity and was fifth in the All American Futurity.

Saint Shackleton finished in a dead heat for the win in last summer's Ruidoso Futurity.

Stablemates lead Gold Rush Derby

Stablemates Streakazoid and Saints Topper, the two trial winners from the Paul Jones barn, each try for their third straight victories while stepping up in class in the $65,150 Gold Rush Derby at 870 yards on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Streakazoid won his maiden two starts ago in his ninth start and his first at 870 yards. He came back from that win to roll to a 2 3/4-length Gold Rush Derby trial win in 45.81 seconds, easily the fastest qualifying time.

Saints Topper, a Thoroughbred, also earned his first win two starts ago, in an 870-yard maiden race. He then won his Gold Rush trial by daylight in 46.10 seconds.

Lassen County tops Town Policy cast

Lassen County, fresh from a second in the Grade 1 El Primero Del Ano Derby, heads the $25,000 Town Policy Handicap at 350 yards on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Lassen County fought hard in the El Primero Del Ano Derby, losing by a nose. A former $8,000 maiden claimer, he ran second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February. He closed out 2006 with an allowance win and has been second in each of his four starts this year.

Don Juan Bryan SA has run best in minor stakes, with seconds in the Splash Bac Handicap and the Dillingham Handicap. His three career wins are all in conditioned allowance races at Los Alamitos.

Astreakin Bliss fastest for SunRay

Astreakin Bliss might be on the rise at an opportune time when he runs as the fastest qualifier in the New Mexico Breeders Futurity on Sunday at SunRay Park.

Astreakin Bliss did not hit the board in his first two starts, but rebounded in his trial to win by nearly two lengths in 17.774 seconds for 350 yards. It was the quickest time in the seven trials.

Second-fastest qualifier Smith and West and fourth-fastest qualifier Fames QTPI each won their trials in their career debuts.