03/27/2002 12:00AM

Kama Shootin locked and loaded


Kama Shootin will try for his eighth straight victory and fourth consecutive stakes win when he starts in the Grade 3, $30,000 Special Hank Handicap over 870 yards at The Downs at Albuquerque on opening day, Friday.

The 48-day mixed meet runs through June 17, on a Friday-through-Monday schedule.

"We're starting with about $90,000 a day in purses, which is about the same as we ended with last year," said Roddy Taylor, the track's racing secretary. "We bumped purses a couple of times last year."

Kama Shootin, the 127-pound highweight in the Special Hank, has not been defeated since April 7, 2001. Owned by Joyce McBride and Lola Willis, Kama Shootin started his winning streak with three straight allowance wins. HIs trainer, Steve Stephens, then moved him up to stakes competition and he reeled off four more consecutive victories, including the Grade 3 Budweiser Handicap over 1,000 yards at Sunland Park in his most recent start.

Facing Kama Shootin will be Mr Moon Policy, winner of his two starts at 870 yards at Albuquerque last year and second to Kama Shootin in the Juarez Handicap at Sunland Park on Jan. 13.

Sunday's main event is the Grade 3, $30,000 Cottonwood Handicap for 3-year-olds.

Eligible for the 400-yard Cottonwood are Four Corners Futurity winner Its Called Splash, second in last Sunday's Grade 2 West Texas Derby at Sunland Park, and Fresno Futurity third-place finisher Fly So Fast.

'Mini' and 'Babe' in Dillingham

Mini Rock and Babe Watcher, the second- and third-place finishers in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Feb. 23, are expected to return in the 400-yard, $25,000 Dillingham Handicap at Los Alamitos on Saturday night.

Mini Rock, owned by Jay Parsons and trained by Blane Schvaneveldt, won his Winter Derby trial and then finished a half-length behind Panther Mountain in the finals after being bumped at the start.

Sunland Fall Futurity winner Babe Watcher, owned by Francisco Gonsalez and trained by Jaime Gomez, finished third in the Winter Derby as the 6-5 favorite.

Also expected for the Dillingham are Agouti and Bee Dashing.

Joe Bettencourt's Agouti won the Cypress Sophomore Stakes over Panther Mountain before finishing fourth in the Winter Derby.

Felix Nombrano's Bee Dashing won the California Breeders Freshman Stakes and was second in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity last year.

First Down Dash now leading sire

The 18-year-old First Down Dash surpassed his sire, Dash For Cash, last weekend to become Quarter Horse racing's all-time leading sire of money earners.

First Down Dash is the sire of earners of $39,904,463, and Dash For Cash, who died in 1996, sired the earners of $39,892,814.

The 1987 world champion as a 3-year-old, First Down Dash has sired 145 stakes winners and 25 champions - including three world champions - from 12 crops to race. He stands at the Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, Calif.