05/15/2007 11:00PM

Kindergarten kicks off California futurity season


The champion-producing California futurity season begins Saturday night at Los Alamitos with fastest-qualifier Miss Kittys Bar Bet heading the Grade 1, $366,100 Kindergarten over 300 yards.

There will be seven Grade 1 futurities at Los Alamitos, concluded by the Grade 1, $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million on Dec. 7. Last year, each of the juvenile divisional champions scored their Grade 1 futurity victories at Los Alamitos.

Miss Kittys Bar Bet raced to a mild surprise in her Kindergarten trial when she won at nearly 4-1 odds. She rebounded from a fourth-place finish in a maiden race to win by a convincing two lengths, and her time of 15.325 seconds was easily the fastest qualifying time from 13 trials.

"She learned a lot from that race," trainer Hector Hernandez said of her maiden race. "We lost that race, but this is the reward."

Co-second-fastest qualifier Carters Cartel also stepped forward from a maiden-race defeat to win his Kindergarten trial. After finishing third in his career debut, he won his trial by 1 3/4 lengths in 15.445 seconds.

Daddy Dasher, one of two finalists owned by Ed Allred and trained by Scott Willoughby, raced to his second win from as many starts to share the second-fastest qualifying position with Carters Cartel.

Quickness is the key ingredient in Friday's $18,000 Sprint Overnight Handicap over 100 yards at Los Alamitos. Quality Corona carries high weight of 124 pounds after finishing fourth in the Kaweah Bar Handicap and finishing second in a 350-yard allowance race. Juno Dat Royal Bug comes off two wins, including a 220-yard race for a $20,000 tag in his last start.

Challenging night at Delta

Angelas Toast tries for his ninth straight victory and seventh straight stakes win when he starts in the Grade 2, $85,770 Bank of America East Challenge, one of four Challenge-managed stakes Saturday at Delta Downs in Louisiana.

The Louisiana-bred Angelas Toast has thrived against statebred competition, but also has defeated open company in minor stakes. The winner of 14 of 20 career starts, he has two open stakes wins during his winning streak.

Angelas Toast faces a strong test in the East Challenge, with his rivals including Grade 1 Bayer Legend Derby Championship winner Magical Thunder and Grade 1 Texas Classic Derby runner-up Brindis Por Cayenne.

Also on the card are the Grade 3, $52,560 Ford East Juvenile Challenge, the Grade 3, $46,000 Bayer Legend East Derby Challenge, and the Grade 3, $25,110 Red Cell East Distance Challenge.

East Juvenile fastest-qualifier Zazoom has won both of her starts, including her East Juvenile trial in 17.961 seconds for 350 yards. In that trial, she defeated three horses who also qualified for the East Juvenile.

Bayer East Derby fastest-qualifier Division Order takes a step up in class for the derby after winning 2 of 4 career starts. One of two finalists trained by Janet VanBebber, Division Order won his trial by a neck in 20.067 seconds for 400 yards.

Probable East Distance Challenge favorite Strider Man is looking to regain the form that had him win his final 2006 starts, highlighted by his win in the Grade 1 Challenge Distance Championship.

Stakes-tested juveniles in Texas

Harrahs Entertainment Futurity winner Eyesa Jumpn and Longhorn Futurity runner-up Pool head the Grade 3, $73,620 Ford Texas Juvenile Challenge on Saturday at Retama Park in Texas.

Eyesa Jumpn has finished first in three straight races, including the Grade 2 Harrahs Entertainment Futurity. She won her Texas Juvenile trial by three-quarters of a length in the fastest qualifying time of 17.672 seconds for 350 yards.

Pool rallied to secure second in the Grade 2 Longhorn Futurity and then won his Texas Juvenile trial by 2 1/2 lengths. He has the second-fastest qualifying time of 17.687 seconds.