06/07/2006 11:00PM

Kindergarten runners-up meet in trials for Burke


Check This Runner and Corona Deluxe, the second- and third-place finishers in the Grade 1 Kindergarten, return in the trials to the Grade 1, $1 million Ed Burke Futurity on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Check This Runner is still a maiden after three 300-yard starts, but his late-running style should help him at the 350-yard distance of the Burke trials. He closed strongly to finish third in his Kindergarten trial and used the same tactics to finish second in the Kindergarten, three-quarters of a length behind winner Vachetta.

Corona Deluxe won her maiden in her Kindergarten trial when she prevailed by a head in 15.37 seconds. She was 1 1/4 lengths behind Vachetta in the Kindergarten.

Vachetta was eligible to the Ed Burke Futurity but did not enter because of illness, according to trainer Jaime Gomez.

Kindergarten eighth-place finisher Coyote Code also entered the trials.

Blues Girl Too is a filly to watch after winning her only start in 15.26 seconds for 350 yards, the same time as Vachetta's Kindergarten win.

FDD Dynasty and Golden Cartel are each in the Burke trials after winning their maidens at first asking at Los Alamitos in 300-yard maiden races. FDD Dynasty was timed in 15.52 seconds and Golden Cartel in 15.61.

Grade 1 winners meet in futurity

Grade 1 futurity winners First Prize Robin and Okey Dokey Fantasy meet in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity on Sunday afternoon after setting the fastest qualifying times in the 14 trials on May 26.

First Prize Robin, winner of the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity, ran to her third straight victory when she won her Ruidoso Futurity trial with a 17.696-second time for 350 yards, racing into a strong headwind.

"She didn't break as sharp as she can," jockey Jacky Martin said of the trial win. "An outside horse actually outbroke me, but this filly went on with it."

Okey Dokey Fantasy pushed his record to five wins from five starts with his half-length trial victory in 17.740. He was the leading 2-year-old in Texas this spring, with wins in the Grade 1 Manor Downs Futurity and the Grade 2 Longhorn Futurity.

"He's doing well," said trainer John Boegner. "We've just been galloping him. We have no excuses."

Joining First Prize Robin from the Jack Brooks barn in the Ruidoso Futurity is Voghts Gold, winner of 3 of 4 starts with a third in the Remington Park Futurity. He was the eighth-fastest qualifier with a 17.840-second time.

Separatist Too could be dangerous in the Ruidoso Futurity after winning his trial with the third-fastest time of 17.762 in his career debut. He drew out to win by three lengths.

Two trainers dominate Ruidoso Derby

Four-time national champion trainer Paul Jones and trainer Dwayne Gilbreath have seven of the 10 finalists in the Grade 1, $170,000 Ruidoso Derby on Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.

Jones has four finalists and Gilbreath will saddle three contenders, including three of the five fastest qualifiers.

Jones is represented by trial winner Coco Corona and qualifiers Rousing Encore, Mia Jones, and Kelowna Kash.

Coco Corona, a daughter of leading sire First Down Dash and champion Corona Chick, returned from a seven-month layoff to win her trial by 2 1/4 lengths in 20.127 seconds for 400 yards, the second-fastest qualifying time. Last year she was a close third in the Corona Cartel Handicap at Zia Park.

Jones's other qualifiers were each stakes horses at 2. Rousing Encore won the 2005 All American Juvenile, Mia Jones was fifth in the Ruidoso Futurity, and Kelowna Kash was third in the Ruidoso Juvenile.

Gilbreath won three of the four Ruidoso Derby trials with A Real Good Man, Jess Because, and Winninginthebuff.

Real Good Man and Jess Because each won their trials at 7-1 odds. Real Good Man, who sat out most of 2005 due to an injury, drew out to win his maiden in his trial, which was his fourth start. His mark of 20.025 for 400 yards was the fastest qualifying time. Jess Because returned from a seven-month layoff to win her trial by one length in 20.148, the third-fastest qualifying time.

Winninginthebuff was a prompt choice in his trial with a three-quarter-length win in 20.253, the fifth-fastest time. He has started four times in 2006, with three wins and one disqualification from first to second.

All of the Ruidoso Derby trials were run into a strong headwind.