06/29/2004 11:00PM

Live action returns to Kentucky at Red Mile

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Quarter Horse racing returns to Kentucky for the first time since 1992 with a two-day meet with 16 races on Saturday and Sunday at The Red Mile in Lexington.

The last time Quarter Horse racing was run in Kentucky, a 30-day season was conducted at Bluegrass Downs in Paducah.

Because there is a live Quarter Horse meet in Kentucky, racetracks are allowed to take Quarter Horse simulcasts from other states.

"This is just a start," said The Red Mile racing secretary Jim Noel. "We hope to get Quarter Horse racing going again in Kentucky. We've got horses from the Midwest, the Carolinas, and Louisiana."

The $10,000 Fort Harrod Futurity on Saturday is the major stakes of the meet. Since it is just a two-day meet, there were no trials and entrance preference was determined by money earned. Wranglers Torch, with $9,314 in earnings from three starts, should be the favorite after winning the Great Lakes Spring Futurity at Mt. Pleasant Meadows in Michigan.

Be Real Quick at favorite distance

Be Real Quick, the 300-yard track record holder, will carry high weight of 124 pounds over that distance in the $25,000 Independence Day Handicap on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Friday night, Mckaizlees Kiss carries high weight of 123 pounds in the $15,000 Stars and Stripes Handicap for fillies and mares at 300 yards. Mckaizlees Kiss has two wins in her last five starts, including an allowance win on May 4.

Be Real Quick set the 300-yard track record of 15.13 seconds while winning the Burbank Handicap on Jan. 2, and followed that win with two more victories, including the 300-yard Oceanview Handicap. His winning streak ended in his most recent start, when he finished third in the 350-yard Kaweah Bar Handicap after being bumped at the start.

Undefeated pair meet in Sires Cup

The undefeated 2-year-olds Azoom and Maid It Special meet in the $134,748 Sires Cup Futurity at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday night.

Azoom made his United States debut in the Sires Cup trials after winning his first four starts, all in Mexico City. He won his Sires Cup trial in 17.475 seconds for the 350 yards to set the fastest qualifying time.

Maid It Special has won her first three starts, including the Grade 2 Ford Texas Challenge.

In the $52,280 Sires Cup Derby on the undercard, I Make Em Shake should be the strong favorite. He won the Grade 1, $393,120 Dash for Cash Futurity last fall and raced to the fastest qualifying time in the Sires Cup Derby trials with a 19.918 time for the 400 yards.

Is Dashin Down First for real?

Dashin Down First will try to prove that her maiden victory in the trials was not a fluke when she starts in the Grade 3, $56,350 Northlands Futurity on Saturday at Canterbury Park.

Dashin Down First won her maiden in her fifth start by three-quarters of a length in 17.978 seconds for the 350 yards.

In the $37,525 Canterbury Derby on Sunday, Eyeoughta has a class edge with a win, two seconds, and a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Derby from four 2004 starts.

'Barbie' has Firecracker potential

Little Kool Barbie, a daughter of champion Kool Kue Baby, will try to live up to her potential in the Grade 2, $215,250 Firecracker Futurity on Sunday at Delta Downs.

A half-sister to last year's Firecracker Futurity winner, First Kool Baby, Little Kool Barbie won her Firecracker Futurity trials by one length, her first victory in two lifetime starts.

In the Grade 2, $100,500 Firecracker Derby on Sunday, Jack Zee Quick has the fastest qualifying time (19.765 seconds for 400 yards) and a Grade 1 win in last year's Sam Houston Futurity as the 6-5 favorite.