04/23/2002 11:00PM

Lukas colt one to beat at Los Alamitos


Team Lukas sends out solid favorite and fastest qualifier Check Him Out in the Grade 2, $155,400 El Primero Del Ano Derby on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Check Him Out, owned by D. Wayne Lukas and Zory Kuzyk, is trained by Laura Lukas.

Check Him Out, winner of the Grade 1 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity, started his 2002 campaign in eye-catching fashion, winning his El Primero Del Ano Derby trial by a length with a 19.865-second time for the 400 yards, the quickest clocking among three trials held on April 12.

"He ran hard during the first 150 yards, but coasted the rest of the way," jockey Jacky Martin said after the victory. "He lugged in some, but he left the gate so strong that I just let him run his race."

A son of the Johannesburg's sire Hennessy, Check Him Out earned $236,619 last year on the strength of his win in the Ed Burke Futurity and a fourth in the Grade 1 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

Challenging Check Him Out will be Grade I Kindergarten runner-up Don't Dink With Me and trial winner A Tac First.

The El Primero Derby is for colts and geldings.

Mini Rock tops La Primera field

Mini Rock will likely be favored to give trainer Blane Schvaneveldt his 350th stakes win at Los Alamitos when she heads the Grade 2, $161,700 La Primera Derby Ano Derby for fillies on Saturday night.

Mini Rock, bred and owned by longtime Schvaneveldt client Jay Parsons, has been in peak form this year, running second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby to Panther Mountain and then winning her La Primera trial with the fastest qualifying time of 19.99 seconds for the 400 yards.

Corona Perfection is looking for her first stakes win after narrowly defeating Grade 1 Golden State Futurity runner-up Babe On The Beach in their trial. Corona Perfection gained the second-fastest qualifying time (20.015) and Babe On the Beach has the third-fastest qualifying time (20.025).

The Cheetah runs at Remington

Richard Joneson's The Cheetah, winner of the Grade 3 Midwest City Stakes in her latest start, meets Blue Ribbon Futurity winner Libbys Cartel in the Grade 3, $20,000 Red Earth Handicap at 350 yards on Saturday at Remington Park.

The Cheetah, winner of the 2001 Casino Cash Derby at Sunland Park, scored a narrow upset win in the Midwest City Stakes in her sole Remington Park start this year.

Libbys Cartel won the Grade 1 Blue Ribbon Futurity last year over Baby Doll Form, winner of last year's Remington Park Futurity.

Fastest qualifier Strawflyin Baby tops the $26,510 Shebester Futurity at Blue Ribbon Downs on Saturday. He won his trial by a nose to break his maiden in his second out.

* First Down Dash became the all-time leading sire of stakes winners when Roses Down won the $12,500 La Villita Stakes at Retama Park on Sunday. She is the 146th stakes winner sired by First Down Dash. Dash For Cash and Easy Jet each sired 145 stakes winners.

* Trainer Eddie Willis and jockey Larry Payne are on a roll in Grade 1's at Remington Park. Last weekend they combined to win the $345,275 Remington Park Futurity with Outdashing and Sunday they won the $137,420 Remington Park Derby with A Real Man.