10/30/2003 12:00AM

MBNA card features five Grade 1's


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - Catchme-inyourdreams will try to take a major step toward becoming the 2003 world champion Quarter Horse when he starts in the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on Saturday night.

The 440-yard Challenge Champion-ship for older sprinters headlines the five Grade 1 races that make up the MBNA America Challenge Championships. Horses qualified for these five Grade 1 races through regional races.

The other four Grade 1 races are the $175,000 Bayer Legend Challenge Championship for 3-year olds, the $150,000 American Airlines Juvenile Challenge Championship for 2-year olds, the $100,000 Ford Distaff Challenge Championship for fillies and mares, and the $100,000 John Deere Distance Challenge Champion-ship for 870-yard runners.

Catchmeinyourdreams gained national attention when he won the Grade 2, $63,450 California Challenge at 440 yards on May 31 at Los Alamitos to earn his berth in Saturday night's Challenge Championship. He defeated defending co-world champion Whosleavingwho by a half-length.

Whosleavingwho then defeated Catchmeinyourdreams in the Grade 1, $159,100 Spencer Childers California Championship.

After a third in the Grade 1, $110,000 Go Man Go Invitational, Catchmeinyourdreams became a major player in the world championship hunt in his last start, Sept. 27, when he won the Grade 1, $200,000 Los Alamitos Championship over Chicks First Policy and Takin on Spoon Man, the Go Man Go winner.

Challenging Catchmeinyourdreams on his home track will be a couple of Los Alamitos Grade 1 stakes winners - MBNA America Central Challenge Championship winner Panther Mountain (winner of the 2002 Los Alamitos Winter Derby) and MBNA America Northwest Challenge winner Dashing Knud (winner of the 2000 Los Alamitos Million).

MBNA America Southwest Challenge Championship winner Kendall Jackson will try to repeat his Sunland Park form at Los Alamitos. Each of his five career stakes wins has come at Sunland Park, and he set world records for 440 yards (20.733 seconds) and 400 yards (19.073 seconds) at the New Mexico track.

Derby Challenge Championship

Movin Meter, winner of the Bayer Legend Northwest Challenge Championship, should be ready to turn in a big effort for trainer Bill Hoburg in the 400-yard Derby Challenge Championship after winning the Grade 3 Sgt Pepper Feature Handicap at Los Alamitos in her last race. Movin Meter raced to her third straight win when she defeated Grade 1 derby winners Magic and Rhythm and Lock to Load in the Sgt Pepper Feature.

Juvenile Challenge Championship

Willie Works, from the barn of hall of fame trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, earned his berth in the 350-yard American Airlines Challenge Championship by upsetting Grade 1 Governor's Cup Derby winner Metallic Lion in the American Airlines California Challenge, his most recent start, on Aug. 29. Willie Works raced the 350 yards in an excellent 17.526 seconds for his fourth win from seven starts.

"He was bumped hard leaving the gate, but he just kept going," Schvaneveldt said.

Metallic Lion will try to reverse that California Challenge finish on Saturday night.

Distaff Challenge Championship

Royaltime Classic may have found the spot to get her first career Grade 1 victory in the 400-yard Distaff Challenge Championship. Royaltime Classic, trained by John Bassett, got within a late-charging nose of 2002 All American Futurity winner AB What a Runner in the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Handicap. Since then, Royaltime Classic has a fourth in the Las Damas Handicap.

The 3-year-old Corona Coquette, winner of the Ford Oklahoma Challenge, was second to Classy Sassy Chic's then-world-record time (17.13 seconds for 350 yards) in last year's Grade 1 American Airlines Challenge Championship.

Distance Challenge Championship

The Distaff Challenge Champion-ship is an excellent match-up of three geldings with 870-yard stakes wins at Los Alamitos and should prove attractive to handicappers.

Harbor Beach is undefeated in five starts at Los Alamitos, all at 870 yards, and comes off local wins in the Bull Rastus Handicap and the John Deere California Challenge Championship.

Available Credit was second to Harbor Beach in the Bull Rastus Handicap, and came back to win the Pat Hyland Handicap on Oct. 10. He also won The Moonshiner and Calyx handicaps over 870 yards at Los Alamitos this year.

Sterling Sport, winner of last year's 870-yard Pat Hyland and Bull Rastus handicaps at Los Alamitos, won the John Deere New Mexico Challenge and comes off a Los Alamitos allowance win on Sept. 27.