03/02/2006 1:00AM

Mongoose duo may peak at right time


The peaking pair of Mongoose Separatist and Mongoose Hawkette, bred and owned by drag racing hall of fame member Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen, show promise coming into the $140,000 Maiden Stakes on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

The Maiden Stakes, restricted to 3-year-olds who were maidens on Dec. 1, was won last year by LDS Dash for Dylan, who went on to win the Grade 1 Bayer Legend Derby Challenge and finish fourth in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions. Those performances helped build the credibility of the Maiden Stakes, and now trainers and owners are pointing late-developing prospects to the 350-yard race.

Mongoose Separatist, a half-sister to 2004 champion aged horse Mongoose Jet Eye, led the qualifiers from six trials to the Maiden when she raced 350 yards in 17.46 seconds. She stumbled at the start but was still able to race to a 1 1/4-length victory. In her prior start, on Jan. 13, she won her maiden by three-quarters of a length.

Mongoose Hawkette won her maiden on Dec. 2 and then came back to finish second by a nose against a solid group of winners in a Los Alamitos allowance race. She then finished in a dead heat for the win in her Maiden Stakes trial. She was timed in 17.57.

Strict is the type of horse who can do well in the Maiden Stakes. A large filly, Strict was winless in her first five starts last summer and was then given a five-month layoff before surfacing in the Maiden trials. With the rest and time to mature into her large body, Strict responded with a one-length win in 17.56.

Jesses Sixes found some success at Ruidoso Downs last summer when he had the 13th-fastest qualifying time to the Grade 1, $1.9 million All American Futurity and finished eighth in the All American Juvenile, a race for horses who did not qualify for the All American. He enters off two straight wins, capped by his Maiden trial win in 17.57.

"This horse is still pretty green, but as he matures I think he'll do well," trainer Bret Vickery said. "He notices and sees a lot of things. He's hard to keep focused."

Whosleavingwho retired at age 8

Whosleavingwho, the 2002 co-world champion, has been retired following his fifth-place finish in last Saturday's Grade 1, $240,350 Los Alamitos Winter Championship, according to co-owner Kim Kessinger.

"This is it for him," said Kessinger, who owns the 8-year-old gelding with Jim Geiler. "It's been a great ride for us."

Whosleavingwho, trained by Paul Jones, retires with earnings of $1,334,842. From 47 starts he had 23 wins, 11 seconds, and 2 thirds. Whosleavingwho's 10 stakes wins were highlighted by his victory in the 2002 Champion of Champions and two wins in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship. He is one of 11 horses with 10 or more stakes wins at Los Alamitos.