07/08/2008 11:00PM

My Buddie returns in Governor's Cup Derby trials

Email

The Ed Allred homebred My Buddie, highly regarded after winning his only two starts at 2 last year, makes his first start in a year in the trials to the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Derby at Los Alamitos on Friday night.

My Buddie impressed in his first start 13 months ago when he blew apart a maiden field while winning by 4 1/4 lengths in an exceptional 17.30-second time for 350 yards. He backed up that effort in the trials to the Governor's Cup Futurity when he won with an impressive rally in 17.34 seconds. That proved to be the end of his promising juvenile campaign.

My Buddie showed his fitness for his return to racing with two strong works at Los Alamitos, capped by a 17.70-second drill for 350 yards.

Challenging My Buddie in the second of two trials is La Pacifica Handicap winner Shescheckinumout and Bitterroot Derby winner Checker.

First Magical Dash in trials

First Magical Dash, sixth in the Ed Burke Million Futurity, gets his opportunity to stand out in the trials to the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

The connections of other juveniles who had qualified for the Grade 1 Kindergarten and the Ed Burke decided to pass the Governor's Cup to focus on future races on the rich Los Alamitos stakes calendar. Heading that group is Sixish, second in the Kindergarten and Ed Burke.

First Magical Dash won his maiden in his third start when he survived trouble to win his Ed Burke trial.

Accost runs in the Governor's Cup trials after a half-length maiden win, while Dashin Dynamo has a bullet work at 220 yards and was second in a maiden race.

Lightning Round seeks repeat

If Lightning Round can repeat his fastest-qualifying trial effort, he could stand out in the wide-open Grade 2, $140,800 TQHA Sires Cup Futurity on Friday night at Sam Houston Race Park.

The Stoli-sired gelding set the fastest 350-yard qualifying time of 17.806 seconds from the eight trials, the equivalent of a length quicker than second-fastest qualifier Columbia Crest.

Lightning Round raced to his second win from five starts in the trial. He also has a pair of second-place efforts, so his consistent record bodes well in a futurity field devoid of a proven stakes horse.

Second-fastest qualifier Columbia Crest won his maiden in his third start in the trials.

This Snow Is Cold at home

This Snow Is Cold returns in her favorite race at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday night, the Grade 1, $114,660 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship.

This Snow Is Cold won the 2006 Texas Challenge Championship and was a close second, beaten by a head, in last year's running when she held the lead until being caught in the final stride by Riding With the King.

The 7-year-old mare returned from a 10-month layoff to finish third in her 440-yard Texas Challenge Championship trial and figures to step forward in her second out after the extended layoff.

Sassys Tuffy topped the qualifiers when he won the second of two trials in 21.989 seconds over second-fastest qualifier Reba Cleata, who was coming off a second in the Grade 1 Remington Park Championship. Sassys Tuffy was third in the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Derby last fall at Lone Star Park.

Also on the card is the Grade 3, $64,080 Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge. Fastest-qualifier Dirt Track Date ranks as the favorite, with 4 wins from 7 starts, capped by her nose win in last year's TQHA Sires Cup Futurity.

In the Grade 3, $33,930 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge, fastest qualifiers Streakin Flair and Sin Tacha Perry are set for a rematch of their one-two trial finish. Minor stakes winner Streakin Flair upset Sin Tacha Perry, who was returning from a long layoff, by a half-length.