11/24/2004 12:00AM

Ocean Runaway has title shot


Ocean Runaway, winner of the Golden State Million, will be after a spot in his second straight $1 million futurity when he starts in the eighth of 12 trials to the Grade 1, $1,508,650 Los Alamitos Million on Friday night at Los Alamitos. The horses with the 10 fastest times from the 98 juveniles entered in the 400-yard trials will qualify for the Dec. 10 finals.

Ocean Runaway has gotten stronger as the year has progressed and is positioned to secure a championship title with a Los Alamitos Million victory. Trainer Denny Ekins has been patient with the colt, and Ocean Runaway has responded with 3 victories in his last 4 starts since June 19, including Grade 1 wins in the Governor's Cup Futurity and the $1 million Golden State Million. He won the Governor's Cup in a stakes-record 17.39 seconds for the 350 yards and won the Nov. 7 Golden State, his most recent start, by a convincing three-quarters of a length.

Chicks Like Us, All About Ease, and Devons Signature also come in the trials with proven Grade 1 credentials.

Chicks Like Us won three straight races, including the Grade 1 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, before finishing in fifth place behind Ocean Runaway in the Golden State. In the Breeders Futurity he got a sharp break and prevailed by a neck in 17.43 seconds for 350 yards.

A New Mexico invader, All About Ease, should turn in her best West Coast performance. In her sole Los Alamitos start, she was third in her Golden State trial and figures to improve off of that race. At Ruidoso Downs, she won the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity, and then won her Rainbow and All American futurity trials.

The All American Futurity's third-place finisher, Devons Signature, also comes into the Million trials after one start this fall in the Golden State trials, a sixth-place finish.

Not for Long, Hawkish in trials

Two-time derby winner Not for Long and champion Hawkish head the trials to the Grade 1, $132,000 (estimated) Southern California Derby on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Not for Long has won his last three races, including two Grade 1's, the Governor's Cup Derby and the Golden State Derby.

Hawkish, the 2003 champion 2-year-old colt, has just 2 victories from 6 starts in 2004, but one of those came in the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Derby.