09/14/2005 12:00AM

Ocean Runaway tries to stretch Los Al streak


Champion 2-year-old Ocean Runaway returns to the site of his greatest victories when he starts in the trials to the Grade 1, $125,000-estimated PCQHRA Breeders Derby on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Ocean Runaway, winner of three Grade 1 stakes and holder of a six-race winning streak at Los Alamitos, summered at Ruidoso Downs and finished second to the sensational DM Shicago in the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby. DM Shicago also won the Ruidoso Derby and All American Derby to become only the third horse to win all three derbies at the New Mexico track.

Coming off a seven-month break, Ocean Runaway was second, a nose behind Ruidoso Derby third-place finisher Mighty Invictus, in their July 8 Rainbow Derby trial. In the Rainbow Derby, Ocean Runaway and finished three-quarters of a length behind DM Shicago as the 2-1 second choice. In his final Ruidoso Downs start, Ocean Runaway was a close second in his All American Derby trial, but his time was not fast enough to qualify for the finals.

Last fall at Los Alamitos, Ocean Runaway earned the champion juvenile title with consecutive Grade 1 wins in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, Golden State Million, and Los Alamitos Million, becoming the first Quarter Horse to win two $1 million races.

With 5 wins and 6 seconds from 13 starts, Ocean Runaway has earned $1,225,231.

Facing Ocean Runaway in the second of two trials will be Chicks Like Us, winner of the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity in 2004; Gulfstream Five, runner-up in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Derby; and Aries Man, runner-up in the Grade 2 El Primero Del Ano Derby.

The first trial is headed by Lindas Dasher, who has finished second in four Grade 1 stakes and comes off a close fourth-place finish in the Golden State Derby.

Finding Nemo heads PCQHRA futurity trials

Governor's Cup Futurity winner Finding Nemo tries to qualify for his fourth Grade 1 futurity in the trials to the $400,000-estimated PCQHRA Breeders Futurity on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Finding Nemo comes off a win in the Governor's Cup Futurity on July 30, when he overcame a rough start to rally for a nose victory as the 1-2 favorite. He had gained the favorite's role by finishing third in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million, sixth in the Grade 1 Kindergarten, and winning his Governor's Cup Futurity trial by two lengths in the fastest qualifying time of 17.31 seconds for 350 yards.

Kindergarten runner-up Love My Corona returns from a four-month layoff. In her most recent start, on May 14, she went to the front in the Kindergarten and held the lead until she was caught by Gold Nugget Rd in the final strides of the 350-yard futurity.

Also in the Kindergarten trials are California Breeders Freshman Stakes winner Gottobes Cat, Governor's Cup Futurity third-place finisher Wave Carver, and Centerist, winner of his first three starts.