02/18/2010 12:00AM

Post a concern for Freaky


Freaky takes his typical role as heavy favorite for a major Quarter Horse stakes at Los Alamitos in Saturday's $228,450 Winter Championship. The World Champion Quarter Horse of 2009, Freaky will be after his seventh consecutive win in the 400-yard race, seeking his fifth Grade 1 win since last June.

"The only thing that's different is that he has his winter hair," trainer Adan Farias said.

The ultra-consistent Freaky overcame a stumble at the start to win a division of the Winter Championship trials on Jan. 30, running 400 yards in 19.31 seconds. By Freaky's standards, it was a slow time. The 5-year-old gelding holds the track record of 19.15 seconds, set in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity last June.

Farias and owner Amando Aguirre of Surprise, Ariz., had a brief scare after that race when Freaky emerged with a cut on his right hind leg. Farias said the cut is still healing, but should not affect Freaky's performance on Saturday.

"It's not a problem, not infected," he said.

Shortly after the trials, Freaky resumed his normal routine of galloping on the racetrack every three days. He is walked at the stable on the other days.

"The first week he got back to normal," Farias said. "He's always a handful on the racetrack."

One thing that does concern the trainer is the rail post in a field of 10. Freaky has not started from the rail since he won a division of the Kindergarten trials in May 2007. Farias would have preferred a draw farther outside.

"That's the only thing I don't like," he said.

Freaky won the prestigious Champion of Champions on Dec. 12, and is one of four horses from that race to qualify for the Winter Championship. The others are Separate Bet, who was fourth and placed third after a disqualification, eighth-place finisher Jess You and I. and ninth-place finisher Masters Call.

Jess You and I, the winner of the 2008 Champion of Champions, returned to win a division of the Winter Championship trials on Jan. 30 after undergoing throat surgery for a breathing problem after the Champion of Champions in December.

"It's not an excuse, but a reason as to why he ran the way he ran in the Champion of Champions," owner Rhonda List said after the trials. "Of course, we want another shot at Freaky. He's a super horse, but we want to see Jess You and I have another shot. It's nice to have a rivalry with him."