07/01/2003 11:00PM

Rainbow trial of Grade 1 quality


A Grade 1-caliber first trial, which includes four Grade 1 stakes winners, headlines the six Rainbow Derby trials on Friday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The Grade 1, $317,000 Rainbow Derby will be run on July 19 with the 10 fastest horses from the 440-yard trials.

The first trial is very deep, with 2002 champion 2-year-old gelding Eye Opening Episode, Los Alamitos Million winner First Place Queen, Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Lock to Load, and Dash for Cash Futurity winner Silvered Eyes.

West Texas Futurity winner Eye Opening Episode comes off a fifth-place finish in the Ruidoso Derby on June 8.

First Place Queen, in her only start this year, set the Ruidoso Downs track record of 13.056 seconds for 250 yards on June 14.

Lock to Load defeated champion 2-year-old colt First to Flash in a Ruidoso Downs allowance race on June 15.

Silvered Eyes has not raced since winning the Dash for Cash Futurity on Oct. 19.

In the fourth trial, Meteoric is making his first start since running second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Million.

In the fifth trial, Capones Vault returns to racing after defeating Eye Opening Episode in the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity on Nov. 30.

In the sixth trial, Rainbow Futurity winner First to Flash is looking for his first win since his All American Futurity trial last August. In three starts since then he has been defeated by Meteoric (twice), champion AB What a Runner, Eye Opening Episode, and Lock to Load.

Connections seek stakes double

Owner Tom Mahar, trainer Jerry Dobbs, and jockey Scot Schlindler will try to sweep the $56,175 Northland Futurity and the $36,975 Canterbury Derby with the fastest qualifiers to each Grade 3 stakes, Quick Buds and Dash Thru My Heart.

Quick Buds goes for his third straight win in the Northlands Futurity on Saturday. He won his Northlands Futurity trial by 1 1/4 lengths with the fastest qualifying time of 18.117 seconds for the 350 yards.

Dash Thru My Heart, winner of the Grade 3 American Airlines Central Challenge at Prairie Meadows on Sept. 7, comes into Sunday's derby off a one-length win in his Canterbury Derby trial. His time of 20.250 seconds for the 400 yards was the fastest from two trials on June 22.