07/14/2004 12:00AM

Rivals to meet in Vessels trials


The sharp Sky Lane Pie goes for his third straight victory when he meets familiar rival Buccaneer Beach in the second of two trials to the Grade 1, $140,000 Vessels Maturity on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the 400-yard Vessels Maturity trials return on Aug. 7 for the finals.

The trials-oriented weekend at Los Alamitos continues on Saturday, when juveniles compete in the 350-yard Ed Burke Memorial Futurity trials. The Ed Burke finals are on July 31, with the top 10 qualifiers returning from the trials.

With just two Vessels Maturity trials, the top horses may not have to be asked for a maximum effort, since the top three or four finishers in each trial should earn a spot in the finals.

Buccaneer Beach and Sky Lane Pie will meet for the fourth time this year in the second trial. Buccaneer Beach got the victory in their first two 2004 meetings - the Los Alamitos Winter Championship trial and the Grade 1 Winter Championship. Sky Lane Pie prevailed by a neck in their most recent meeting, the Grade 2 California Challenge Championship on May 29.

Sky Lane Pie also won the Kaweah Bar Handicap, in his start before the California Challenge Championship.

In the first trial, the Champion of Champions runner-up, Catchmeinyourdreams, is coming off a layoff since a troubled seventh-place finish in The Championship at Sunland Park on Dec. 27. Last fall he won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship and was a close second in the Grade 1 MBNA America Challenge Championship.

Deefirst challenges Catchmeinyourdreams after finishing third in the Grade 1, $150,000 Spencer Childers California Championship in his most recent start.

Futurity runners-up in Burke trials

Jumpn and Lindas Dasher, the second-place finishers in the two Grade 1 futurities at Los Alamitos this year, will try to qualify for another Grade 1 futurity when they race in the trials to the $450,000-estimated Ed Burke Memorial Futurity on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Jumpn ran a very game race in the Grade 1 Kindergarten on May 15, but came up a head short of Dash to the End. Jumpn qualified for the Kindergarten with a one-length victory in his trial in a quick 15.36 seconds for the 300 yards.

The Governor's Cup Futurity runner-up, Lindas Dasher, has matured in her two latest starts. Winless in her first two outings, she won her maiden in a Governor's Cup Futurity trial over Ocean Runaway and then was second in the finals, 1 1/4 lengths behind Ocean Runaway.

The notable absentee in the Ed Burke trials is the Kindergarten winner, Dash to the End, who is giving up the opportunity to earn the $1 million Los Alamitos Bonanza. That bonus is earmarked for the connections of any horse who can win the Kindergarten, Ed Burke Futurity, and Los Alamitos Million. Dash to the End is resting and may return for the Los Alamitos Million on Dec. 10.