08/28/2002 12:00AM

Round 4 of showdown at Ruidoso

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Tres Seis, the 2001 champion 2-year-old gelding, meets two-time Grade 1 derby winner A Real Man for the fourth time this summer at Ruidoso Downs in the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Derby at 440 yards on Sunday.

Tres Seis, owned by Gwendolyn Eaves and trained by John Bassett, has started three times this year and finished ahead of A Real Man in two of those starts. Tres Seis finished second and A Real Man was third in the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby. Then Tres Seis got the win over runner-up A Real Man in their All American Derby trial.

In that All American Derby trial, Tres Seis was the fastest qualifier with a 21.485-second time for the 440 yards. A Real Man is the fourth-fastest qualifier with a 21.623-second time.

A Real Man defeated Tres Seis in their Rainbow Derby trial on July 4, Tres Seis's first start in nearly seven months.

A Real Man, trained by Eddie Willis, dominated the 3-year-old ranks at Remington Park this spring with a track-record win in the Grade 1 Remington Park Derby (400 yards in 19.533 seconds) and a win in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Derby.

Houston Classic lures three top horses

Three Grade 1 winners who won titles at Sam Houston Race Park last year meet in the Grade 2, $60,000 Sam Houston Classic at 440 yards on Friday night.

Last year's horse of the meet, Bugs by Yawl, faces 2001 champion older horse Streakin Sin Tacha and 2001 champion Texas-bred Pivotal Decision.

Streakin Sin Tacha, owned and trained by Janet VanBebber, comes off a win over Bugs by Yawl in the Grade 1 MBNA America Texas Challenge on July 13.

Bugs by Yawl won the Grade 1 Remington Park Championship over world champion Tailor Fit on June 8.

Pivotal Decision, the 126-pound highweight, won the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Futurity in 2000 and two Grade 1 derbies last year.

Classic Sassy Chic tops Juvenile Challenge

Classic Sassy Chic will make her first start for owners Rod and Jackie MacPherson in the Grade 3, $51,570 American Airlines Juvenile Challenge over 350 yards on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Classic Sassy Chic won the California Breeders Freshman Stakes for 2-year-old Cal-breds on June 22, one of her three wins from five starts.

The Felix Gonzalez-trained Classic Sassy Chic topped the Juvenile Challenge qualifiers with a 17.700-second time for the 350 yards.

Hammes dominates Mile High stakes

Trainer John Hammes is primed for a big Labor Day weekend with five of the top six qualifiers in the Grade 2, $79,615 Mile High Derby and three qualifiers in the Grade 2, $133,680 Mile High Futurity at Arapahoe Park.

The Mile High Derby is on Sunday afternoon and the Mile High Futurity is on Monday.

Corona Music, second in the 2001 Los Alamitos Million, is the Hammes-trained fastest qualifier in the 400-yard derby. She was a 1 1/4-length trial winner in 19.908 seconds for the 400 yards.

Hammes's other derby horses are The Works, Straw for Cash, Harbor Beach, and Bac by Design.

Leading the Hammes-trained futurity contingent is fastest qualifier Cash in Leader, who won his trial in 19.829 seconds for the 400 yards. He was second in the Grade 3 Cherry Creek Futurity.

In the 400-yard futurity, Hammes will also saddle Take the Special and Splash of a Flash.