08/29/2007 11:00PM

Sir Runaway Dash seeks redemption


After a year marred by more disappointment than success, Sir Runaway Dash ran a career-best race in the Aug. 18 time trials for Saturday's $320,150 Golden State Derby for 3-year-old Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos.

Now, Sir Runaway Dash has to beat nine rivals, including his full brother and a 2006 champion, to claim his first major stakes win.

Sir Runaway Dash is by leading sire First Down Dash out of the outstanding mare Runaway Wave. That is the same pedigree as Trisk, the fifth-fastest qualifier to the 400-yard final.

Quarter Horse breeders are allowed to register more than one foal out of a mare annually through the use of embryos transferred to surrogate mares. During the 2003 breeding season, the broodmare Runaway Wave was impregnated twice, resulting in Sir Runaway Dash and Trisk.

They met in the time trials, with Trisk finishing fourth behind Sir Runaway Dash.

Sir Runaway Dash, owned by Runaway Ranch, has won 3 of 9 starts and $43,745. Trisk, owned by breeder Dan Lucas, has won 4 of 14 starts and $90,932. Paul Jones trains both colts.

The Grade 1 Golden State Derby is the third major stakes appearance for Sir Runaway Dash. He finished seventh in the Governor's Cup Futurity last year and was a troubled sixth in the Governor's Cup Derby in July.

In the Golden State Derby time trials, Sir Runaway Dash was timed in 19.51 seconds, finishing a nose in front of Blues Girl Too, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2006.

"He really woke up," Jones said of Sir Runaway Dash. "We thought he had a lot of talent. He couldn't get anything to go right."

Jones said that Sir Runaway Dash underwent stifle surgery at 2 that curtailed that season. In the Governor's Cup Derby, he was bumped halfway through the race and finished 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner, FDD Dynasty.

The Golden State Derby trial was the 2007 debut for Blues Girl Too, who missed the early-season races after undergoing surgery to have bone chips removed from an ankle and knee last winter.

"Coming off surgery, I was concerned how she'd pull up," trainer Joe Bassett said. "I think she'll improve off her trial race."

In Saturday's final, Blues Girl Too and Sir Runaway Dash have drawn posts 7 and 8, while Trisk has drawn the outside in the field of 10. Another leading contender is A Mere Splash, who won the third and final time trial.