11/12/2006 1:00AM

This Snow Is Cold takes MBNA


This Snow Is Cold jumped out to the lead at the start and held her advantage throughout for a nose win over Wrs Special Shoe in the Grade 1, $301,500 for Quarter Horses at Lone Star Park on Saturday night. It was a head back in third to Lds Dash for Dylan, and another neck back in fourth to favorite DM Shicago.

The MBNA was the richest of four Grade 1 races on an all-stakes card for Quarter Horses. The program was worth more than $1 million.

The Snow Is Cold ($7.60) covered the 440 yards in 21.66 seconds. In addition to the first-place check of $150,000, the mare earned an invitation to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 9.

"This is so exciting," said Melinda Garcia, who trains This Snow Is Cold for Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Co. "We'll be headed to California in December."

Rodrigo Vallejo rode the winner on Saturday. The victory was the 10th in 29 career starts for This Snow Is Cold, a 5-year-old who has earned $469,835.

In the other graded stakes on the program, Magical Thunder ($21.40) was prominent throughout as he powered to a neck win in the Grade 1, $200,000 . Juan Vazquez rode the winner for trainer Ray Robbins.

* Eye Caughtcha Peekin ($6.20) led throughout for a half-length win over favorite Sizzling in the Grade 1, $100,000 . Jose Alvarez rode the winner for trainer Sleepy Gilbreath.

* Strider Man ($8) was a length and a quarter winner over favorite Cashin Sam in the Grade 1, $100,000 at 870 yards. Jeff Jerman rode the winner for trainer Matt Baker.

* Remember Me Rose ($4.80) was a neck winner over male rivals in the Grade 2, $150,000 . Esgar Ramirez rode the winning filly for trainer Ben Torres.

* Lone Star handled $1,347,601 on the 12-race card Saturday. Attendance was 8,128, which was an 11 percent increase from the last time the MBNA Challenge Championships were held at Lone Star, in 2002.