12/10/2004 1:00AM

Sons of Favorite Trick form solid entry


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - The $164,000 Marathon National at Los Alamitos on Sunday may be primarily for Quarter Horses, but Kentucky-based Thoroughbred stallions will have an important role in the outcome of the 870-yard race.

Full brothers Prankster CF and Tricky Dust, a Quarter Horse entry that is expected to be favored, are both sired by Favorite Trick, the 1997 Eclipse Award winner as the outstanding 2-year-old colt. Heros Call, the defending champion, is a Quarter Horse by Grand Slam. Bang, a 4-year-old California-bred Thoroughbred who won two stakes at Sunland Park earlier this year, is a leading contender.

The Marathon National is one of two major stakes on Sunday evening's program.

The Marathon is followed by the $130,950 Southern California Derby over 400 yards. The Southern California Derby is led by Not for Long, who is seeking his fifth consecutive win; and Hawkish, the champion 2-year-old of 2003, who has not had the same form this year.

In the Marathon, Prankster CF drew the rail, while Tricky Dust is on the outside in the field of eight. Both are owned by Joan Dale Hubbard and trained by Paul Jones. They are out of Stardust Dash, a mare by Dash for Cash.

Prankster CF, 3, is seeking his first stakes win in what will be his 17th start. He set the fastest qualifying time of 44.72 seconds, winning the second of two trials on Nov. 20.

Tricky Dust, 4, was second to Roto Rooster in the other division of the trials. Tricky Dust won a minor 870-yard stakes earlier this year.

"They are a little bit alike in that that they can both finish strongly," Jones said. "The one difference between them is that Tricky Dust might not have as much early speed as Prankster CF."

Heros Call drew post 5, and will be trying for his first win of the year in his sixth start. Owned and trained by Laura Pinelli, Heros Call was carried wide on the turn in the trials and finished fourth behind Prankster CF.

Not for Long won the Governor's Cup and Golden State derbies earlier this year. In the Southern California Derby trials on Nov. 27, Not for Long finished a nose in front of Hawkish, whose only stakes win this year came in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders' Derby in October. Last year, Hawkish won three major stakes.

Not for Long races for Pete Parrella's Legacy Ranch and trainer Dennis Ekins.

"I think Not for Long has to improve," Parrella said. "If we get lucky and break, we've got to be right there."