10/22/2009 12:00AM

Stolis Winner getting back to his best form


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Stolis Winner, the reigning world champion Quarter Horse, recaptured his best form earlier this month at Lone Star Park and will attempt to keep on rolling Saturday night in the Grade 1, $202,200 Dash for Cash Derby.

The race is one of two major stakes on the card. The Grade 1, $445,185 Dash for Cash Futurity is led by Swingin Daddyo.

Stolis Winner set the fastest qualifying time for the Dash for Cash Derby during trials Oct. 9, when he covered 440 yards on a track rated good in 21.22 seconds. He powered to a dominant 1 3/4-length win, his first victory this year from three starts.

"The other day in the trials here, I thought that was probably one of the best three races he has ever run," said Heath Taylor, who trains Stolis Winner for Jerry Windham. "Hopefully he'll come back and repeat.

"He ran the other day like he's capable of running."

Taylor was relieved after the trial results, because Stolis Winner was coming off a rare eighth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 1 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs. In the race, he missed the break and found himself farther back than usual. One start prior, Stolis Winner made his season debut in trials for the All American and finished third in his first start since November.

"Obviously, it was a lot to ask, especially in that altitude, to run 440 yards off that long a layoff," said Taylor, who was unable to get a prep race to fill for Stolis Winner. "He drew into one of the toughest Quarter Horse trials I had seen in recent years and fell down leaving the gate."

Taylor said Stolis Winner ran a strong race under the circumstances. He might have felt the effects of that performance two weeks later in the finale. G.R. Carter has the mount Saturday.

Swingin Daddyo is the one to beat in the Dash for Cash Futurity after he set a track record for 400 yards during his Oct. 10 trial, covering the distance in 19.45 seconds. Debra Gotovac, who owns the horse, will donate a percentage of any purse money he wins to fight breast cancer.