11/12/2008 1:00AM

Stolis Winner returns in Texas futurity trials


Trainer Heath Taylor's roller-coaster year could reach another peak in the trials to the Grade 1, $1.1 million Texas Classic Futurity and the Grade 1, $380,000 Texas Classic Derby this weekend at Lone Star Park.

The Texas Classic Derby trials are on Friday night and the Texas Classic Futurity trials are Saturday night.

Taylor's stable is having a sensational year. He is second nationally in races won (146) and money earned ($4.8 million). But, he is facing allegations that caffeine was present when Stolis Winner, the top prospect in the Texas Classic Futurity trials, won the Grade 1 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. Taylor adamantly denies the charges and a hearing is scheduled for Saturday.

Stolis Winner also won the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park and the Grade 1, $625,000 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, passing all post-race testing.

"The horse was treated exactly the same as he was for the trials and finals of the Heritage, the trials and finals of the Rainbow, and the trials and finals of the All American Futurity," Taylor said.

Stolis Winner's owner, Jerry Windham, a past president of the American Quarter Horse Association, stands with his trainer and last weekend received the prestigious Special Achievement Award from the AQHA Racing Council.

The three Grade 1 futurity wins make up the bulk of Stolis Winner's earnings of $1,778,467, the all-time record for seasonal earnings by a Quarter Horse. He has 7 wins from 8 career starts and was second by a nose in the other start.

Stolis Winner makes his first start since Labor Day's All American Futurity victory in the Texas Classic Futurity trials.

Jodys Money Pop and Double Chiseled are also contenders. The Trey Wood-trained Jodys Money Pop won the Grade 1 TQHA Futurity and the Jorge Valenzuela-trained Double Chiseled comes off a fourth-place effort in the Dash for Cash Futurity.

Taylor also has a strong contingent in the Texas Classic Derby trials with Swingin Jess and Red Storm Cat, who meet in the second of four trials.

Last year, Swingin Jess won two early-season Grade 1 futurities and returned to that form in his latest start with a troubled nose win in the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Derby.

Red Storm Cat has always been highly regarded and finished in a dead heat for second in last year's Texas Classic Futurity. He returned from a 10-month layoff to dominate a Lone Star Park allowance race by 2 3/4 lengths on Oct. 30.

Blue Piranha tops Corona Chick

Blue Piranha should continue to show he was an excellent claim when he goes for his second straight stakes win in the $30,000 Corona Chick Handicap on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

A $16,000 claim out of a maiden race on May 29, Blue Piranha has won 3 of his 5 subsequent starts and comes off a pair of wins, including a half-length win in the $25,000 Autumn Handicap in his most recent start. Three starts ago he finished third in the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity.

On Friday night, Peacefully goes for her third-straight win in the Dashing Folly, an overnight handicap. She comes off two wins in conditioned allowance races and has won 3 of her last 4 starts.