02/07/2008 1:00AM

Tailgunner Tom a strong maiden


Glen and Kathleen Collins of Keilani Farms, the national champion owners of 2007, should get off to an excellent start this year with Tailgunner Tom and Catchmeonthebackside in the five trials to the $134,000 Maiden Stakes at Los Alamitos.

The horses with the 10 fastest times become eligible for the March 1 finals. The Maiden Stakes has a unique format, with horses who were maidens on Dec. 1 eligible for the trials. It has grown into a race showcasing late-developing stakes horses, with previous winners Royal Medallion, LDS Dash For Dylan, Mongoose Hawkette, and A Mere Splash becoming graded stakes performers.

Tailgunner Tom could not be a better fit for the Maiden Stakes's conditions. He is still a maiden after seven starts, but has five second-place finishes, capped by a runner-up effort in the Grade 1, $474,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. He overcame a troubled trip to get within a neck of Ancient Ruler. He also qualified for the Grade 1, $1,130,000 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity.

Meeting Tailgunner Tom in the first trial is Dreaming Sweet, who won her maiden on Jan.o5 by a half-length in 15.35 seconds for 300 yards.

Catchmeonthebackside, in the third trial, has two second-place efforts from his two starts. The half-brother to champion Catchmeinyourdreams nearly won his Los Alamitos Two Million trial when he was a nose behind Masters Call, who went on to win the Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile in his next start.

Hot trainer Adan Farias has Jess Dreamin in the fifth trial. Farias claimed the filly for $16,000 in September and she then won her maiden in her next start, on Dec. 7. Last weekend, Farias won two of the three trials to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and won all three trials to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship.

Ride With the King drops back to 350 yards

Ride With the King has found the spot to gain his first win since taking the Grade 1 Bank of America Texas Challenge on July 14 in the $25,000 Streakin La Jolla Stakes on Saturday at Louisiana Downs.

Ride With the King will be dropping back to 350 yards after finishing out of contention in the 440-yard Refrigerator Handicap, 440-yard Bank of America Challenge Championship, and 400-yard The Championship at Sunland Park, all Grade 1 stakes. When he won the Grade 1 Texas Challenge, he got up in the final stride of the 440-yard race to defeat favored This Snow Is Cold by a head.

Streakin Victor and First Streakin Lee are in top form for the Streakin La Jolla.

Streakin Victor comes off a second-place finish in the Harrah's Dash at 250 yards when he was a neck behind winner Angelas Toast. In his prior start, he finished third in the Grade 1 Louisiana Day Championship Stakes when he could not finish with Mesa Passem Magic and Angelas Toast over the 440 yards.

First Streakin Lee crossed the finish line in third place in the Harrah's Dash, but was disqualified and placed fourth. He was the 3-1 second choice in the Harrah's Dash after winning the Evangeline Downs Dash at 220 yards in his previous out.