08/12/2009 11:00PM

Tres Passes makes season debut


Finally, Tres Passes has found a race for his 3-year-old debut.

The leading 2-year-old at Los Alamitos last autumn, Tres Passes starts in the second of two divisions of the Golden State Derby trials at Los Alamitos on Saturday. Trainer Blane Schvaneveldt wanted to get Tres Passes a prep race in an allowance or minor stakes in July but suitable races failed to fill.

"I've waited long enough," Schvaneveldt said on Wednesday. "I couldn't get him a run."

Owned by breeder Janet McKinnerney, Tres Passes has won 5 of 9 starts and $1,436,765. Last year, Tres Passes won the Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million futurities.

Overall, the trials did not draw deep fields. The track has struggled in recent months to fill top-class allowance races and stakes for 3-year-olds and older horses.

There are 13 horses entered in the two divisions and the 10 with the fastest times, regardless of finishing position, earn berths to the final on Aug. 29.

"I can't believe it," Schvaneveldt said when reviewing the fields. "He's only got to beat three horses to be eligible. But I don't want to get him beat."

The first division is led by Foose, winner of the 2008 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity, and A Tempting Dash, who won the Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February.

Tres Passes's biggest threat comes from Alice K White, who won the La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies in April and was fifth in the Governor's Cup Derby on July 25.

Stolis Winner hearing set for Dec. 1

An administrative hearing in the case of Stolis Winner, the Quarter Horse who was disqualified from his win in the $1.9 million All American Futurity last September after testing positive for caffeine, has been set for Dec. 1. A panel of three hearing officers will consider the evidence and then render a recommendation to the New Mexico Racing Commission.

The commission will then adopt, amend, or reject that recommendation.

Stolis Winner was disqualified from the All American purse earnings in a stewards' ruling issued in January. In addition, stewards suspended his trainer, Heath Taylor, for six months and fined him $1,500. Taylor was granted a stay of his suspension by the stewards and appealed their decisions in the case to the commission. The administrative hearing, which could take days, is the next step in the appeals process in New Mexico.

Stolis Winner, who races for Jerry Windham, was voted last year's world champion Quarter Horse and champion 2-year-old. He won last year's Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity and Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity prior to his first-place finish in the Grade 1 All-American.

Stoli Powered fastest qualifier

Stoli Powered, claimed for $20,000 last November, holds the fastest 440-yard qualifying time of 21.365 seconds for the $70,000 Bank of America California Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on Aug. 22.

Stoli Powered won the second of two trials on Aug. 7, his first start at 440 yards. Fighter on Fire won the other trial in 21.45 seconds.

The winner of the Aug. 22 final will earn a berth in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on Oct. 31, a race that brings together qualifiers from throughout the United States.

Los Alamitos record set - twice

The Los Alamitos track continues to play fast. The 220-, 350-, and 400-yard track records fell earlier this year. On Aug. 6, the 300-yard mark fell twice in consecutive races.

In the evening's third race, Cyclonic, a $16,000 claimer, ran the distance in 15.03 seconds, lowering Reida Hay Worth's record of 15.05 seconds set on July 5. Just 24 minutes later, Quiero Corona, a $30,000 claimer, ran 300 yards in 15 seconds.

- additional reporting by Mary Rampellini