07/01/2002 11:00PM

Tres Seis, A Real Man clash in Rainbow Derby trials

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An intriguing trial matchup between Golden State Futurity winner Tres Seis and Heritage Place Derby winner A Real Man takes place in the second of four 440-yard trials to the Grade 1, $199,344 Rainbow Derby on the Fourth of July at Ruidoso Downs.

The 10 fastest qualifiers return for the finals on July 20.

Tres Seis makes his seasonal debut while A Real Man is in sharp form after his Heritage Place Derby win.

Tres Seis, trained by John Bassett, earned a national reputation last summer at Ruidoso Downs when he was second in the Grade 1 All American Futurity. He then went to Los Alamitos to win the Golden State Futurity and run third in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Million. He earned $783,140 with five wins from eight starts last year.

A Real Man, the second-ranked horse in the weekly American Quarter Horse Association poll, was sensational this spring at Remington Park when he posted back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Remington Park Derby and the Heritage Place Derby.

Also in the Rainbow Derby trials are 2001 Ruidoso Futurity winner Red Clay of Texas and 2001 Rainbow Futurity runner-up Phenomenal Fantasy.

On Friday, Ruidoso Futurity winner Zip First, the top-ranked horse in the AQHA's 2-year-old poll, takes the next step in his $4 million quest in the trials to the Grade 1, $635,470 Rainbow Futurity. If Zip First can sweep the Ruidoso, Rainbow, and All American futurities, he will earn the $4 million bonus.

Trained by Leon Bard, Zip First moved to the top of the juvenile division when he won the Grade 2 Longhorn Futurity and the Grade 2 Manor Downs Futurity this spring. He affirmed that position with his Ruidoso Futurity win on June 9.

Zip First is in the 19th of the 20 Rainbow Futurity trials, with 195 entrants.

Fast First Call, who was just a nose behind Zip First for second in the Ruidoso Futurity, is in the 15th trial.

The Rainbow Futurity finals with the 10 fastest qualifiers will be held on July 21.

On Sunday afternoon, Jose and Victor Diaz's entry of Special Crys and Royaltime Classic tops the Grade 3 $33,660 Ford New Mexico Challenge for fillies and mares. Special Crys won this 400-yard race last year when it was the Centaur New Mexico Challenge. Royaltime Classic topped the qualifiers with her trial win in 19.828 seconds.

Baltimore Lou heads Ford

Baltimore Lou, who has won or placed in six stakes, brings top-qualifier status into the Grade 3, $29,070 Ford West/Southwest Challenge at Arapahoe Park on the Fourth of July.

Trained by Charley Hunt, Baltimore Lou beat six other qualifiers to win her trial by 1 1/2 lengths in 19.730 seconds for the 400 yards.

Reed foursome in Oklahoma Futurity

Trainer Rodney Reed will saddle four horses, including the top three qualifiers in the Grade 2, $102,000 (est.) Oklahoma Futurity at Fair Meadows on Sunday.

Jazzy Corona, third in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity, paced the Reed qualifiers with a head decision over stablemate and second-fastest qualifier Fast Del Rey in their trial. Jazzy Corona won with a 17.902-second time for the 350 yards.

Reed also has third-fastest qualifier Dash of Snow and sixth-fastest qualifier Abbies Lady Pride.