12/13/2004 1:00AM

Upset opens door for title contenders


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - An upset victory by Cash for Kas in Saturday's $500,000 Champion of Champions for Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos will have a major impact on the balloting for the Horse of the Year title.

Cash for Kas ($44.60) finished a nose in front of Horse of the Year hopeful Be a Bono.

Mongoose Jet Eye, who led early, finished third in the field of 10, with Catchmeinyourdreams, the 5-2 favorite, finishing fourth. Catchmeinyourdreams would have clinched the Horse of the Year title with a win.

Cash for Kas's victory helps the title chances of Ocean Runaway, who won his second million-dollar futurity of the fall in Friday's $1,481,424 Los Alamitos Million. Ocean Runaway won the Golden State Million in November.

In the Los Alamitos Million, Ocean Runaway scored by a length in an impressive victory. He finished 400 yards in 19.409 seconds, a stakes record.

Cash for Kas gave trainer Paul Jones his third consecutive win in the Champion of Champions, the nation's top race for older Quarter Horses. A 3-year-old filly, Cash for Kas became the first filly to win the race since Dashing Folly in 1996.

Ridden by Hector Cuevas for owner Ed Calvert of Denton, Texas, Cash For Kas ran 440 yards in 21.28 seconds. The race was run in a dense fog. Cash for Kas was fifth in the first 100 yards, trailing Mongoose Jet Eye by a half-length, and did not take the lead until the final 100 yards.

A winner of 5 of 16 starts and $557,039, Cash for Kas qualified for the Champion of Champions by finishing second in a division of the trials on Nov. 19. Earlier this year, Cash for Kas finished third in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and second in the All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs.

There were two major stakes Sunday.

Prankster CF, a 3-year-old gelding by the Thoroughbred sire Favorite Trick, won the $164,000 Marathon National over 870 yards. Trained by Jones and ridden by Saul Ramirez Jr., Prankster CF ($3.60) held off a late run from Bang, a Thoroughbred, to win by a nose in 44.764 seconds. Roto Rooster finished third.

In the $130,950 Southern California Derby, Hawkish won the final start of his career, scoring by a neck over 12-1 Mocha Blast. Ridden by Alex Bautista, Hawkish finished 400 yards in 19.506 seconds. Make it Work was third in the field of 10.

Hawkish will enter stud in 2005 in California.