01/18/2007 1:00AM

Wave Carver the year's best


Wave Carver won the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions by just a nose, but that narrow win led to a runaway victory in the balloting for 2006 Quarter Horse world champion with Wave Carver receiving all 25 votes cast.

Wave Carver was also the unanimous selection as the champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old colt in the American Quarter Horse Association-sponsored voting among 25 of the association's racing committee members, association members, racing officials, and media members.

Wave Carver made his final career start in the Dec. 9 Champion of Champions and will begin his first season at stud this year at Royal Vista Ranches in Wayne, Okla.

A full brother to the 2005 world champion, Ocean Runaway, Wave Carver moved beyond being Ocean Runaway's little brother to earn his own world championship with 7owins and 2 seconds from 9 starts last year. He won the Grade 1, $700,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby, Quarter Horse racing's richest derby, and the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Derby before his Champion of Champions win. His two runner-up efforts were in Grade 1 derbies.

Wave Carver's trainer, Paul Jones, was named the champion trainer for the fifth consecutive year. He also trained 2006 champions Strawkins and Snowbound Superstar.

Strawkins was named the champion 3-year-old gelding after setting a Ruidoso Downs 440-yard track record of 20.73 seconds winning the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby and finishing second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship in his first start against older horses. He received 14 votes, while the All American Derby winner, Arealstraitheart, received six votes.

Snowbound Superstar is the champion distance horses after winning all six of his starts at 870 yards in 2006. His four 870-yard stakes wins came by a combined margin of more than 22 lengths and were highlighted by his Grade 1 Marathon Handicap victory. He received 23 votes.

Joining Wave Carver and Strawkins as the champions in the 3-year-old division is champion 3-year-old filly Ima Ramblin Girl, winner of the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Derby.

Blues Girl Too is the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly after winning the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million and racing to second-place finishes in a pair of Grade 1's, the Golden State Million and the Ed Burke Million.

FDD Dynasty, winner of the Ed Burke Million and runner-up in the Los Alamitos Two Million, is the champion 2-year-old colt. A winner of 5 of 7 starts, he received 16 votes, while All American Futurity winner No Secrets Here, who was third in the Los Alamitos Two Million, received 8.

Jess You and I, winner of the Golden State Million, won the champion 2-year-old gelding title in a runoff vote with the Dash for Cash Futurity winner, Dont Let Down, by a 14-11 margin. Runoff votes are held when no horse or person receives 50 percent of the initial vote.

There was also a runoff vote for the aged champion title, with Apollitical Time prevailing in a 16-9 vote over Gotta Get. Apollitical Time won five 2006 stakes, highlighted by back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Mildred Vessels Handicap and the Los Alamitos Championship.

Apollitical Time, the champion aged mare, was 2005's champion 3-year-old filly.

Gotta Get was named the champion aged gelding in a 14-1 vote over the 2004 world champion, Be a Bono. Gotta Get won all seven of his 2006 starts, six in stakes against New Mexico-bred company, and concluded his 2006 campaign with a win in the Grade 1, $400,000 The Championship at Sunland Park.

Country Chicks Man is the champion aged stallion after 4 stakes wins from 6 starts, topped by Grade 1 wins in the Refrigerator Handicap and the Sooner State Stakes.

The 2006 broodmare of the year is First Prize Dash, a full sister to all-time leading sire First Down Dash, First Prize Dash produced three offspring who won or placed in Grade 1 stakes last year.

Joining Jones in the horsemen categories are champion owner Double Bar S Ranch, owner of Jess You and I; champion breeder Vessels Stallion Farm, breeder of Apollitical Time and co-breeder of Ima Ramblin Girl and FDD Dynasty; and champion jockey G.R. Carter Jr., winner of the award for the fifth time and the fourth straight year.

Year's first 870-yard stakes on tap

Olympic Moment and Bad Act, second and third behind champion Snowbound Superstar in the Marathon Handicap, headline Saturday's Grade 3, $20,000 Moonshiner Handicap, the first 870-yard stakes of the season at Los Alamitos.

The Thoroughbred Olympic Moment has an allowance win and 3 runner-up efforts in his last 4 starts, all 870-yard races at Los Alamitos.

Bad Act moved up from the claiming ranks to finish third in the Marathon at 17-1.