02/05/2003 12:00AM

'Who' heads Jones's attack

Email

The top stakes horses in the Paul Jones stable, including 2002 co-world champion Whosleavingwho, are ready for the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Whosleavingwho is one of four horses Jones is pointing to the Winter Championship. Trials are scheduled for Friday night at Los Alamitos. The $150,000 Winter Championship at 400 yards will be held March 1.

Jones plans to saddle eight sophomores, including the promising Lock to Load, in the trials of the Winter Derby on Saturday night at Los Alamitos. The 10 fastest qualifiers from the 400-yard trials will qualify for the finals on Feb. 22.

Jones earned his first national champion trainer title from the American Quarter Horse Association last year after his stable posted 166 wins, including 20 stakes wins (four Grade 1). He was the leading trainer at Los Alamitos with 170 wins, including non-Quarter Horse wins, during the 203-date season.

Whosleavingwho, a 5-year-old gelding owned by Kim Kessinger and Jim Geiler, gave Jones his first win in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions on Dec. 14, his most recent start. During his world championship campaign, Whosleavingwho also won the Grade 1 Go Man Go Invitational Handicap.

"Since the Champion of Champions, we've kept him in light training and breezed him a couple of weeks ago," Jones said. "He came out of the Champion of Champions really well and has been training good."

Jones is also pointing three 4-year-olds - Agouti, Miami Cartel, and Chicks Rapidash for the Winter Championship.

Agouti, winner of the Grade 1 Southern California Derby, "should be one of the top 4-year-olds this year," according to Jones.

Miami Cartel, winner of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Derby, finished fifth in the Champion of Champions, his first start against older horses and his most recent race.

Chicks Rapidash finished in a dead heat for second with Grade 1 winner Morning Snow in the Grade 3 California Breeders Sophomore Stakes.

Winter Derby hopeful Lock to Load has the potential to be a major stakes winner this year. He finished fourth and was rallying late in the Grade 1, $1.3 million Los Alamitos Million on Dec. 13. "In two more jumps he might have been second," Jones said.

Lock to Load was still a maiden in the Los Alamitos Million, so Jones ran him in a Los Alamitos maiden race on Jan. 4 and he won by a half-length.

"I ran him in the maiden race to build his confidence," Jones said. "He was a big lazy colt, maybe 17 hands [tall]. It took awhile for him to come around."

Derby hopeful Stel Corona won the Huntington Harbour Handicap in his last race. His time of 15.241 seconds for the 300 yards was the fastest 300-yard time by a 2-year-old at Los Alamitos last year.

Jones's remaining horses in the Winter Derby trials are Sum Special Strawfly and Deefirst, both graded-stakes placed; Proud Mellena, winner of the Grade 2 Utah Classic Futurity; Dealadash; I Ought to be First; and Red Hot Blitzer.