07/23/2009 12:00AM

Win by Peace Fire would be most appropriate


The influence of the late owner-breeder Spencer Childers will be widely felt during the California Champions Night for statebred Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos on Saturday. Childers died on July 9 at the age of 97. He was an active owner until his death.

Childers bred Peace Fire, who will be favored in the richest of 11 races on Saturday, the $431,000 Governor's Cup Futurity. The principal race for older horses on the program is the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Championship Handicap, which Childers won three times earlier this decade, always seeming a bit embarrassed by the coincidence.

Saturday's card also features the $213,000 Governor's Cup Derby for 3-year-olds.

Peace Fire will be after her third consecutive win in the Governor's Cup Futurity. Trained by Dan Francisco, Peace Fire has won 2 of 4 starts. She tied for the fastest 350-yard qualifying time of 17.355 seconds in the Governor's Cup time trials on July 11.

Peace Fire drew the rail for Saturday's final and must beat Jumpn Beduino, who was also timed in 17.355 seconds in the time trials. Trained by Patricia Visscher, Jumpn Beduino is unbeaten in two starts and was not seriously challenged in either race. She beat maidens in her debut on May 23.

There are two other undefeated 2-year-olds in the Governor's Cup Futurity - the gelding Thinking Jazz and the filly Brazilian Dasher. Both have won two starts - a maiden race and a division of the time trials.

The Childers Handicap is led by the remarkable Freaky, who has set three track records this year, and Separate Bet, a three-time stakes winner this year.

Freaky set the 350-yard mark of 17.14 seconds at Los Alamitos when winning an allowance race in March. In May, set a 400-yard mark of 19.17 seconds with a win in a division of the Vessels Maturity trials. Freaky further lowered that to 19.15 seconds when he won the final by 1 1/2 lengths on June 19. Freaky races for trainer Adan Farias.

Separate Bet won the Eastex Stakes, Leo Handicap and Grade 1 Remington Park Championship between March 8 and May 30. Trained by Paul Jones, Separate Bet has not started at Los Alamitos since winning a 300-yard allowance race in late January.

The Governor's Cup Derby includes Alice K White, the winner of the La Primera Del Ano Derby for 3-year-old fillies in April. Alice K White was a troubled second in a division of the Governor's Cup Derby trials on July 10.

There will be support for the Farias-trained A Streakinson, who has won three consecutive starts and is making his stakes debut in his eighth start. A Streakinson set the fastest qualifying time of 17.34 seconds on July 10.

Trainer Jaime Gomez starts the consistent A Tempting Dash, who won the Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February and was second in the El Primero Del Ano Derby in April. A Tempting Dash rebounded from that race to win a division of the Governor's Cup Derby trials by 1 1/2 lengths, setting the second-fastest qualifying time of 19.41 seconds.

Earlier on the program, the $50,000 Matron Stakes for fillies and mares includes Short Czech, who won the Grade 1 Southern California Derby last December.