Arizona horses will be in the spotlight with the entire eight-race card, including four stakes, devoted to state breds Saturday at Turf Paradise. The four stakes races are: Two divisions of the AZ Breeders’ Futurity, one for 2-year-old fillies, the other for 2-year-old colts and geldings, with both to be run at 6 furlongs and both carrying a $50,000 purse.Additionally there will be the $25,000 Cactus Wren for 3-year-olds and the $25,000 Cactus Flower for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares. Both races will be run at 6 ½ furlongs. First race is scheduled for 12:40 pm.
Az Breeders’ Futurity, Fillies
A group of six fillies are slated to head postward with the dominant two-time winner Hedi’s in Charge the probable post time favorite. Trained by Dan McFarlane, the daughter of multiple stakes winner Ez Dreamer (who won the colts division of this race in 2009), comes off a dominant two-length victory in the $89,000 ATBA Sales Stakes, November 1. The remaining five entrants have yet to win their maiden race.
The Cactus Wren Stakes
Of the six entrants, four are sired by the prodigious stallion Rocky Bar. The standout of the four is last year’s Cactus Wren winner Rocked Twice who has been campaigning with moderate success in southern California. Seven-year-old veteran Jamaican Memories, a son of Slew City Slew, is coming off a game nose loss to veteran sprint master Absolutely Cool in the Luke Kruytbosch Stakes, Nov. 14. Jamaican Memories defeated Rocked Twice in the Lyman Rollins Stakes in April of this year. Trained by David Van Winkle, Jamaican Memories, who won this race in 2012, will be making his sixtieth start and has a bankroll of $237,004 to lead all entrants. Another Rocky Bar progeny is Rockin Home, who won this race in 2014. Also trained by Van Winkle, Rockin Home finished fifth off a 60-day layoff after racing on the lead until deep stretch in the Luke Kruytbosch.
The Cactus Flower
Multiple stakes winner Winning Vision, who’s eyeing her fourth consecutive win, including victories in the Princess of Palms Stakes and the recent City of Phoenix Handicap, has won half of her 12-lifetime starts for trainer Molly Pearson. The Robertino Diodoro-trained Myrna Lou, returns to softer company following a five-race campaign in southern California. Lady Jila, the 8-year-old race mare going for her 22nd win in 52 efforts, started back after a 2 ½ month layoff in the Princess of Palms Oct. 24 where she failed to menace. Camille had trouble settling down in the City of Phoenix Handicap, after battling for the lead and finished fourth after a three-month layoff.
Az Breeders’ Futurity, Colts & Geldings
The field of nine is far more competitive than the fillies’ division, with four of the nine entrants with their maiden win. However, attention might be drawn to the maiden Two the Punch, who finished third in two of three efforts against tougher in southern California. Dan McFarlane, who won this race in 2012 with Red Zeus, is sending forth Ez Deluxe. A winner of the ATBA Sales Stakes in May of this year, Ez Dreamer is coming off two troubled efforts here at Turf on Nov. 1 and 18.
In addition to offering live local racing through May 8th the season also includes:
Turf Paradise opened its doors in 1956 and has operated at the same location (19th Avenue and Bell) ever since making it Arizona’s first sports franchise.