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Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile
Turf Paradise Phoenix, Arizona
January 13, 2018
One Mile-Turf 1:36.63
Randy Howg, Owner
Robertino Diodoro, Trainer
Glenn Corbett, Jockey
High Security (2nd)
Way Striking (3rd)
$11.00 $6.40 $3.80
Order of Finish - 10, 3, 6, 11
Please Give Photo Credit To: Coady Photography
In a day of head-bobbing photo-finishes, Inside Straight got the nod over a fast-closing High Security to win the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Saturday at Turf Paradise.
Ridden by leading rider Glenn Corbett for leading trainer Robertino Diodoro, Inside Straight ($11.00) ran in tandem with stablemate Way Striking for three-quarters of a mile before shaking loose and having enough left to hold off by a head the furious charge of High Security, in the field of ten colts and geldings.
Inside Straight covered the one mile over firm turf in 1:36.63 for owner Randy Howg. Inside Straight earned $44,175 for the win, which increased his earning to $797,064 from eight career wins from 23 outings.
The winner’s trophy was presented by Cotton’s widow, JoAnn Fitzsimmons, who was joined by former Phoenix Suns players and Suns personnel who were friends with her late husband.
$30,000 Glendale Handicap
In another too close to call finish, Comet Sixty Two nosed out Cleverly Beverly who was a neck in front of McKenzie Honey who finished third in the field of nine fillies and mares.
With Scott Stevens up for trainer Dan McFarlane, Comet Sixty Two ($10.60) covered the 1 1/16 miles over the turf in 1:44.37. Owned by Barro Racing, Comet Sixty Two earned $17,856 for the win, raising her bankroll to $238,806 from six career victories.
The $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile will be the featured race Saturday as Turf Paradise celebrates its 62nd birthday.
Named after the late Phoenix Suns’ coach, who was also an avid horseplayer, the Fitzsimmons Mile (turf) attracted a field of 11, headed by three ship-ins: California’s Dressed in Hermes, New York’s Inside Straight and Canadian-based Born in a Breeze.
Turf Paradise first opened January 7, 1956.
The $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile highlights festivities as Turf Paradise celebrates its 62nd birthday Saturday.
Birthday festivities include a free long sleeve T-shirt to the first 4,000 fans; free multiple bounce inflatables for the kids; live music and Free birthday cake. The track first opened on January 7, 1956.
Named after the late Phoenix Suns’ coach who was also an avid horseplayer, the Fitzsimmons Mile attracted a field of 11 for the eight-furlong turf test. Cotton’s widow, JoAnn Fitzsimmons, will once again present the winner’s trophy.
The supporting feature, the $30,000 Glendale Handicap, drew a field of nine fillies and mares for the 1 1/16 mile turf test.
The Fitzsimmons Mile
Three out-of-state shippers will get a close look along with the locally based grass specialists.
From Belmont Park, Inside Straight will garner attention due to his victory in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. His two outings at Belmont Park were out-of-the-money efforts for leading trainer Robertino Diordoro.
From Del mar, Dressed in Hermes’ $268,141 bankroll from three lifetime wins stands out for trainer Mike Chambers. Chambers won this race in 2013 with Tiz Gianni and 2012 with Saratoga Boot.
And from Woodbine, Born in a Breeze’s overall turf record is must to consider. The 6-year-old finished third locally in the Cave Creek Stakes Dec. 26
The locals cannot be ignored either: He’s Munnie is a perfect two-for-two over the local lawn; Power Corrupt won the Walter Cluer but failed to fire in the Cave Creek; High Security has won allowance turf tests at Gulfstream Park and Arizona Moon stunned the betting public with his recent 32-1 upset in the Cave Creek Stakes.
Last year’s winner, Peppy Miller, is back to defend her title. The 8-year-old Kevin Eikleberry-trained mare comes off a sharp win in the Kachina Stakes.
The consistent Cleverly Beverly, a winner of eight grass races locally, finished fourth in November’s Queen of the Green.
Brookys Star, who won the Queen of the Green, stumbled at the start of the Kachina, compromising her front-running style.
Hip Ninety Three comes off a second place effort in the Queen of the Green and has finished no worse than second in her last four efforts, three of them on the grass.
Canadians wintering in Arizona found it profitable as owner Randy Howg and trainer Robertino Diodoro swept the two juvenile stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
$30,000 Lost in the Fog
Howg and Diodoro, both from the province of Alberta, opened the sweep with Shane Doan ($10.40) with David Lopez up to win the Lost in the Fog by 1 ½ lengths with Bocephus second and 6-5 favorite Trigger Warning third in the field of eight 2-year-old colts and geldings.
Shane Doan, a son of Stay Thirsty, made every pole a winning won while covering the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17:04 for his second consecutive win in seven career outings. Shane Doan’s winner’s share of $18,042 boosted his earnings to $42,032.
The Howg-Diodoro combo won this race in 2013 with My Rochester.
The Arizona Juvenile
The Canadian entry of Howg and Diodoro came right back with 6-5 favorite Gorgeous Ginny ($4.60) in the fillies division who proceeded to do a seven-length walk-in-the-park victory with Glenn Corbett along for “the joy or riding.”
Dontkissntell finished second, three lengths in front of Littsisterdon’tu who finished third in the field of nine juvenile misses.
Gorgeous Ginny, a daughter of Take Charge Indy, zipped the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.28 for her second win in four outings and first stakes win from two previous tries. Gorgeous Ginny’s earnings now stand at $100,112.
“Winning should be so easy,” said Corbett.
The $30,000 Lost in the Fog stakes and $30,000 Arizona Juvenile Fillies will place 2-year-olds in the spotlight Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The Lost in the Fog drew a field of eight while the Arizona Juvenile, for fillies, attracted a field of 11. Both races will be run at 6 ½ furlongs.
The Lost in the Fog
Named after the brilliant but star crossed colt who holds the track record pf 1:13.55 for winning this race in 2004, the Lost in the Fog has once again assembled the fastest 2-year-old colts and gelding on the grounds.
This year’s edition boils down to the Talented Trigger Warning. The Candy Ride colt has been the talk of the backstretch for some time. Since his winning maiden debut locally Nov. 20, Trigger Warning has reeled three works, punctuated by a bullet move of :34.4 (best of 17) for three furlongs on Dec. 11. Trained by Joe Lejzerowicz, Trigger Warning will be reunited with Scott Stevens.
The two who finished behind Trigger Warning’s maiden win, Shane Doan and Bocephus, will take another shot. Shane Doan was actually favored over Trigger Warning in their first encounter but fell a length short of victory at the wire.
Az Juvenile Fillies
The fillies division does not lack for star power as Foggia and Mycella re-engage in battle after their first meeting ended with the latter eking out an half length win over the then undefeated Foggia at the wire.
Another to consider is the California ship-in Gorgeous Ginny who after breaking her maiden at Santa Anita at first asking went on to finish a game second in the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes.