There will be simulcasting only Easter Sunday. Live racing resumes Monday with first post at 1:25 pm.
Az Stallion Stakes
Skyler White Shield skimmed the rail, giving Jungle Java a ground saving trip, but then found his way blocked in deep stretch. Yanking the 3-year-old Rocky Bar gelding to the outside, White Shield gave chase to the tenacious Best Asset, besting that one by a length at the wire with Prospector’s Blues third in the field of six sophomores.
Owned by Double Kee LLC and trained by Bobbie Grissom, the Arizona bred Jungle Java covered the 7 ½ furlongs over firm turf in 1:30.35.
It was the second win in nine starts and the first stakes win for Jungle Java who now has earnings of $50,100.
Leading turf rider Geovanni Franco and eventual winner Az Ridge ($3.20) gave a clinic on not only how to relax and win dominantly a 1 3/8 mile turf race but to set on new track record in the process.
Sitting off the pace set by Image of Joplin and Magic D’ Oro – which ran second and third in that order – the normally front-running Az Ridge yielded to Franco’s told hold, tracking the duo pace setters twice around the course before exploding in late stages, posting a six length victory as the prohibitive favorite in the field of seven older horses.
Adding the cherry to the victory cake, Franco and Az Ridge set a new track record for the 1 3/8 mile distance (turf) of 2:13.91, eclipsing the old record of 2:14.38 set by All Saint in 2011.
Az Ridge, a 6-year-old Toccet Kentucky bred, has been a war horse for Sawyer Cattle Company and trainer Dan McFarland, winning 12 of 37 starts for earnings of $358,335.