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Princess of Palms Stakes
Turf Paradise Phoenix, Arizona
October 24, 2015 Race #06
6 Furlongs 1:09.08
C J Racing LLC, Owner
Molly Pearson, Trainer
Scott Stevens, Jockey
Be Proud (2nd)
Always A Chance (3rd)
$4.00 $2.40 $2.20
Order of Finish - 4, 6, 3, 2
Please Give Photo Credit To: / Coady Photography
Eight fillies and mares, shipping in from six different states, will make for an intriguing race in the $35,000 Princess of Palms Stakes Saturday (Oct. 24) at Turf Paradise.
The eight race card, which includes three turf races, gets under way at 12:55 pm. The Princess of Palms will be run as the sixth race at 6 furlongs.
The three entrants shipping in from southern California are Always a Chance, Winning Vision and Mechaya.
Always a Chance, one of two horses entered by Robertino Diodoro (the other is Mechaya), is the probable pre-race favorite due to her competitive races at Del Mar and Santa Anita against mid-level claimers. The 6-year-old mare comes off a third place finish as the favorite at Santa Anita in such an event, October 8.
Winning Vision, trained by Molly Pearson, has put together three in-the-money finishes including a win at Los Alamitos. The 4-year-old filly has won four of 10 efforts and has been in the money in eight of those tries.
Mechaya has not raced since July 15 of this year at Del Mar. The lightly raced 5-year-old mare has won two of eight lifetime efforts.
Two horses shipping in from the Canterbury summer meet are Makinmymark and Queen Kate.
The front-running Makinmymark drew the rail and will be looking to play a catch me if you can game in search of her seventh lifetime victory. She finished seventh in this race last years the favorite.
Queen Kate, trained by Valorie Lund, put in four in the money efforts at Canterbury and a victory at Prairie Meadows.
The 7-year-old Paris in April ships in from Boise for trainer Paul Treasure. A winner of eight of 27 lifetime starts, Paris in April has finished in the money in three of four outings in 2015.
Be Proud, trained by Dan McFarlane, who won this race last year with Maker or Breaker, ships in from Kentucky Downs where she finished fifth in that track’s $298,000 Sprint Stakes. Prior to that, the 4-year-old filly summered at Canterbury where she won two of five starts with two seconds.
Lady Jila campaigned in Colorado at Arapahoe Park, where she won two of three stakes efforts for trainer Sharlot Martinez. At 8-years-old, the Arizona bred Lady Jila is the elder of the field.
But she also leads all entrants in earnings - $259,118 – and race record at Turf – 28-9-2-5.
Veteran sprinter Absolutely Cool came flying from last to circle his opponents and win Opening Day’s (Oct. 17) $35,000 Bienvenidos Stakes at Turf Paradise.
Ridden confidently by Jake Barton the 8-year-old trainee of Valerie Lund and owned by Karl Krieg, was 2 ¼ lengths clear of pace-setter Bourbon Sense with the late-running Jamaican Memories third in the field of eight older horses.
Absolutely Cool covered the wet-fast 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.58 and returned $6.60 as the 2-1 favorite.
Absolutely Cool, who relishes the local strip as shown by his 25-7-7-7 record, bid his time in eighth until launching is patented late-kick at the half mile pole, blowing by Bourbon Sense inside the sixteenth pole.
Absolutely Cool, who won this year’s prestigious Phoenix Gold Cup and who has twice finished third in the Bienvenidos, now sports lifetime earnings of $324,727 from a record of 40-9-11-10.
Handicappers will be challenged to come up with a clear favorite in Saturday’s opening day $35,000 Bienvenidos Stakes at Turf Paradise, the quality goes that deep.
A 136-day meet will run from Oct. 17-May 8, with racing conducted primarily on a five day a week basis, Saturday thru Wednesday. Post time will be 12:55 pm.
In the Bienvenidos, run at 6 ½ furlongs, six of the nine entrants have won stakes. Two of the nine – Absolutely Cool and Jamaican Memories – have finished third in this event, the former in last year’s running and the latter in 2013.
Speed is in abundance with four of the nine looking to dictate the pace, thereby making it tempting to go with one of the confirmed closers.
The speed horses:
Bourbon Sense: Coming off a runner up finish in Ruidoso Down’s Thoroughbred Cup at 1 1/16 the 8-year-old scored a wire-to-wire win in Arapahoe’s Classic at 1 1/8 miles in his prior start. His best effort locally at the Bienvenidos’ distance was a third place effort in April of this year.
Omar: One of two (the other is Countercyclical) entered by last meet’s leading trainer Robertino Diodoro, the 6-year-old has four victories locally, including a win in the Caballos del Sol and a third place effort in the Phoenix Gold Cup.
Gamblin Jack: Coming out of Hawthorne via Canterbury Down, the 5-year-old has won five of eight starts at the distance.
Ankeny Hill: The probable favorite due to his recent double fourth place finishes in two Del Mar stakes and his southern California form, the 5-year-old finished fifth in the Phoenix GoldCup after leading until deep stretch.
Redsolocup: The Washington bred is coming off a win in Emerald Downs’ Chinook Pass stakes at the 6 ½ furlong distance.
Jamaican Memories: The 7-year-old relishes the local course with a record of 32-4-5-13. However, he’s been out since August and may be in need of a start.
Absolutely Cool: The veteran at 8-years-old and one with a stellar local resume: 24-6-7-7.The winner of this year’s Phoenix Gold Cup, Absolutely Cool knows how to come galloping late.
Opening day for Turf Paradise’s 60th Anniversary season is set for Saturday, Oct. 17.
With just enough time to catch your breath, the $24.5 million Breeders’ Cup comes up two weekends later, on Oct. 30 & 31. The two-day, 13-race Breeders’ Cup Championship, which will be contested at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky for the first time, will be simulcast in its entirety at Turf Paradise and all 62 OTB sites.
There are 13 Breeders’ Cup races: Friday’s Four BC Races: Juvenile Turf, Dirt Mile, Juvenile Fillies Turf and Distaff.
Saturday’s Nine BC Races: Juvenile Fillies, Filly and Mare Turf, Filly and Mare Sprint, Turf Sprint, Juvenile, Turf, Sprint, Mile and Classic.
The show piece of the Breeders’ Cup races is the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles. The talent runs deep in this year’s Classic, what with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, the mare Beholder, who soundly beat the boys in the Pacific Coast Classic, Honor Code, Liam’s Map, Tonalist, Frosted and Keen Ice to name a few.
As time draws closer to BC days we’ll take a closer look at the competitors.
The first of 1,900 expected horses began to arrive today (Sept. 10) much to the satisfaction of Turf Paradise Racing Secretary Michael Harlow.
The track, which is celebrating its 60th season, will offer a 136-day meet that will run from Oct. 17 – May 8. Racing will be conducted on a 5-day a week basis, Saturday thru Wednesday, with a post time of 12:55 pm. Two Friday live race day exceptions will be Oct. 30 (first day of Breeders’ Cup) and May 6 (Kentucky Oaks Day).
Overnight purses have been raised 6% and a 10% incentive bonus program has been instituted for Arizona breds which win open races.
Harlow traveled extensively during the summer, covering 9,000 miles and 15 racetracks in eight states and Canada, with one specific purpose in mind: to recruit horses.
“Personal contact with horsemen makes a difference,” said Harlow. “We’re going to have more horses than we have had the past couple years. That’s essential, because we have a long meet with live racing, five-days a week.”
Leading trainer Robertino Diodoro returns along with Top 5 conditioners Dan McFarlane, Mike Chambers, Molly Pearson and Miguel Silva. But, Harlow pointed out, there will also be 12 new outfits racing this season.
“The climate’s great here for winter racing, with a fast track and firm turf most of the meet,” said Harlow.
Robert Fox will be the new announcer. Fox, who is the regular announcer for Ruidoso Downs, is a graduate of the Columbia School of Broadcasting. He has also served as race caller for Zia Park and Evangeline Downs.
2015-2016 Stakes Schedule
Date Event Conditions Distance Purse
Sat. Oct. 17 Bienvenidos 3YO&up 6 ½ furlongs $35,000
Sat. Oct. 24 Princes of Palms F-M, 3YO&up 6 furlongs $35,000
Sun. Nov. 1 ATBA Sales Stakes 2YOF 6 furlongs $35,000
Sun. Nov. 1 ATBA Sales Stakes 2YOC&G 6 furlongs $35,000
Sat. Nov. 7 Jeff&Jack Coady,Sr. 3YO 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat. Nov. 7 Chandler 3YOF 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat. Nov. 14 Luke Kruytbosch 3YO&up 6 furlongs $35,000
Sat. Nov, 14 City of Phoenix F-M, 3YO&up 6 furlongs $35,000
Sat. Nov. 28 Walter Cluer 3YO&up 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat. Nov. 28 Queen of the Green F-M, 3YO&up 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat. Dec, 5 Az Breeders’ Futurity 2YOF, Az Bred 6 furlongs $50,000
Sat. Dec. 5 Az Breeders’ Futurity 2YO,C&G, Az Bred 6 furlongs $50,000
Sat. Dec. 5 Cactus Wren 3YO&up 6 ½ furlongs $25,000
Sat. Dec, 5 Cactus Flower F-M, 3YO&up 6 ½ furlongs $25,000
Sat. Dec. 26 Lost in the Fog 2YO 6 ½ furlongs $35,000
Sat. Dec. 26 Arizona Juvenile 2YOF 6 ½ furlongs $35,000
Sat. Jan 16 Cotton Fitzsimmons 4YO&up I mile (T) $75,000
Sat. Jan. 16 Glendale Hdcp. F-M, 4YO&up 1 1/16 (T) $35,000
Sat. Jan 23 Hank Mills, Sr. 4YO&up 5 ½ furlongs $35,000
Sat. Feb. 13 Phoenix Gold Cup 4YO&up 6 furlongs $75,000
Sat. Feb, 13 Sun City Hdcp. F-M, 4YO&up 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat. Feb. 13 Turf Paradise Hdcp. 4YO&up 1 1/16 (T) $35,000
Sat. Feb. 20 Arizona Oaks 3YOF 1 mile $35,000
Sat. Feb. 20 Turf Paradise Derby 3YO 1 1/16 $75,000
Sat. Mar. 12 Scottsdale Hdcp. 3YOF 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat, Mar. 12 Tempe Hdcp. 3YO 1 mile (T) $35,000
Sat. Apr. 2 Wildcat Hdcp. 3YO&up 1 3/8 (T) $35,000
Sat. Apr. 2 Arizona Stallion 3YO 7 ½ (T) $35,000
Sat. Apr. 23 Lyman&Bradley 3YO&up, Az Bred 6 furlongs $35,000
Sat. Apr. 23 Ann Owens Hdcp. F-M,3YO&up,Az Bred 6 furlongs $35,000
Sat. Apr. 23 Gene Fleming Derby 3YO, Az Bred 1 1/16 $50,000
Sat. Apr. 23 Joanne Dye 3YOF, Az Bred 6 ½ furlongs $35,000
Sat. Apr. 23 Dwight Patterson 3YO&up, Az Bred 1 1/16 (T) $35,000
Sun. May 8 ATBA Spring Sales Stk 2YO 5 furlongs $35,000
Sun. May 8 Hasta La Vista Hdcp. 3YO&up, 1 7/8 (T) $35,000
At a Glance:
Racing Schedule: Oct. 17-May 8; 136 days; live racing 5 days a week, Sat.-Wed; simulcasting 7 days a week. Two Friday live race exceptions will be Oct. 30 (Breeders’ Cup) and May 6 (Kentucky Oaks Day).
Post Time: 12:55 pm
Admission: Grandstand $2.00; Clubhouse/Turf Club $4.00
Parking: General – Free; Valet $6.00
Location: Entrances at 15th Ave. or 19th Ave. & Bell Road
Racing Highlights: $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile (Jan. 16); $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup (Feb. 13) and $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby (Feb. 20).
Promotional Highlights: 60th Anniversary Celebration (Jan. 16), Kentucky Derby Party (May 7).
Phone: (602) 942-1101
Opening Day Is October 17th
Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and so is Turf Paradise. Arizona’s first sports franchise, opened its doors in January 1956 at 15th Ave. and Bell Road. At the time the track was in the middle of the desert and fans had to navigate a pair of dirt roads to watch and wager on horse racing.
Since then, Phoenix has grown up around Turf Paradise as it gets ready to celebrate its 60th season just months after renewed interest in the sport of horse racing following American Pharoah’s Triple Crown victory.
Opening day is October 17th. There will be a full card of live horse racing, free t-shirts for the first 5,000 paid admission, live music, a kids fun park, a barbecue tent, and a rare display of LeRoy Neiman’s classic painting of Seattle Slew.
The gates open at 11am and the first post time is 12:30. The race card includes the $35,000 Bienvenidos Stakes.
Opening day will be a day long party celebrating 60 sizzling seasons of horse racing in Phoenix. It will also serve as the debut of new track announcer Robert Fox who comes Turf Paradise from Ruidoso Downs in News Mexico and Tucson’s Rillito Park.
The Clubhouse will also be hosting a one of a kind display from Scottsdale’s Larsen Art Auction, LeRoy Neiman’s “Seattle Slew.” The Triple Crown winner is depicted mid-gallop, and includes his own hoof print in the corner on top of Neiman’s signature.
Turf Paradise has passed through three other owners to its current owner, Jerry Simms, who will preside over the track’s 60th season of racing with a 136-day meet running from October 17-May 8, 2016.
There are 35 stakes races this season with a combined value of $1.45 million.
They include the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup (Feb. 13), the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile (Jan. 16) and the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby (Feb, 20).
As always fans can watch and wager on races locally and across the globe.
The season also includes
• Special Fiesta Sundays throughout the season featuring Mexican food and music
• Breeders Cup Party October 31st
• A Thanksgiving Weekend Party
• 60th Anniversary Party featuring the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile January 16th
• Super Saturday February 13th
• Wiener Dog Races March 12th
• Camel and Ostrich Races March 26th
• Kentucky Derby Party May 7th
As always grandstand admission is just $2. There will also be food and drink specials. Turf Paradise remains committed to the philosophy of affordable family fun.
Turf Paradise General Manager Vincent Francia said, “Very few businesses in Phoenix have been continually operating at the same location for 60 years. At a time when the sport of horse racing is struggling, we have been blessed with a loyal and growing fan base. After American Pharoah’s Triple Crown victory, more people are discovering the sport of horse racing. We welcome them to our growing family of fans.”
Who: Turf Paradise
What: Opening Day at Turf Paradise
When: October 17th Gates open at 11a.m.
Where: Turf Paradise 1501 West Bell Road
Why: To start the 60th season of horseracing in Arizona
Grandstand Admission-- $2
Turf Club/Clubhouse-- $4
General Parking-- Free
Robert Fox, Jr., has been named track announcer for the upcoming race meet at Turf Paradise.
Fox, who is currently the announcer for Ruidoso Downs and Rillito Park, has also served in that capacity at Evangeline Downs and Zia Park.
“Mr. Fox was selected from among 17 applicants,” said track general manager Vincent Francia. “There’s a lot of talent out there, which was good for us and is good for racing”.
A graduate of the Columbia School of Broadcasting, Fox will assume his duties at Turf Paradise’s opening day, Oct. 17 for a 136-day meet which will run thru May 8.
Racing will be conducted on a five-day a week basis – Saturday-Wednesday – with post time at 12:30 pm.
Turf Paradise was founded by Walter Cluer and first opened its doors on January 7, 1956 in what was then a barren desert serviced by two dirt roads that stretched south towards the fledgling city of Phoenix.
It what is considered Arizona’s first sport’s franchise, Turf Paradise has passed through three other owners to its current owner, Jerry Simms, who will preside over the track’s 60th season of racing with a 136-day meet running from October 17-May 8, 2016.
Racing will be conducted primarily on a 5-day a week basis, Saturday-Wednesday, with post time at 12:30 pm. The two notable exceptions are Breeders’ Cup Friday, Oct. 30 and Kentucky Oaks Friday, May 6.
“We have raised purse 6% for our horsemen,” said track general manger Vincent Francia.“We have a lot to celebrate for our Diamond year, a lot to be thankful for.”
Among 35 stakes valued at $1.45 million is the track’s premier sprint race, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup (Feb. 13), the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile (Jan. 16) and the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby (Feb, 20).
Racing Secretary Michael Harlow reminds horsemen that stall applications are due Aug. 9.
2015-2016 Stakes Schedule