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Sun City Handicap
Turf Paradise Phoenix, Arizona
February 14, 2015
One Mile-Turf 1:36.02
Karl Krieg, Owner
Valorie Lund, Trainer
Gallyn Mitchell, Jockey
Hollywood Hottie (2nd)
$6.00 $4.20 $2.80
Order of Finish - 7, 2, 6, 1
Please Give Photo Credit To: Coady Photography
Never take a defending champion lightly.
Let go at 13-1 odds, Absolutely Cool successfully defended his title by winning the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup in a thrilling come-from-behind performance Saturday at Turf Paradise.
Last on the stretch turn, Absolutely Cool ($28.60) was asked by jockey Rocco Bowen to let lose against the competitors in front of him and the 8-year-old responded, gobbling up ground and rivals with every stride while posting a half-length victory over Valiant Flame with Omar third in the field of eight older horses.
Trained by Valorie Lund for owner-breeder Karl Krieg, Absolutely Cool covered the 6-furlongs in 1:08.75 in winning the Gold Cup for the second consecutive year.
“He’s been in the Gold Cup the last four years,” said Lund. “He’s finished twice and now won it twice.”
Earlier in the program, Lund won the $35,000 Sun City Handicap with Lady Rosberg ($6.00).
Absolutely Cool, a Washington bred, has now won eight of 32 efforts for earnings of $269,698.
One of California’s top sprinters, Ankeny Hill, will ship in to face the local talent in the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The Gold Cup which attracted a field of nine including a filly, will be celebrating its 59th renewal, and is one of a trio of stakes comprising Super Saturday. Complementing the marquee stakes will be the $35,000 Turf Paradise Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf and the $35,000 Sun City Handicap at one mile, also on the grass.
Super Saturday will also feature a free T-shirt giveaway to the first 4,000 fans; a Kids’ Fun Park with multiple bounce inflatables, pony rides and face painters; live music and $2 draft beer.
Ankeny Hill has been keeping company with tough California sprinters like Goldencents, Secret Circle and Rich Tapestry. Trained by Mark Glatt, the 5-year-old horse has won five of 17 lifetime efforts for $240,805 in earnings. Ankeny Hill’s most recent win came in the Pirates’ Bounty Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 3 of last year.
In a showdown between west coast and local-based sprinters a total of 18 horses have been nominated to the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup to be run Saturday, February 14 at Turf Paradise.
Entries for the Valentine’s Day card will be drawn Tuesday, Feb. 10.
The Phoenix Gold Cup, which will be celebrating its 59th renewal, is the marquee event among a trio of stakes races that comprise Super Saturday. The ‘Gold Cup,’ which will be contested at 6 furlongs, will be joined by the $35,000 Turf Paradise Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf and the $35,000 Sun City Handicap at one mile, also on the grass.
Super Saturday will also offer a free T-shirt to the first 4,000 fans, free Kids Fun Park, featuring multiple inflatables, pony rides and face painting and live music.
Absolutely Cool, last year’s Gold Cup winner, returns to defend his title for trainer Valorie Lund.
Castletown, winner of the Swift Stakes – the traditional prep for the Gold Cup, is a Robertino Diodoro nominee along with stablemates Omar, who finished third in the Swift and Oligarch, shipping in from Santa Anita.
Five others have been nominated from southern California, topped by the Bob Baffert-trained Pimpernel, Mark Glatt’s Ankeny Hill and Paul Aguirre’s Spirit Rules.
A filly and mare have also been nominated: west coast-based trainer Carl O’Callaghan 4-year-old filly Unforgettable U and local based trainer Dan McFarlane’s 6-year-old, multiple stakes winning mare Maker Or Breaker.
Phone Wagering Comes To Turf Paradise
New Way To Bet Keeps Valley’s Only Horseracing Track Competitive
(PHOENIX Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW), phone betting, is now in effect in Arizona.
Last year, then-Governor Jan Brewer signed the legislation into law permitting what is also known as Telephone Account Wagering. On Friday the Arizona Department of Racing authorized Turf Paradise for ADW.
The ADW legislation permits betting on horse and dog races by phone, giving Turf Paradise the tools to be more competitive as 37 other states already have ADW.
Sign-ups for ADW began Saturday nationally and sign ups through Turf Paradise began Tuesday, February 3rd.
Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia said, “At a time when horse racing faces ever-increasing competition, ADW gives Turf Paradise patrons another way to wager on horse racing in Arizona.”
For the time being, ADW is not permitted for horse racing in Pima County because of some legal statute technicalities which are being addressed.
For more information on how to sign up for ADW click here or call 866-597- 7337.
The additional wagering option means that Turf Paradise is able to offer record purses for the horsemen, attracting some of the top horses, trainers, and jockeys.
Turf Paradise opened its doors in in 1956 and has been at 19th Ave. and Bell Road ever since making it Arizona’s first sports franchise.
In gutsy performances by a trio of horses, Castletown got the head bob in a three-way photo to win the $35,000 Swift Stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
In winning the Swift, Castletown ($6.40) stamped himself as the pre-race favorite for Turf’s premier sprint event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup, on February 14.
From the gate break, Castletown, Rockin Home and Omar, a stablemate of Castletown, remained within a half-length of each other until finishing in that order, separated by a head and a nose at the wire.
Trained by Robertino Diodoro for Mercedes Stables, Castletwon, ridden by Jorge Carreno, covered the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.67. It was the eighth victory in 17 starts for the 7-year-old Castletown who now has over a quarter-million dollars in career earnings.
A full field of 12 speedsters is scheduled to head postwards in the $35,000 Swift Stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The Swift, at 5 ½ furlongs, is the traditional prep race for the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on February 14.
Coming as no surprise, speed is in abundance in the Swift. The question is, who is the swiftest among the swift who will dictate the lead? Of the 12 entrants, seven like to play the catch-me-if-you-can game. So, something has to give.
Of the seven horses it appears that Tannersmymuscle and Rockin Home may have a slight edge to be being the leader of the parade. Both horses are capable of ripping off :22 flat opening quarters in :44 half–mile splits.
Trained by Eric Kruljac, Tannersmymuscle has won four of 11 efforts, including his most recent allowance win locally Dec. 27. The 5-year-old has finished in the money in all five of his Turf starts, including three wins.
Rockin Home’s resume is just as impressive. The Arizona bred 4-year-old son of Rocky Bar, has won five of eight local efforts, including the Cactus Wren Stakes, Dec. 14 and prior to that, the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity.
Favoritism, however, should vie between the Robertino Diodoro-trained duo of Castletown and Omar.
The 7-year-old Castletown brings seven wins, a $243,580 bankroll and a perfect two-for-two record locally to the competition. His most recent victory at Turf was an optional claiming race where he coasted to 5 ½ length win.
Omar, who has won eight of 22 efforts, is working on his fourth consecutive victory following wins in Turf Caballos del Sol and Sunland Park’s KLAQHB Stakes. The 6-year-0ld son of Bertrando is a perfect three-for-three locally.
Of those horses tracking the pacesetters, Lotsa Mischief appears in top form following a bullet workout of :58 flat for 5 furlongs, Jan. 13. In his two most recent local efforts, however, Lotsa Mischief lost to both Castletown and Omar.
The one who may most benefit from a torrid pace is Absolutely Cool. The Valorie Lund-trained 8-year-old veteran knows his way around the local oval, having won five of 21 starts with 7 seconds and 6 thirds. Absolutely Cool won the 2014 Phoenix Gold Cup by racing from off the pace to post a two-length victory over top sprinter LA Weekend.