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Cactus Flower Stakes
Turf Paradise Phoenix, Arizona
December 5, 2015 Race #06
6-1/2 Furlongs 1:17.89
C J Racing LLC, Owner
Molly Pearson, Trainer
Scott Stevens, Jockey
Lazy Daisy May (2nd)
$2.40 $2.10 $2.10
Order of Finish - 4, 3, 7, 6
Please Give Photo Credit To: / Coady Photography
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.
Jockey Andrew Ramgeet showed he’s a force to be reckoned with by winning both the $35,000 Queen of the Green Stakes with a longshot and the $35,000 Walter Cluer Memorial Stakes with the favorite Saturday at Turf Paradise.
Ramgeet struck first in the Queen of the Green for trainer F.C Frazier with, 22-1 outsider Hip Ninety Three ($46.80). The 3-year-old filly, facing older fillies and mares for the first time, rallied outside from sixth to sweep past favored Our Pure Creation (finished 4th) to post a three-quarter length victory over Enlightened with Aware a nose shy of the runner up.
Owned by Brent Stapley, Linden Hatch and Delwyn Ellis, Hip Ninety Three was winning for the fourth time in 12 career efforts for earnings of $66,990.
Ramgeet came right back with 7-5 favorite Az Ridge ($4.80) in the Walter Cluer Memorial for trainer Dan McFarlane and owner Sawyer Cattle Company, rallying from next to last to get a hard-earned (Ramgeet had his whip knocked loose at the sixteenth pole) photo-finish neck victory over Ride Hard Kowboy with Empire Knight another neck back in the field of ten older horses.
Az Ridge, a 6-year-old son of Toccet, covered the one mile (turf) in 1:36.28, while winning for the 15th time in 43 lifetime starts. Az Ridge’s bankroll now stands at $479,741.
It was McFarlane’s fourth victory in the Walter Cluer.
There will be plenty to do following Thanksgiving’s traditional turkey fest with triple promotions and double stakes this three-day holiday weekend at Turf Paradise.
Friday kicks off the weekend with special live racing, free Grandstand admission and $2 domestic draft beer.
Saturday is the annual free sweatshirt give-a-way to the first 3,000 fans, Kids Fun Park and $3 domestic aluminum bottle beer.
Sunday is Fiesta Day, showcasing Mexican food and live music.
Saturday also features twin stakes races, the $35,000 Queen of the Green (3rd race), for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares the $35,000 Walter Cluer Stakes (7th race), for 3-year-olds and up. Both races will be run at one mile on the turf. Post time will be 12:40 pm.
Queen of the Green: Field of 8
Trainer Valorie Lund will be looking to duplicate last season’s Queen of the Green success with Lady Rosberg with the 6-year-old mare Enlightened or the 4-year-old filly Who’s for Glory.
Enlightened, who’s coming off an optional claiming victory at one mile (turf) on November 3, brings a stellar local grass course resume of 14-4-3-2. Seven times in her career the daughter of Larry the Legend has won at the eight furlong distance on the turf. The question with the highly competitive mare is, can she translate her form into stakes competition?
Who’s for Glory is asked the same question: Can the up and coming 4-year-old translate mid-level claiming and allowance success into a stakes win?
Favortism will probably fall to southern California shipper Our Pure Creation. The 5-year-old mare sports the largest bankroll - $261,898 – and the resume to go with it. She has been facing much tougher in Cal Bred stakes competition, including winning the $100,000 Cal Distaff Handicap October 4. Our Pure Creation’s double bullet workouts here locally on Oct. 23 and 31, signal her readiness for trainer Val Brinkerhoff and Scott Stevens.
Others signed up for the Queen of the Green are: My Blue Sky, winner of the Chandler Stakes Nov. 7, Peach Time, multiple Canadian stakes winner Aware, and Boise-based stakes winner speedster Sogn.
Walter Cluer Memorial: Field of 11
Named in honor of Turf Paradise’s founder, the Walter Cluer has attracted not only a large field but a talented one.
Heading the all-star cast is the Dan McFarlane double entry of Az Ridge and Red Zeus.
Veteran Az Ridge, who boasts a record of 42-14-9-9 and career earnings of $459,126, is a multiple stakes winner locally and who finished fourth in this race last year. Az Ridge comes off a gallant but losing effort in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) Sept. 14
Stablemate Red Zeus also brings an enviable record – 43-10-10-7 – and $323,645 in earnings, to a race in which he finished third last season.
The 3-year-old Ride Hard Kowboy is a perfect 4-for-4 over the local lawn, including a runaway 4 ¾ length victory in the Jeff & Jack Coady Stakes Nov. 7.
Robertino Diodoro, who won this race last season with Storm Power, has entered Empire Knight, a multiple-track winner with victories at Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs and Canterbury Park.
Shipping in from southern California is the Craig Dollase-trained Rock Me Baby, a 6-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten with earnings of $494,457 to lead all entrants. The Cal bred’s most recent win came in Golden Gate’s Albany Stakes June 13, followed by a second place finish in Del Mar’s California Dreaming Stakes July 26.