The Cotton Ftizsimmons Mile is named in honor of the late coach and executive of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, who had an equal passion for horse racing. Fitzsimmons’ widow, JoAnn, accompanied by many former Suns players and local media friends, presented the winner’s trophy.
Ten Carat Rock, who was claimed for $5,000 three starts ago by owner-trainer Troy Smith and dismissed at 17-1, held off the furious charge of 2-5 choice Power Ped to win by a neck, in what was arguably the biggest race of the 6-year-old’s career. Veteran campaigner Red Zeus rallied from tenth and last to finish third in the field of 10 older horses.
Ridden by David M. Lopez, Ten Carat Rock ($37.60) was never more than a length off the lead set by Blue Bomber who tired to finish fourth. Power Ped, ridden by Stewart Elliot and trained by Neil Drysdale and who had won this race in 2015 for his lone victory in two racing seasons, could not close the gap, despite a perfect tracking, ground saving trip.
Ten Carat Rock covered the one mile over firm turf in 1:35.73 for his sixth victory in 21 outings. For earnings of $117,386. The son of Rock Slide is now a perfect two-for-two over the local turf course.
Upset minded Peppy Miller ($27.40) with Daniel Vergara up, came from last to first, weaving her way a through cavalry charge of closing horses to win the Glendale by 1 ¾ lengths. Peach Time was second, a neck in front of French Alps who was third in the field of 11 fillies and mares.
Trained by Kevin Eikleberry, Peppy Miller covered the 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:44.47 to notch her seventh win from 31 outings for earnings of $142,541.