Known as Super Saturday because of three stakes races on the same card, the Gold Cup and Turf Paradise Handicap will also include the $35,000 Sun City Handicap.
The Gold Cup, which is celebrating its 60th running, features the track’s premier sprint race at 6 furlongs. It drew a field of 11 runners.
The Turf Paradise Handicap, for 4-year-olds and up, attracted a field of nine for the 1 1/16 miles turf test.
The Sun City lured a field of 11 fillies and mares for the one mile grass event.
The Phoenix Gold Cup
At 9-years-old Absolutely Cool keeps getting better with age. His come from dead last to first running style brought him victories in the last two Gold Cups. A perfect three-for-three in as many stakes efforts this season, Absolutely Cool has won over $366,000 from 11 wins for owner Karl Krieg and trainer Valorie Lund.
Should he prevail Saturday, Absolutely Cool would be the first three-time consecutive winner in the 60 year history of the Gold Cup. Absolutely Cool also finished third twice in the 2013 and 2012 editions.
Playing the role of spoiler is Robertino Diodoro’s four horse entry of Broadway Empire, Omar, Leo’s Lookin and Storm Power. Of the four, Omar, who finished third in this race last year and Broadway Empire, who has competed in Grade 1 events, have the best chance at spoiling the party.
Turf Paradise Handicap
Yet another veteran will be in the hat trick spotlight as two-time winner (2014, 2015) Az Ridge goes for encore performance as the first three-time consecutive winner of the TP Handicap. Now 7-years-old Az Ridge comes out firing every time. The son of Toccet just missed by a head in the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Jan. 16. The Sawyer Cattle Company owned Dan McFarlane-trained gelding sports a bankroll of $496,000+ while leading all entrants with 15 lifetime wins.
Sir Searsucker is looking for his fifth consecutive win and boasts a local turf record of 12-4-3-1.
Sun City Handicap
A highly competitive group of 11 fillies and mares makes for a challenging handicapping test in the Sun City. Five of the 11 entrants are coming off wins with Idling looking for her fourth straight win while stepping up in class and Queen of the Green winner Hip Ninety Three looking for her second stakes win a row.