Birthday festivities include a free long sleeve T-shirt to the first 4,000 fans; free multiple bounce inflatables for the kids; live music and Free birthday cake. The track first opened on January 7, 1956.
Named after the late Phoenix Suns’ coach who was also an avid horseplayer, the Fitzsimmons Mile attracted a field of 11 for the eight-furlong turf test. Cotton’s widow, JoAnn Fitzsimmons, will once again present the winner’s trophy.
The supporting feature, the $30,000 Glendale Handicap, drew a field of nine fillies and mares for the 1 1/16 mile turf test.
The Fitzsimmons Mile
Three out-of-state shippers will get a close look along with the locally based grass specialists.
From Belmont Park, Inside Straight will garner attention due to his victory in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. His two outings at Belmont Park were out-of-the-money efforts for leading trainer Robertino Diordoro.
From Del mar, Dressed in Hermes’ $268,141 bankroll from three lifetime wins stands out for trainer Mike Chambers. Chambers won this race in 2013 with Tiz Gianni and 2012 with Saratoga Boot.
And from Woodbine, Born in a Breeze’s overall turf record is must to consider. The 6-year-old finished third locally in the Cave Creek Stakes Dec. 26
The locals cannot be ignored either: He’s Munnie is a perfect two-for-two over the local lawn; Power Corrupt won the Walter Cluer but failed to fire in the Cave Creek; High Security has won allowance turf tests at Gulfstream Park and Arizona Moon stunned the betting public with his recent 32-1 upset in the Cave Creek Stakes.
Last year’s winner, Peppy Miller, is back to defend her title. The 8-year-old Kevin Eikleberry-trained mare comes off a sharp win in the Kachina Stakes.
The consistent Cleverly Beverly, a winner of eight grass races locally, finished fourth in November’s Queen of the Green.
Brookys Star, who won the Queen of the Green, stumbled at the start of the Kachina, compromising her front-running style.
Hip Ninety Three comes off a second place effort in the Queen of the Green and has finished no worse than second in her last four efforts, three of them on the grass.