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Turf Paradise Phoenix, AZ
January 11, 2020
One Mile-Turf 1:35.85
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Bruce Treitman, Owners Michael McCarthy, Trainer Jose Valdivia, Jr., Jockey Arizona Moon (2nd) River Boyne (3rd)
$4.80 $3.00 $2.20
Order of Finish - 6, 8, 12, 5
Please Give Photo Credit To: Coady Photography
In an encore performance California shipper Ohio again won this track marquee turf race, the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Saturday at Turf Paradise.
Ohio became the first repeat victor in the 15 runnings of the race named after the legendary coach of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. Cotton’s widow, Joann, once again presented the winner’s trophy along with many former Suns players, friends and local media.
The Brazilian bred Ohio, who won this race last year by 6 ½ lengths for trainer Michael McCarthy, posted only a quarter length margin this time around over a very determined local entry Arizona Moon trained by Stacy Campo. The Irish bred River Boyne, also a west coast shipper, finished third in the field of 11 older horses.
Ridden by Jose Valdivia, Jr. the favored Ohio ($4.80) overtook the pace-setting Mr. Jagermeister (who finished fourth) as the field turned for home and then had to withstand the determined side-by-side challenge of Arizona Moon.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Bruce Treitman, Ohio covered the one mile over a turf course rated good in 1:35.85, matching last year’s final time.
“He’s getting a little long in the tooth,” McCarthy said of the 9-year-old Ohio. “But who knows. Maybe we’ll be back next year for a three peat.”
$30,000 Glendale Handicap
Kool Kate ($9.20) under Chad Lindsay took the lead and the victory for owners Marvin Johnson, Seven Arms Stable and Dennis Smith. It was another 3 ¾ lengths back to California shipper Saburai with Unique Factor third in the field of 11 fillies and mares.
Trained by David Van Winkle, Kool Kate covered the 1 1/16 miles over a good course in 1:42.49 for her tenth win in 23 career outings.
Ohio, last year’s decisive winner of this track’s marquee turf stakes, returns looking to repeat that victory in the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Saturday at Turf Paradise. The day also marks the track’s 64th birthday celebration.
Saturday’s supporting stakes feature will be the $30,000 Glendale Handicap for 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Fitzsimmons will be contested at one mile on the grass. Both stakes attracted full field of 12 entrants.
The Glendale will go as the fifth race and the Fitzsimmons Mile as the eighth and final race. Post time is set for 12:40 pm.
Birthday celebrations include a free horse racing designed, long sleeve T-shirt to the first 4,000 fans. There will be free multiple bounce inflatables for the kids and a Fifties Classic Car exhibition in the family picnic grove. There will also be live music by the Aaron Nelson Project. To top off the fan amenities, there will be free birthday cake
Also, the Grand Canyon Pick 6 carryover pool must be paid out on Saturday.
Named after the legendary Phoenix Suns basketball coach, who was also an avid horse racing fan, the Cotton Fitzsimmons will be celebrating its 15th running. As is custom, Cotton’s widow, Joann, always accompanied by former Phoenix Suns players and local media, will present the winner’s trophy.
Starting his career in Brazil in 2014, Ohio made his first US start in 2016 at Santa Anita a winning one. After capturing the Fitzsimmons last year by a decisive 6 ½ lengths for his first career stakes victory, Ohio returned to his homebase in southern California and won the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Stakes at Santa Anita. The 9-year-old Brazilian bred son of Elusive Quality has competed only in graded stakes since then with moderate success. Trained by Michael McCarthy and to be ridden by Jose Valdivia, Ohio’s victory Saturday would mark the first two-time winner of the Fitzsimmons Mile. Ohio has been installed the morning line 9/5 favorite.
Ohio best bring his A game because among the shippers and locals are several that show they can upset the defending champ.
At 2-1 another California shipper, the Irish bred River Boyne, who has been very competitive in graded stakes company, cannot be over looked. Among his graded stakes wins are La Jolla (G3), Twilight Derby (G2) and Breeders Mile (G2), as well as runner-up finishes in the Hollywood Derby (G1), San Francisco Mile (G3) and Shoemaker Mile (G2).
Locally Gato Guapo (5-1), who finished third to Ohio last year in this race and the multiple stakes winning and brilliantly fast Mr. Jagermeister (6-1) figure to have a say in the outcome of a very competitive Fitzsimmons Mile.
Jockey Scott Stevens got talent and a little luck as the nine-time leading rider won two of three stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
$35,000-added ATBA Stakes, 3 & 4-year-olds, colts & geldings
The 1-9 favorite, multiple stakes winner Fortified Effort ($2.10), did not disappoint with Scott Stevens aboard, although a fast-closing Beat the Heat may have caused the chalk players an anxious moment, since the margin of victory was only a half-length. Fortified Effort’s stablemate, Loud N Proud finished third in a field of four reduced by scratches.
Owned by Lloyd Yother, Leroy Gessmann, Marvin Fleming and the trainer Kevin Eikleberry, the 4-year-old Fortified Effort covered the about 6 ½ furlongs over a track rated wet-fast in 1:15.60 for his 12th victory in 28 outings.
$30,000 Lost in the Fog, Juvenile
When luck is with you, best to ride it.
Stevens, was named to ride Hondo Lane in this the first of two juvenile stakes. But trainer Shawn Davis scratched his entrant, leaving Turf’s nine-time leading rider available.
Enter trainer Molly Pearson, who paid a double jock’s mount of Stevens in for Kassie Guglielmino to ride Arizona Jeremy.
Result: the Pearson trained Arizona Jeremy ($14.40) with Stevens aboard scored an impressive two-length victory over Race Home with Unmachable third in the field of seven 2-year-olds.
Owned by Stable H.M.A., Arizona Jeremy covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.09 for his third victory in six career outings.
$30,000 ATBA Sales Stakes, Juvenile Fillies
The 3-5 favorite, Arizona Sun ($3.40) ridden with ease and confidence by David Lopez, scored an in-hand 3 ½ length victory over Roses for Laura with Midnight Emma third in the field of six juvenile fillies.
Owned by Randy Howg and trained by Robertino Diodoro, Arizona Sun, covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.75, while notching her fifth tally from eight outings, three of them stakes victories.
– With thoroughbred race horse birthdays coming en masse January 1, 2-year-olds will get one last chance to put a W on their resumes in two of three stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The first of the stakes, the $35,000-added ATBA Fall Sales Stakes, for 3 and 4-year-olds colts and geldings, will go as the second race. The juvenile stakes, the $30,000 Lost in the Fog will go as the fifth race and the $30,000 Arizona Juvenile Fillies will go as the seventh race on the eight race card. All stakes will be run at 6 ½ furlongs. Post time is set for 12:40 pm.
The ATBA Fall Sales Stakes
A six pack of three and four year olds show up for this dash with multiple stakes winner Fortified Effort tabbed the 2-5 prohibitive favorite for trainer Kevin Eikleberry. Purchased for $35,000 out of the 2016 Arizona Sale, the son of Ez Effort has won $300,054 from 11 victories.
If 2-5 is not your cup of tea, look towards Triple AAA Ranch’s Beat the Heat (5-2). Arizona’s leading breeders have been having luck of late with horses coming off long layoffs and getting right to the winner’s circle. Triple AAA’s Ramblin’ Man coming off a 10-month respite to win the Dec. 7 Cactus Wren is a recent example. Beat the Heat is coming off a six month rest.
The Lost in the Fog Juvenile
Named after the star-crossed sprint fireball, who also holds the local track record for the 6 ½ furlong distance of 1:13.55, this stakes attracted a field of 10 aspiring juveniles.
Undefeated in two outings, including the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity, the Robert Hazel-trained Annie’s Boy is the morning line 8-5 favorite in a very competitive heat. Only one youngster, Side Street Dave at 20-1, would be considered a longshot among the 10 entered.
Two-year-olds can be precocious and also unpredictable. They can be flashy one race and dull the next; and the opposite is true: they can be uninspiring and then suddenly wake up and run lights out.
Case in point. Hondo Lane’s maiden debut was a just okay fourth place finish. In his next start, the 2-year-old colt wired the field by 11 lengths. The son of Mr. Speaker is also in the hands of a master, who knows more about training horses than most people forgot. And that is trainer Shawn Davis. Hondo Lane is 4-1.
The Molly Pearson-trained Arizona Jeremy is 7-2, with four out of five in the money performances at Turf, including a victory in the ATBA Futurity Sales Stakes.
There are three other entrants at 8-1: Unmachable, an Emerald Downs import who just finished second in that track’s $100,000 futurity. The son of Macho Uno closes from way back. Then there’s Coastline Sermon who recently broke his maiden. Also among the 8-1 morning liners is Huntingtons Rithm, a perfect two-for-two via Wyoming and Nevada.
Another northwest shipper is Race Home at 6-1, sporting a perfect two-for-two at Emerald Downs, including beating Unmachable by four lengths in the futurity.
Arizona Juvenile Fillies
What’s not to like about the 9-5 morning line favorite Arizona Sun. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, the daughter of Ministers Wild Cat has won four of seven efforts including two stakes.
Midnight Emma has won three of four outings, including two stakes, the most recent of which is Zia Park’s $75,000 Princess stakes.
Then there’s the southern California shipper, Navy Queen, a consistent four of five in the money efforts with a maiden win at Santa Anita, who’s now trying softer company.
Free T-Shirts. $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile. Vintage Car Display. Free Birthday Cake
Turf Paradise is celebrating 64 sensational seasons as Arizona’s first sports franchise with an anniversary party Saturday January 11th. Fans will get free long sleeve t-shirts with paid admission while supplies last.
The featured race is the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimons Mile in addition to a full card of live local horseracing. The Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile is named in honor of the late Phoenix Suns coach who was an avid racing fan and a regular at the track. There will also be a mandatory payout of the Grand Canyon Pick Six jackpot.
The day includes $3 beer, live music, a family fun park, and free birthday cake. New this year will be a display of vintage cars featuring cars from the mid 50’s when Turf Paradise first opened its doors.
Gates open at 11am. Grandstand admission is $3 and general parking is free.
When Turf Paradise opened its doors at 19th Ave. and Bell, Heartbreak Hotel was the number one song, the average price of a home was $17,000 dollars, and Ernest McFarland was the Governor of Arizona. Dirt roads surrounded Turf Paradise as it was on the outskirts of Phoenix. Over the decades north Phoenix has grown up and around the iconic track.
Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia said, “For 64 years Turf Paradise has been providing race fans the excitement of live horseracing and affordable family fun.”
The season also includes:
Fiesta Sundays featuring Mexican food and music the last Sunday of every month.
$2 Day MLK Day January 20th
Super Saturday February 8th
$2 Presidents’ Day February 17th
Wine, Women, and Horses Ticketed Charity Event February 29th
Wiener Dog Races March 7th
Camel Ostrich and Zebra Racing April 4th
Kentucky Derby Party May 2nd
Who: Turf Paradise
What: 64th Anniversary Party
When: Saturday, January 11. Gates open at 11a.m.
Where: Turf Paradise 1501 West Bell Road
Why: To celebrate 64 seasons of horseracing in Arizona
How Much: Grandstand admission is just $3
More Info: Call (602) 942-1101/ Online www.turfparadise.com
Dismissed by the bettors as a 12-1 longshot, Tee Em Eye showed up first at the wire to win the $30,000 City of Phoenix Stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
Ridden by Denny Velazquez for owner-trainer Jose Luna Silva, Tee Em Eye ($27.20) rallied from sixth and drew clear to win by 1 ¼ lengths over 6-5 favorite Dreamy Gal, who was going for her third consecutive stakes score. Kool Kate, rallied from eighth and last to finish third in the field of 3-year-old and up fillies and mares.
The 6-year-old Tee Em Eye covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.30 for her tenth victory in 25 career outings.
Fillies and mares will be in the spotlight in the $30,000 City of Phoenix Stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The 6 ½ furlong Phoenix will go as the eighth race on the nine race card with post time set for 12:10 pm.
The Phoenix is a competitive dash gathering of stakes tested mares and up and coming 3-year-olds, plus a hint of local budding stars squaring off against resume credentialed imports.
The locally based Dreamy Gal, coming off double stakes tallies in the Princess of Palms and Cactus Flower Stakes for trainer Molly Pearson is tagged the 9-5 morning line favorite. The remarkably consistent 5-year-old Ez Dreamer mare for owner John Pendergast, has been in the money in 6 of 7 starts with four wins at Turf.
Dreamy Gal likes to set the tempo of the race. But then so does the well-traveled Kool Kate (5-1), New Mexico shipper Tee Em Eye (8-1) and northwest based Killarney Lass (6-1), who is making her first start at Turf for fourth ranked trainer Frank Lucarelli.
With a fast paced assured, one is tempted to scout for a mid-packer or closer.
Good Luck to You (8-1), whose past 12 starts have been against stakes company, likes to keep the front runners insight and then pounce. The tactic has played well for Canadian-based trainer Phil Hall, given the 5-year-old mare has been in the money in 15 of 25 outings with six victories.
Northwest Factor (3-1) is a perfect 2-for-2 at Turf for trainer Steve Bullock against optional claimers and shows versatility to lay close to the pace or to make one late run.
Can a brilliant maiden winning 3-year-old repeat that race against stakes tested company? Trainer Dan McFarlane thinks she can, as Ever Vigilant (12-1), who’s coming off an in-hand, nearly 12-length romp takes on these battle tested fillies and mares. The daughter of Eddington has worked brilliantly since that impressive outing, turning in a fifth best of 23 workers of 1:00.1 for 5 furlongs Dec. 4, followed by a third best of 26 of :59 flat for 5 furlongs Dec. 14. Although this is quite a step up for Ever Vigilant at what will be surely be descent odds, it may be worth a few bucks to find out.
Chalk players had a field day as favorites dominated in three out of four stakes races Saturday at Turf Paradise.
$40,485 AZ Breeders’ Futurity, Fillies
Prohibitive favorite Arizona Sun ($2.60) and second choice Lucky Last made it a match race with the former getting the victory by 1 ¾ lengths at the wire. Izzy B finished third in the field of seven juvenile fillies.
Owned by Randy Howg, trained by Robertino Diodoro and ridden by David Lopez, Arizona Sun covered the 6-furlongs in 1:09.49.
$25,000 Cactus Wren
Apparently a 10 month layoff was what the lone longshot of the day, 21-1 longshot Ramblin Man ($41.60), needed as he took the lead and went on to score a five length victory over another off-the-bencher and stablemate Call Waiting, giving trainer Kory Owens a one-two finish in the Wren. No Supah for You finished third in the field of nine older horses.
Ridden by Jorge Carreno, Ramblin Man covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.17.
$25,000 Cactus Flower
The 8-5 favorite Dreamy Gal ($5.20) with Scott Stevens up, contended with a persistent Foggia (who would finish third), then held off a late charge from eventual runner-up Chance to Shine to win T Cactus Flower by 1 ¼ lengths in the field of nine fillies and mares.
Owned by John Pendergast and trained by Molly Pearson, Dreamy Gal, in notching her sixth lifetime victory, covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.30.
It was the fifth time Pearson has won this stakes.
$39,959 AZ Breeders’ Futurity, Colts & Geldings
The even-money favorite Annie’s Boy ($4.20) with Francisco Garcia substituting for Israel Hernandez, who was injured in a spill earlier in the program, cruised without urging to a 2 ¼ length victory over Arizona Jeremy with Jaquet third in the field on 10 juvenile colts and geldings.
Owned by Michael Feigenbaum and trained by Robert Hazel, Annie’s Boy covered the 6-furlongs in 1:09.11 to remain a perfect two-for-two.
Half of the eight-race card will feature stakes races Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The first of the stakes will go as the second race, then three stakes in succession, sixth thru eighth races. Post time will be 12:40 pm.
$30,000-added Arizona Breeders’ Futurity, 2-yo-old fillies, (2nd race, 6 furlongs)
The Robertino Diodoro-trained Arizona Sun is a standout in this field of eight juvenile fillies, having won half of her six starts, including Assiniboia’s Debutante Stakes. The daughter of Ministers Wild Cat is the one to beat.
$25,000 Cactus Wren, 3-yo-olds and up, (6th race, 6 ½ furlongs)
The usual cast of local toughies is showing up for the Wren, headed by trainer Kevin Eikleberry’s triple entry of Yo Y Me, Fortified Effort and Loud N Proud. Fortified Effort will look to repeat last year’s victory in this race, in which stablemate Yo Y Me finished third.
But this is far from a two-horse rematch. Trainer Kory Owens will send out two from the 11-month layoff bench, 2018 Spring Futurity winner Call Waiting, who has been revving up in workouts after been off for 11-month and Ramblin Man.
$25,000 Cactus Flower, Fillies and Mares, 3-yo-olds and up (7th race, 6 ½ furlongs)
No less competitive than the males in the Wren, the Cactus Flower will showcase Senoradiablo, Foggia and five-time winner Chance to Shine, who just won the Queen of the Green stakes on the turf.
The Molly Pearson-trained Dreamy Gal delivered as the favorite following a layoff in the recent Princess of Palms. And 10-time winner Sierrita appears ready for best effort following a fifth place comeback effort following a two-month freshner.
$30,000-added Arizona Breeders’ Futurity, 2-yo-olds, colts and geldings (8th race, 6 furlongs)
Given that eight of the ten entrants are still maidens, two-time winner Arizona Jeremy will catch the horseplayers attention, especially due to his last victory in the $72,000 ATBA Sales Stakes at today’s distance. Another Pearson-trained rising star, the $33,000 Arizona Thoroughbred Sales purchase should be a prohibitive favorite at post time.