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.