The Turf Paradise Derby, carded as the eighth of eight races, attracted a field of 10 colts and geldings, for the 1 1/16 miles test. The Arizona Oaks, co-featured as the seventh race, drew a field and ten fillies, for the one mile test. Post time will be 12:55 pm.
The 32nd running of the Turf Paradise Derby
Local talent runs deep with a nod to the Kevin Eikleberry-trained Fortified Effort due to his double stakes wins and $137,298 bankroll, which far and away leads all other entrants. A winner of four of eight starts, including Turf’s Sales Stakes and Breeders’ Futurity, the son of multiple stakes winner Ez Effort, finished third in his most recent outing – and first at two turns - in Sunland Park’s $106,000 Riley Ailson Stakes.
Dan McFarlane, who won this race twice in 2016 and 2014, has entered three horses: Primo Touch, Soul of Discretion and Oh Brother Jack. Primo Touch appears the sharpest of the three, with a field best 87 Beyer in his most recent start a 12 ¼ length romp in the Startac Stakes.
Molly Pearson, winner of this race in 2017, sends forth Bocephus, a tough but hard-luck competitor who’s still a maiden but finished second three times in four career starts.
The 27th running of the Arizona Oaks
There are two questions about the Oaks that may portend to its outcome: First, Will Foggia regain her form? And will Gorgeous Ginny retain hers?
Trained by McFarlane, Foggia won her maiden at first asking at Turf Paradise, and then quickly followed that win with a tally in the $93,000 ATBA Sales stakes and then a second in the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity. Her last and most recent effort was a fourth place finish in the Arizona Juvenile Fillies. This will be her first start as a 3-year-old and her first try at two turns.
Gorgeous Ginny, trained by leading trainer Robertino Diodoro, broke her maiden at first asking as the favorite at Santa Anita, then followed with a runner-up finish in that track’s $100,000 Landaluce stakes. She followed that effort with a third place finish in the $100,000 California Breeders’ stakes before winning Turf’s Arizona Juvenile stakes to complete her 2-year-old season. The daughter of Take Charge Indy won her first start as a 3-year-old, the Jack Coady stakes at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf by a comfortable 2 ½ lengths to remain undefeated in two outings at Turf. She is the one to beat. Diodoro won this race twice in 2014 and 2013.