10/21/2017 7:22PM

BCZ Middleton scores repeat in Princess of Palms Stakes

Coady Photography
BCZ Middleton drew off under Scott Stevens to win the Princess of Palms Stakes for the second consecutive year.

PHOENIX, Ariz. – BCZ Middleton returned to her favorite track and that plus a key scratch helped her successfully defend her title in the $30,000 Princess Of Palms Stakes on Saturday at Turf Paradise.

Owned by William Burns and Rebecca Turcott and trained by Jeff Metz, BCZ Middleton ($5.60) sat second as Fight to Glory shot off to a clear early lead in the six-furlong event for distaffers, moved up to challenge that foe into the lane, got the better of her inside the eighth pole and drew clear under Scott Stevens to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

Brookys Star, back to sprinting after 18 months routing and coming off a duel-and-fizzle at Oak Tree at Pleasanton on Sept. 23, sat third from the start and kept to her task gamely to get up for second in the final strides, though she was never a danger to the winner. Fight to Glory, the 6-5 favorite off two romping wins at Canterbury Downs this summer, shot right out to the lead, set a strong pace, tried to battle back when hooked by the winner into the lane but couldn’t stay with that foe in the final furlong and just lost second in the final strides, ending up third in the field of six. BCZ Middleton’s job was made a bit easier when morning-line favorite Game Time Decision scratched.

BCZ Middleton, a 4-year-old daughter of Nobiz Like Shobiz, ran the distance in a brisk 1:08.95. The winner’s share of $18,414 pushes her earnings to $162,293 from 8 wins in 29 starts.