12/09/2010 1:53PM

Beautiful Holiday brings strong form to City of Phoenix


PHOENIX – Beautiful Holiday and Table Mesa, first and third in a Turf Paradise optional claimer on Nov. 26, meet for the second straight race in Saturday’s $25,000 City of Phoenix Stakes. The six-furlong event for fillies and mares drew a field of eight.

Beautiful Holiday comes here in the best form of her life. Owned by Patti and Hal Earnhardt and trained by Dan McFarlane, she’s won 3 of her last 4, including the Nov. 26 race. She dueled early for the lead before drawing off to easily win by 2 1/4 lengths at 7-2. Prior to that, she romped by 7 3/4 lengths (for a 94 Beyer Speed Figure) in a $12,500 dirt sprint here Oct. 2, ran third in a $10,000 turf sprint at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 13, and cruised by 7 3/4 lengths in the slop over $4,000 claimers at Ellis Park on Aug. 21.

Beautiful Holiday loves this track (5 for 8) and handles the distance well (3 for 7). Kristina Kenney, aboard for those last three wins, has the call again on Beautiful Holiday.

Table Mesa may still go favored, despite finishing three lengths behind Beautiful Holiday in that Nov. 26 race. Owned by Dennis Weir and trained by Sandi Gann, she was the 8-5 favorite but broke slowly.

Table Mesa’s overall form the past year and a half or so has been excellent, with 10 straight top-three finishes. Four of her five wins have come here, including her last victory April 24 when she rallied to win the Ann Owens Distaff Handicap at this distance at 3-5. Scott Stevens rides.

Catch Lorraine comes off a second in the Chandler Stakes on the turf here Nov. 13 and is proven on dirt as well. Blumin Beauty was fourth behind the top two Nov. 26 but is a stakes-winning sprinter on dirt here, having won the Mesa Stakes on Jan. 30, and ran third in this race a year ago.

Likely a Star, on the bench since winning the Desert Sky on the turf here March 13, has worked superbly for her return, going three furlongs in 34.60 seconds here Dec. 7 and six furlongs in 1:11.60 here Nov. 30.

Wenden returns to dirt after fading badly to finish last of 11 in the Chandler at a mile on the turf Nov. 13. She romped by 11 lengths in a dirt sprint here Oct. 11.