02/09/2006 12:00AM

Blinkers appear to have turned Sky Diving around

Sky Diving ran without blinkers in this Dec. 29 race at Santa Anita and was sixth.

PHOENIX - The addition of blinkers may well have turned Sky Diving into a new horse. A 3-year-old son of top-class router Aptitude, Sky Diving first wore them Jan. 25 at Bay Meadows and responded with a 14-length laugher over maidens. That performance makes Sky Diving the horse to beat in Saturday's $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby, a 1 1/16-mile event that lured eight 3-year-olds.

had hinted at ability for owner B. Wayne Hughes. He was second in a good maiden race at Churchill Downs last November. Next, he was sent to the West to join Bob Baffert's stable and was no threat behind the promising Tatsuji in a maiden race at Santa Anita on Dec. 29. But with blinkers added, he romped in his next race, and has worked well since. Tony Farina rides.

European invader , trained by Bob Hess Jr., is a threat. Prime Meridian hasn't run since Nov. 25, when he won over an all-weather track in England. There's really no telling what kind of talent he might have. Christopher Emigh rides.

rallied to be third in the Arizona Juvenile behind Keagan, who is also in Saturday's race. Hey Slick avenged that loss with a big rally in the Rattlesnake here Jan. 22, his first try at a route. Glenn Corbett rides Hey Slick, who is trained by Kory Owens.

Keagan, trained by Eric Kruljac, won the Fool the Experts and the Arizona Juvenile, both sprints, before finishing fifth in the Rattlesnake. He was slow into stride in that race but finished well. He has since posted a bullet six-furlong work here. Scott Stevens rides.

Wait in Line was favored in the Rattlesnake after shipping in from Sunland, where he was an impressive allowance winner. Trained by Chris Hartman, Wait in Line finished decently to be third in the Rattlesnake and may benefit from that race over the track. Ryan Barber rides.