04/02/2016 8:03PM

Blue Bomber opens huge lead, holds on in Wildcat Handicap

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Blue Bomber, ridden by Natasha Coddington, pays $13.80 for winning the Wildcat Handicap.

PHOENIX  – Blue Bomber couldn’t quite outdo Pacific Nights in a couple grass races at Turf Paradise in February. However, the 5-year-old Blue Bomber picked the right time to turn the tables with an unorthodox run to win Saturday’s $27,000 Wildcat Handicap.

Owned by Jim McFadyen and trained by Robertino Diodoro, Blue Bomber ($13.80) blasted out to a huge early lead under Natasha Coddington in the 1 3/8-mile turf event, led by as much as 20 lengths after a half-mile and still that far after six furlongs. The field then quickly reeled him in by the far turn, shrinking his lead to just 1 1/2 lengths. However, Blue Bomber, a son of Congrats, apparently saved something as he kept his rivals at bay through the lane, winning by two lengths. Sir Searsucker chased the winner from the start in second and remained there throughout. Carouse was just behind Sir Searsucker most of the race, finishing third. Pacific Nights, the 8-5 favorite, was slow into stride to be last early and was unable to threaten, finishing sixth in the field of eight.

Blue Bomber ran the distance in 2:17.10 and stamps himself a contender for the $25,000 Hasta La Vista, the traditional closing-day stakes, at 1 7/8 miles on grass here May 8. The winner’s share of $16,238 gives him earnings of $85,371 from four wins in 20 starts.

Hey Ez Money scores in Arizona Stallion Stakes

Hey Ez Money, an invader from Emerald Downs, captured the $39,492 Arizona Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds at 7 1/2 furlongs on grass. Owned by Tamara Anderson, Brent Stapley, and Delwyn Ellis and trained by F. C. Frazier, Hey Ez Money ($12.40) bided his time early under Jake Barton after steadying at the start, pitched very wide into the lane to make his run, and finished gamely to get up by a neck. A son of Ez Dreamer, Hey Ez Money raced with blinkers for the first time, was trying turf for the first time, and making his first start since he ran third against winners at Emerald Downs last Aug. 2.

Lieutenant Margie, a filly who was the 9-5 favorite, stalked the pace, was impeded and had to check hard coming into the lane but got going again to be second in a fine effort, well clear of  Waste It Wisely, who rallied for third in the field of 10.

Hey Ez Money ran the distance in 1:31.20. The winner’s share of $21,940 gives him earnings of $36,440 from two wins in three starts.