04/02/2017 11:17AM

Blue Bomber wins second straight Wildcat Handicap

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Blue Bomber paid $11.80 in winning the Wildcat Handicap at Turf Paradise on Saturday.

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Last year Blue Bomber proved to be the top turf stayer at Turf Paradise, winning the Wildcat Handicap and then the closing-day Hasta La Vista. He’s halfway home in his attempt to do it again, as the 6-year-old gelded son of Congrats successfully defended his title Saturday in the $30,000 Wildcat Handicap.

Owned by Jim McFadyen and trained by Robertino Diodoro, Blue Bomber ($11.80) didn’t come into this year’s edition nearly as sharp as he was a year ago. This year he had finished fourth and seventh in his only two starts; he went into last year’s renewal off two sharp seconds.

But he showed this 1 3/8-mile grass trip was his forte as, under regular rider Natasha Coddington, he bounced right out to a clear lead, had Aventador move up to challenge going down the backstretch, was still locked in battle with that foe coming into the lane and to midstretch before edging away a bit late to win by a length. Aventador, the 9-5 second choice in the field of eight, was game throughout but just couldn’t quite outdo the winner while finishing four lengths clear of third finisher Sir Searsucker. Red Zeus, the 8-5 favorite, was fairly one-paced, finishing fourth.

Blue Bomber ran the distance in 2:14.09. The winner’s share of $18,042 gives him earnings of $132,752 from six wins in 28 starts. This sets him up to defend his title in the $30,000 Hasta La Vista at 1 7/8 miles here closing day May 7.

Ida Goodest, a maiden who ran ninth in his only prior start on grass, turned that form around considerably as the 3-year-old gelded son of Margie’s Wildcat posted the big upset on the $33,723 Arizona Stallion Stakes.

Ida Goodest ($43.60), owned by J. Lloyd Yother and Kevin Eikleberry and trained by Eikleberry, stalked in third in the about 7 1/2-furlong grass event for 3-year-old males under Dave Lopez, moved up to challenge 8-5 favorite and then-leader Chelokee’s Legacy by midstretch, got the better of that foe and drew clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Chelokee’s Legacy held second over Top Hat Wildcat, third in the field of nine.

Ida Goodest ran the distance in 1:30.56. The winner’s share of $18,735 gives him earnings of $22,031 from one win in five starts.