03/28/2015 8:04PM

Broadway Empire dominates Coyote Handicap

Coady Photography
Broadway Empire wins the Coyote Handicap on Saturday at Turf Paradise.

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Broadway Empire hadn’t started since last Oct. 31, but the son of Empire Maker tumbled in class, added blinkers off some strong works, returned to Turf Paradise where he was 2 for 2, and had little trouble capturing Saturday’s $35,000 Coyote Handicap despite the final margin.

Broadway Empire ($3), owned by Randy Howq, Bob Butz, Rick Running Rabbit, and Fouad El Kardy and trained by Robertino Diodoro, went right to the lead under Scott Stevens in the 6 1/2-furlong event, set brisk splits while a clear leader, then finished his rivals off with a big move into the lane to expand his lead, putting the race on ice before the rallying runner-up J P Rocker cut that margin a length at the wire. Absolutely Cool, the recent upset winner of the Phoenix Gold Cup, stalked and finished a nose behind J P Rocker for third in the field of six.

Broadway Empire, the heavy 1-2 favorite, ran the distance in 1:14.80. He came into this with a significant class edge, being a Grade 3 winner and running sixth in the Grade 1 Met Mile last year. This was his first start since he was sixth in the Damascus at Santa Anita on the Breeders’ Cup undercard last fall. The winner’s share of $21,483 gives him earnings of $532,224 from seven wins in 15 starts.

Lady Rosberg wins Mesa Handicap

Lady Rosberg showed she’s the top older distaffer on the grounds as she captured Saturday’s $35,000 Mesa Handicap. She’s already a two-time stakes winner on grass here this meet, and she’s now a stakes winner sprinting on dirt as she took this 6 1/2-furlong event for distaffers.

Lady Rosberg ($5.20), owned by Karl Krieg and trained by Valorie Lund, went off the 8-5 second choice in the field of seven. Under Rocco Bowen, she stalked in third as the 4-5 favorite Small Moves shot out to a clear lead, moved to second going to the far turn while Smart Moves still held a five-length lead, came with a smart run into the lane, not only to reel in that rival but to go on with it and win by 2 1/4 lengths. Small Moves, the favorite off two romping recent dirt sprint wins here this meet, held second almost five lengths ahead of Peppy Miller in third.

Lady Rosberg ran the distance in 1:15.80, and the winner’s share of $21,266 gives the 5-year-old mare earnings of $106,772 from six wins in 13 starts.