02/24/2011 12:31PM

California shipper Indian Winter stands out in Turf Paradise Derby

Benoit & Associates
Indian Winter comes into the Turf Paradise Derby off a late-running score in the San Pedro at Santa Anita.

PHOENIX – Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer knew it was going to be tough enough last Sunday sending his crack 3-year-old Indian Winter up against the freakishly fast The Factor in Santa Anita’s Grade 3 San Vicente, and when he determined a speed bias would favor The Factor even further, he opted out, scratching his horse. His fears were confirmed when The Factor ran lights-out again to win the San Vicente.

But Santa Anita’s loss is Turf Paradise’s gain as Indian Winter will ship a few hours east to head the $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby on Saturday. Indian Winter figures to be favored against nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds.

The derby isn’t the only stakes action on the day – the $25,000 Arizona Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at a mile drew seven, headed by unbeaten Los Lunas and the sharp Maria Lake. The Turf Paradise Derby goes as race 8; the Oaks as race 3.

Indian Winter made a splash last summer at Del Mar, winning his debut Aug. 21. That was enough to earn him a shot at the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity Sept. 8. He lagged back and finished decently to be third, beaten 7 3/4 lengths by winner J P’s Gusto with Jaycito the runner-up. He was sidelined afterward but came back with a snazzy come-from-behind win in Santa Anita’s San Pedro Jan. 17, earning an 88 Beyer. Indian Winter has worked strongly since, and while he doesn’t have to deal with The Factor he still must ship for the first time and run two turns for the first time. He will be riden by Juan Rivera.

Indian Winter isn’t the only raider. Twice the Appeal blasted maidens at Santa Anita Dec. 29 and then easily beat starter allowance foes routing there Jan. 14. Mr Artistic M D won his first two starts, both sprints, at Hollywood Park in the fall and ran fourth behind Indian Winter in the San Pedro.

Leading the local contingent is Arcadian, who in his lone try against Indian Winter was sixth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths, in the San Pedro. Trained by Dan McFarlane, Arcadian easily won his debut by six lengths here Nov. 28 and romped again in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile by 6 1/2 lengths here Dec. 26. After the San Pedro, he came back to Turf Paradise and comfortably won his first route Feb. 5. Maybe running on his home track can help Arcadian turn the tables on Indian Winter.

Jamaican Memories continues his fine form with 2 wins and 3 seconds in his last 5 starts. He was second to Arcadian in the Lost in the Fog and in that Feb. 5 route race here.

◗ Los Lunas, who has won her only two starts, both sprint stakes here at the end of 2010, is the one to beat in the mile Arizona Oaks. She didn’t leave herself much margin for error, winning both races by a neck for trainer Sandi Gann. She faces Maria Lake, who was third to Los Lunas in an Arizona-bred stakes here Nov. 27 and who then easily beat maidens and then allowance foes here for trainer Kevin Lewis.