12/29/2010 12:51PM

Camp Verde comes into Luke Kruytbosch Stakes off romp


PHOENIX – Camp Verde looks to parlay a romping allowance win at Turf Paradise on Nov. 30 into something bigger as he appears the horse to beat in Friday’s $25,000 Luke Kruytbosch Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds, named for the former track announcer who passed away in 2008, drew eight.

Owned by the Sawyer Cattle Company and trained by Dan McFarlane, Camp Verde appears to have turned the corner. He showed talent late in 2009 and into this summer when third in the Yavapai Thoroughbred Derby on Aug. 14. After that, he was freshened, came back to beat maidens on turf here Oct. 15, and then ran second in a turf allowance race Nov. 9. However, when moved back to dirt going a mile here Nov. 30, he went through the roof, surging out to an immediate and clear lead by as much as 12 lengths going to the far turn. From there, he cruised, holding a lead of seven lengths at midstretch and 9 3/4 lengths at the wire for a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Glen Corbett has the call.

Camp Verde will likely need to be as good Friday, however. Slews Approval and Midget Man finished first and second, respectively, in front of him in that Yavapai Thoroughbred Derby. Those two merit respect, along with Michael the Man. Michael the Man beat Slews Approval by a nose in the Jack Coady Sr. on turf here Nov. 13, with Midget Man chasing in third.

Relatorre appears to be coming into his own as well. After flashing some talent against maidens, including running second in a grass route here Oct. 30, he moved to dirt for a route Nov. 26 and led all the way to win with ease by 6 1/2 lengths, geared down.

Otto Von Voom returns from Southern California, where he had success on turf, including two wins. He won a $32,000 claimer on the sod at Hollywood Park on Dec. 10 and was claimed by Kent Jensen. Otto Von Voom began his career here a year ago, finishing second in his first two starts, both dirt sprints.

Tatler Jack comes into the race riding a three-race win streak. He notched his first two wins at Assiniboia Downs in September, was freshened, came here, and whipped restricted claimers by 6 1/2 lengths Dec. 4 at this same trip.