10/15/2003 11:00PM

Can't get past 'Bugsy'


PHOENIX - One race looks like a complete mismatch. The other is about as clear as mud. So Saturday when Turf Paradise presents two divisions of the $25,000 Arizona Thoroughbred Fall Sales Stakes - one for males, one for females - the races will have a distinctly different flavor.

The fillies division is dominated by Bugsy Marrone, who faces 10 others, while the colt-and-gelding division brings out 11 evenly matched juvenile males. Each race is at six furlongs and they go as races 7 and 8 on the nine-race card.

On paper it looks like Bugsy Marrone either has to fall down to lose. Owned by Gary Marrone and trained by Michael Lenzini, she has won four in a row after losing her debut at Santa Anita. She's rattled off three straight at Turf Paradise, winning by about 16 lengths, seven lengths, and about 11 lengths, at odds of 3-5, 3-10, and 1-9. In other words, she has been dominant.

Bugsy Marrone didn't race from May until Oct. 3, when she returned in an allowance race here and won in a laugher. She figures even tougher now with a race under her belt.

Painless is the one filly who may emerge as a threat should Bugsy Marrone not fire. She lost her first two starts, both at Emerald, early this summer. She was given some time off and resurfaced at Turf Paradise in an allowance race Oct. 3. Painless, trained by Sarina Obergfell, stumbled badly at the start but circled the field to win going away.

She's obviously headed the right way and her 58 Beyer doubled her previous figure. Still, that leaves her far behind Bugsy Marrone's last three Beyers of 79, 76, and 75.

In the male division, favoritism figures to fall to Century Boulevard, handy winner at 4-5 in an allowance race here Oct. 3. Century Boulevard blossomed at Arapahoe, graduating by 10-plus lengths there Aug. 9. Steve Gomez rides.

Finishing second to Century Boulevard Oct. 3 was Snowbound Writer. He was making his career debut, and showed excellent speed, leading to midstretch.

Snowbound Writer was giving away considerable seasoning and experience to Century Boulevard and could be much tougher this time around for trainer Bill Brashears. Kelly Bridges rides.

The one-two finishers in another Oct. 3 allowance race, My Cupid and Real Red, add to the depth of the field.