02/11/2008 12:00AM

Court sweeps both stakes for 3-year-olds


Phoenix apparently agrees with rider Jon Court, who shipped in from Southern California to sweep the two stakes on Saturday's card at Turf Paradise. Court captured the $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby for 3-year-olds aboard Nikki'sgoldensteed ($7). Just 20 minutes earlier, he guided Briecat ($7.20) to victory in the $75,000 Arizona Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

NIkki'sgoldensteed, owned by Matthew Lomas and Gary Spencer and trained by Bob Hess Jr., invaded from Santa Anita off a maiden win. Racing for the first time in a route, he pressured pacesetter Storm of Honor, took over on the far turn, and steadily increased his lead, reaching the line 5 3/4 lengths clear.

Ez Dreamer, the 6-5 favorite, rallied to be second. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to Meer Kat in the field of eight 3-year-olds. Nikki'sgoldensteed covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.81. The winner's share of $60,000 pushed his career earnings to $106,036 from 2 wins in 6 starts.

Briecat won her career debut sprinting at Santa Anita Jan. 4 and stretched out to a mile for the Arizona Oaks. Owned by David and Holly Wilson and trained by Vladimir Cerin, Briecat jumped right out to set the pace under Court. She was under constant pressure from Kylie's Way, finally dispatched that rival, opened up some breathing room into the lane. and stayed clear, reaching the wire 1 1/4 lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite La Mina, who rallied from fourth. It was seven lengths back to Kylie's Way in the field of eight.

Breicat covered the mile in 1:37.19. The winner's share of $45,000 pushed her career earnings to $66,600.