04/28/2004 11:00PM

Desert Sky a rerun of Sun City


PHOENIX - For Magnificent Val, it's all about revenge. For Aspen Hill, it's time for validation. For Frisco Belle, it's a chance to change the pecking order.

Saturday's $40,000 Desert Sky Handicap at a mile on turf at Turf Paradise brings out six horses, three of which ran within a length of each other in the March 13 Sun City.

Aspen Hill was the 19-1 upset winner of the Sun City, which was also run at a mile on turf. She just managed to beat highweight and 3-10 favorite Magnificent Val, with Frisco Belle a close third.

Aspen Hill, trained by Dan McFarlane, is no stranger to the winner's circle here. She has won three times on this course, all at a mile, and the Sun City was her second straight win. She carries 118 pounds Saturday as the third highweight, getting seven pounds from Magnificent Val and five pounds from Frisco Belle.

Magnificent Val again figures to be favored. Trained by Jeff Mullins, she had rattled off four straight big wins before her Sun City loss. She dueled early in that race, drew off turning for home, and was caught on the line by Aspen Hill. She has been freshened since and has two straight bullet works.

Frisco Belle, meanwhile, ran quite well in the Sun City, coming from far back, which allowed the top two first run and a tactical edge. She since has finished a close fifth in the Miss America at Bay Meadows April 10.