10/21/2010 10:59AM

Diodoro double-tough in Turf Paradise stakes


PHOENIX – Trainer Robertino Diodoro looks to double his pleasure at Turf Paradise Saturday when he sends out prime contenders in the two stakes at the Phoenix track: Waltzing With Blue in the $35,000 Walter R. Cluer Memorial, a mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward, and Rule the Storm in the $35,000 Queen of the Green Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile on the turf.

The Queen of the Green goes as race 6; the Walter Cluer is race 8.

Waltzing With Blue has held strong form since early 2009. He’s finished in the top three in 9 of his last 11, including a third in a stakes at Calder last year, and has won on the turf at Gulfstream and Monmouth this year. He comes off a nose loss on an optional claimer at Monmouth on Aug. 27, and was claimed that day for $40,000. He has to deal with the outside post 10. Jorge Carreno rides.

Among his opponents is One Call, who has three wins on turf, all on this course. He finished second in the Turf Paradise Handicap here Feb. 13 and makes his first start since finishing sixth in a tough optional claimer here March 19.

Skimasco came here from Northern California with strong form, having beaten $10,000 claimers at Golden Gate Sept. 17. Trainer Jeff Metz claimed him out of that race, and saddled him for an easy Turf Paradise allowance win Oct. 9.

Rule the Storm comes into the Queen of the Green off a two-month layoff. She had a fine run going from last fall to this summer, winning 6 of 11, including a turf wins at Golden Gate, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar. She was claimed for $40,000 out of the Del Mar win July 31, shipped to Northlands Park to try a dirt stakes Aug. 21, but faded to seventh and hasn’t run since. She shows some strong works here, including two bullets. Stephan Heiler rides.

Dextera, a Southern California-based filly trained by Bob Hess Jr., has made the most of her two invasions to Turf Paradise, winning the Chandler last Nov. 14 and the Glendale last Jan. 16, both on turf. She finished sixth behind Rule the Storm in that July 31 claiming race at Del Mar.

Taste’s Sis ran fourth in this race last year, and returns for another try after finishing fourth and fifth in a pair of Southern California main-track sprint stakes.