02/20/2010 1:00AM

Dixie Commander upsets Turf Paradise Derby


Dixie Commander invaded from Northern California, took off blinkers, and sprung a 22-1 upset in the on Saturday.

Under Wilson Dieguez, Dixie Commander stalked in third in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds. He moved up to challenge into the lane, took the lead, and powered home, winning by 3 1/4 lengths.

Indian Firewater, a Southern California raider who was the heavy 1-2 favorite, pressured pacesetter Pinal, got the better of that rival into the lane as he took the lead, but couldn't finish with the winner. He still finished 7 1/2 lengths clear of Pinal, the best local hope, who was third in the field of nine.

Dixie Commander, owned by Blue Gate Corp. and Steve Miyadi and trained by Miyadi, ran the distance in 1:45.97 on a track listed as sealed-good after a day of rain. The son of Dixie Union paid $46.60, and the winner's share of $30,000 gives him career earnings of $58,060 from two wins in six starts.

Arizona Oaks: Tornado Betty romps

Tornado Betty confirmed her status as the ranking 3-year-old filly on the circuit as she proved a prompt favorite in Saturday's $27,500 Arizona Oaks.

Ridden by Jorge Carreno, the daughter of Comic Strip dogged pacesetter Mames' Game in the mile event, took over down the backside, and blew the race open with a strong run into the lane, reporting home four lengths clear. Chandlers Heart rallied from well back for second, while Unloch the Fury rallied from last in the field of 10 to get third. Tornado Betty ran the distance in 1:39.64 on a track that was listed as sealed-good.

Owned by Stable HMA and trained by Ed Kereluk, Tornado Betty paid $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite. The winner s share of $16,500 pushes her career earnings to $84,465 from four wins in nine starts.