02/13/2010 12:00AM

Ez Dreamer confims status as top Turf Paradise sprinter


Ez Dreamer may not have the six-furlong world record like rival Twin Sparks, but he proved nonetheless he's the best sprinter and best horse on the Turf Paradise grounds Saturday when he captured the meet's marquee event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup.

Owned by Triple AAA Ranch and trained by Kory Owens, the 5-year-old Ez Dreamer used Twin Sparks's primary weapon against him - speed. Under Glenn Corbett Ez Dreamer jumped right out to the lead in the six-furlong Gold Cup, took heavy pressure from Twin Spark but rebuffed that rival's challenge, opened up into the lane, and held his lead steady to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Goin' Dancer, a 15-1 longshot, stalked the pace battle of the top two and stayed on well for second, while Highland Games ran third in the field of seven.

Twin Sparks, the 7-5 favorite who set a world record of 1:06.49 for 6 furlongs earlier in the meet, dueled early with the winner but paid the price, faltering to last.

Ez Dreamer ran the distance in 1:08.67. He paid $5.40 as the second choice and the winner's share of $45,000 pushes his career record to $469,765 from 9 wins in 23 starts.

* Markmelauras picked the right day for the race of her life as the 4-year-old filly posted a 33-1 upset in the $27,500 Sun City Handicap. Owned by Ernie Turner and trained by Dan Morgan the 4-year-old Markmelauras went right out to the lead under jockey Dario Lozoya in the mile turf race for fillies and mares and led the entire way, holding on to win by a half-length. Table Mesa, the 3-5 favorite, sat a couple lengths off the lead and finished nicely for second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of Salsa Express who was third in the field of 10.

Markmelauras, notching her second win in a row, her first stakes win, and third win in six starts on this course, ran the distance in 1:34.98 and paid $68.20. The winner's share of $16,500 pushes her career earnings to $54,902 from 4 wins in 13 starts.

* Returning home for Tie Rod did the trick. After failing to threaten when fifth in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 30, the 6-year-old Tie Rod returned to Turf Paradise and showed his affinity for the course, winning the $28,000 Turf Paradise Handicap.

Owned by Guy Francone and Stable HMA and trained by Ed Kereluk, Tie Rod stalked the pace, had to wait for room on the far turn in the 1 1/16-mile turf race but found it, swung out into the lane, and finished well to win by 1 3/4 lengths under Daniel Vergara. One Call rallied from far back for second while Yankee Bravo stalked the pace, took the lead in midstretch but couldn't sustain his run, finishing third in the field of 12. On My Dime, the 2-1 favorite, was midpack all the way around, finishing sixth.

Tie Rod ran the distance in 1:41.43 and paid $9.60 as the second choice. The winner's share of $16,800 gives him career earnings of $244,036 from 8 wins in 30 starts.