03/12/2008 11:00PM

Famous Gal comes off upset win


Not only is Famous Gal a proven commodity - she's a sprint stakes winner at Turf Paradise - but she is also in peak form, having won a strong optional claiming race here Feb. 26. That makes the 4-year-old filly the horse to beat in Saturday's $30,000 Princess of Palms Handicap at Turf Paradise. The six-furlong event, for fillies and mares 3 years old and upward, lured a field of eight.

Even with those assets, it's far from a done deal for Famous Gal, tabbed as the race's 120-pound highweight. She has done much of her best work in Phoenix, posting four of her five wins here. After some suspect form this past fall and winter for owner John Pendergast and trainer Joe Johnson, Famous Gal bounced back with a 9-1 upset in a tough optional claimer here Feb. 26. Juan Rivera, who was aboard last time and who was up for all four of her local victories, keeps the mount.

Glorificamus was third behind Famous Gal in that optional claimer as the 9-5 favorite. Owned by Ken Porter and trained by Dan McFarlane, she was a bit slow into stride after showing speed in her previous few outings, but rallied well. A better start can have her in the thick of things from the outset. Chris Landeros rides at 119 pounds.

The X-factor is Social Order. Owned by Ray Firchau and Jan Osborn and trained by Molly Pearson, Social Order has won four in a row. Trouble is, three of those wins came on the turf and the other came in a race washed off the turf onto a sloppy main track here, and all four came routing. So, here she's being asked to sprint, and do so on dry land. Of course, Social Order has shown in the past that she can handle such a game. Glenn Corbett has the mount at 117 pounds.