12/09/2006 12:00AM

Favorites sweep Arizona Breeders divisions


PHOENIX - The favorites had little trouble proving their dominance in Turf Paradise's Arizona Breeders Futurity divisions, one for colts and geldings and the other for fillies. Staten Island stalked the pace and edged away late to win the $58,014 filly division as the 4-5 favorite, while R Big Stuff dominated the $61,362 colt-and-gelding division, winning by nearly seven lengths as the 2-5 favorite.

Staten Island, owned by Dennis Weir and trained by Kevin Lewis, ran the six-furlong event for Arizona-bred 2-year-old fillies in 1:09.80 under Sandi Gann. She paid $3.80 for the win and earned $29,007 for her second victory in three career starts, pushing her bankroll to nearly $34,000. M J's Headache, the pacesetter, kept on well to finish second, three lengths ahead of Staten Island's stablemate, Beacon Falls, in the field of 12.

R Big Stuff, owned by Gary Stevenson and trained by Molly Pearson, pressed the issue, took over down the backside and drew off to win easily under Luis Hernandez, getting the six furlongs for Arizona-bred 2-year-old males in 1:08.40. He paid $2.80 as the overwhelming favorite and the winner's share of $30,682 pushed his career bankroll to over $48,000 from three wins in fourt starts. Tunnel, who has finished second to R Big Stuff in his previous two outings, ended up there again as he set the early pace and then chased the winner home once passed. He ended up nearly six lengths ahead of third-place finisher Big Crescendo in the field of 12.