04/25/2007 11:00PM

Five statebred stakes


PHOENIX - The spotlight shines on the local product Saturday at Turf Paradise when the Phoenix track runs five stakes races, all for Arizona-breds, led by the $50,000 Sandra Hall Grand Canyon Handicap. There are also two starter stakes on the card.

Moores Bridge, who finished second last year, heads a field of 10 in the six-furlong Grand Canyon, which goes as race 10 on an 11-race card. Trained by Dan McFarlane, the 6-year-old Moores Bridge has two victories this meet, the Caballo del Sol in October and an allowance race in late November.

On Jan. 1, Moores Bridge dueled for the lead and faltered to fifth in the Cactus Wren, a race he had won the previous year, and didn't race again until the April 9 Answer Do. That day he was a bit slow into stride and never made a run, finishing fifth. With that race under his belt and a move to Arizona-bred company, Moores Bridge may be ready to take a step forward.

My Cupid and King Justin loom the main stumbling blocks to Moores Bridge. My Cupid, trained by McFarlane, beat Moores Bridge handily in the Cactus Wren, going wire to wire to win by three lengths. He was then fourth in an optional claimer on Feb. 12 and hasn't raced since.

King Justin has won 3 of his last 5. He easily won an optional claimer March 18 before dueling for the lead and finishing sixth in the Answer Do behind Moores Bridge and My Cupid. He was third in this race last year.

In the day's other stakes:

* Society Cat and Stacey's Tune head a field of six in the $45,000 Ann Owens Distaff Handicap (race 2) over six furlongs for fillies and mares. Society Cat was second in this race last year. Her last two races came in turf stakes and she may be better suited to sprinting on dirt. In 10 races at six furlongs, Society Cat has never finished worse than second. Stacey's Tune came back after more than four months on the bench to win a $20,000 claiming race on the turf April 13 and was claimed by top claiming trainer Bill Bainum.

* Staten Island looms a heavy favorite in the $45,000 Joanne Dye Stakes (race 3). The 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies drew a field of seven. Staten Island is not only the top 3-year-old Arizona-bred filly around but she's probably the best 3-year-old filly on this circuit, period. She won the Arizona Oaks on Feb. 17 and comes off a fourth in the Scottsdale Handicap on March 31 in her first turf attempt. She's back to her best game here.

* Hey Slick leads a field of eight in the $45,000 Dwight D. Patterson Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf (race 6). Hey Slick hasn't won since taking last November's Paradise Valley Handicap on this course, but he moves back in against statebred company and boasts a strong 59.60-second five-furlong work on April 17. Mydak, who won this race last year in his very first turf try, comes in from Sunland Park again. No Reverse invades off a smart turf win at Bay Meadows.

* Combo Royale moves back to dirt and may rate the edge in the $40,000 Arizona Breeders Derby (race 9). The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds lured a field of nine. Combo Royale, one of the few winners in the race, has won three races, all on dirt and two on this track. He was second in the Arizona Stallion Stakes on turf here on April 7.