05/03/2010 12:00AM

Fox in the House goes the distance


PHOENIX - Fox in the House showed he's a true stayer Sunday, rallying to win Turf Paradise's traditional closing-day feature, the $27,750 Hasta La Vista Handicap.

Owned by Morazany LLC and trained by Wade Rarick, Fox in the House was coming off a victory in the 1 1/2-mile Turf Distance Finale here April 12. He had no problem with the added ground of Sunday's 1 7/8-mile race.

Under Ry Eikleberry the 5-year-old gelding sat in midpack, began a steady run on the far turn, surged to a clear lead into the lane, and had enough to keep the hard-charging Favorite Meeting at bay to win by three-quarters of a length. Favorite Meeting was another 3 3/4 lengths clear of 8-5 favorite Rate of Change, third in the field of 11.

Fox in the House ran the distance in 3:10.73 and paid $6.80 as the second choice. The winner's share of $16,650 pushes his career earnings to $66,992.

*Gotta Skedaddle crossed the line first in the $83,645 ATBA Spring Sales Stakes to seemingly post a 12-1 upset, but the stewards ruled he had angled out into the lane and caused interference, and he was disqualified to second. The win went to the fastest qualifier and 4-5 favorite, Rucker Canyon, who had crossed the line second.

A son of Benton Creek, Rucker Canyon stalked the pace, got knocked sideways by Gotta Skedaddle into the lane and finished a half-length behind Gotta Skedaddle. Rucker Canyon finished just a head in front of Cocolalla, who was third, a nose in front of El Rancho in the field of 12 juveniles.

Rucker Canyon was also ridden by Eikleberry, who finished the meet as easily the leading rider. The final time for the five furlongs was 59.20 and Rucker Canyon paid $3.60. He has now won both career starts. He is trained by Molly Pearson and owned by Danny Avena and Brett Heide.

*The Arizona racing circuit gets a brief break before action moves to Yavapai Downs in Prescott Valley in northern Arizona. That meet commences May 29 and runs through Sept. 7.