02/10/2005 12:00AM

Grimm faces Californians


PHOENIX - The $100,000 purse of Saturday's Turf Paradise Breeders' Cup has lured three Southern California shippers who will try to knock off the local favorite, Grimm. Ten 3-year-olds and up run in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, which will be run as race 8 and is one of three stakes on a nine-race card. The others are the $75,000 Arizona Oaks (race 3) and $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby (race 6).

With rain in the forecast, the turf could be soft for the race.

, a Grade 1 stakes winner in his native Brazil, invades from Southern California for trainer Bobby Frankel and will carry high weight of 121 pounds. A 5-year-old, Ay Caramba won an allowance race at Churchill Downs last summer and then held his own against Grade 1 and Grade 2 company in Kentucky through the fall. In his last race, at a mile on the turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 21, he dueled early and ended up fourth behind proven graded stakes types Buckland Manor, Seinne, and Inesperado.

Jon Court will ride Ay Caramba, one of five horses Frankel had nominated to the race. According to Tom Knust, agent for Court, Frankel chose to run Ay Caramba because "he feels this race is a good spot for this horse to get his first American stakes win."

(115) are the other two Southern California shippers. True Dancer, trained by John Martin, has finished no worse than third in his last 10 starts, five of them wins. Chance Rollins rides. Night Patrol is a 9-year-old who will be making his 60th start. Trained by Marcelo Polanco. Night Patrol has earned over $758,000 and comes off a third-place finish in a high-priced claimer at a mile on the turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 21. Kerwin John rides.

The local contingent is headed by multiple stakes winner Grimm (117). Trained by Eric Kruljac, Grimm comes off a smashing win in the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile here on Jan. 8, the traditional prep for this race.

He worked on yielding turf Feb. 5 with jockey Scott Stevens riding.

"Scott told me he handled it well," said trainer Eric Kruljac. "With the forecast of rain, it might be a European bog Saturday. But come rain or shine, we're running." Stevens will be aboard for the race.

Leading trainer Troy Bainum is launching a three-pronged attack with Vigilant Site (112), Sharp Looking Dude (111) and Royal Lake (110).

"Each horse has its talent," said Bainum. "Vigilant Site has won three in a row and wants to go longer. Sharp Looking Dude's won two routing on the grass, and Royal Lake has improved a bunch."