03/11/2017 6:57PM

He's Munnie takes turf debut in Tempe Handicap

Coady Photography
He's Munnie (left), ridden by Jake Barton, defeats Howdy Kingkowboy by a head in the Tempe Handicap for 3-year-olds.

PHOENIX. – He’s Munnie ran second but was no match for winner Howdy Kingkowboy in the Feb. 18 Turf Paradise Derby. However, they switched to grass Saturday at the Phoenix track for the $30,000 Tempe Handicap and He’s Munnie turned the tables – but it wasn’t easy.

Owned by Yeamans Racing Stables LLC and trained by Dan McFarlane, He’s Munnie ($10), a son of Munnings, was racing on turf for the first time. Under Jake Barton he sat midpack in the field of 10 3-year-olds going a mile on turf, saved ground, remained there to the top of the lane, moved out for room, and finished strongly to reel in Howdy Kingkowboy, winning by a head. Howdy Kingkowboy was gallant in defeat. Also racing on turf for the first time, Howdy Kingkowboy, a son of Kodiak Kowboy, went right to the lead as the 9-5 favorite, dueled to the top of the lane, opened up a clear lead by midstretch but just couldn’t quite fend off the winner.

Most Determined, a recent turf winner here, rallied from well back to be third. Factored In, third in the Turf Paradise Derby and a winner on turf, pressured Howdy Kingkowboy from the start but tired a bit to end up fourth.

He’s Munnie ran the distance in 1:36.42. The winner’s share of $17,670 gives him earnings of $56,547 from two wins in 12 starts.

McKenzie Honey much the best in Scottsdale Handicap

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

McKenzie Honey made it clear she’s the best 3-year-old filly at Turf Paradise regardless of surface as she easily captured Saturday’s $30,000 Scottsdale Handicap for 3-year-old fillies. It was the first start on turf for McKenzie Honey, a daughter of Paradin who last time out easily won the Arizona Oaks on dirt here Feb. 18.

Owned by Barbara Eakin, Jonathan Nance, and Steve Smith and trained by Nance, McKenzie Honey ($6.40) went right to the lead under Jorge Bourdieu in the mile turf event, took some pressure from Basedonatruestory while setting modest splits, dispatched with that foe by the far turn, was then challenged by 9-5 favorite Not That I Recall and longshot Light Up Inthe Sky turning for home but not only rebuffed those challenges, she actually pulled clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Not That I Recall, likely favored because she was proven on turf, coming into this off a smart maiden win here Jan. 28, kept on gamely for second, a head in front of Sorceress Warning. Galactic Princess, a two-time stakes winner on dirt who was trying turf for the first time, was away slowly to be last early, was very wide and never a factor, finishing eighth in the field of 10.

McKenzie Honey ran the distance in 1:37.72 and the winner’s share of $17,670 gives her a bankroll of $110,396 from five wins in nine starts.