01/01/2009 1:00AM

Invaders will test Came to Pass


PHOENIX - Came to Pass has made a quick rise to the top of the sprint division in Arizona with two smashing wins at Turf Paradise after 21 months on the bench.

The water gets quite a bit deeper, however, as Came to Pass, a one-time Darley Stable colorbearer, must deal with a couple very tough invaders - Northern Soldier from Southern California and Ducky Drake from New Mexico - in Saturday's $50,000 Swift Stakes. The 5 1/2-furlong event lured a field of nine.

Came to Pass, now owned by Three Sisters Thoroughbreds and trained by Mike Chambers, was always cut out to be a nice horse. By multiple Grade 1 winner Came Home out of an Easy Goer mare, he began his career well enough, winning his debut at Gulfstream in January 2007. He then ran fifth in an allowance race there in February 2007 and wasn't seen again for 21 months. Came to Pass resurfaced in the Caballos del Sol here Nov. 9 for his current connections and promptly won, earning a 93 Beyer Speed Figure. Came to Pass came right back Nov. 29 and whipped optional claimers by 6 1/2 lengths, and enters the Swift as the likely favorite.

Northern Soldier presents a big hurdle for Came to Pass. This 6-year-old Northern Soldier has knocked heads with some of the best sprinters in Southern California the past couple seasons. Most recently, he was second in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood at Hollywood on Nov. 22, finishing just a length behind Grade 1 winner Johnny Eves. Glenn Corbett rides Northern Soldier, who is trained by Brian Koriner.

Ducky Drake, a 7-year-old trained by Bart Hone, has had a super career, winning 11 of 27 for more than $334,000. He owns stakes wins in New Mexico, including the Nov. 2 Lea Country at Zia Park. Most recently he was second in the KLAQ at Sunland on Dec. 13, a race he won back in 2007. He's no stranger to this track, either - he was second in this very race to Trail This a year ago. Regular jockey Mark Villa comes in to ride.