03/16/2005 12:00AM

Locals well-represented in Gold Cup


When Turf Paradise puts up a big purse, it often ends up being hauled away to California after some shipper comes in and spoils the fun. It is entirely possible that the $100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup will turn out the same way Saturday, when Californians Grand Appointment, Roi Charmant, and Indian Charlie - all highweighted at 119 pounds - come in for the meet's marquee event at six furlongs along with Hear No Evil, American Fury, and Proud Cardenal.

The locals, however, are not bringing a knife to a gunfight. Flying Supercon comes off his best career effort, when he won the Feb. 26 Coyote Handicap by three lengths in 1:07.20, earning a 103 Beyer.

"I'm a team player, and that's why we're running in the Gold Cup," joked Dan Morgan, who trains Flying Supercon. "Seriously, I'd like him to run just like he did when winning the Coyote. They're going to have to catch us."

Leading trainer Troy Bainum has entered Vigilant Site and Duddly Doo Run. Vigilant Site looms the stronger of the two, having finished second in the Turf Paradise Breeders' Cup and third in the Coyote.

"If he runs the race he did in the Breeders' Cup, he'll be right there in the Gold Cup," said Bainum.

Palmerton, trained by five-time Gold Cup-winning trainer Lyman Rollins, won the Answer Do Stakes, named after Rollins's local horse of the year in 1992. Palmerton finished fourth in the Coyote.

"You always feel accomplishment as a trainer when winning the Phoenix Gold Cup," said Rollins, 85.

Cocoa Latte won the Paradise Valley Handicap and the Rocket Bar and Honor the Hero stakes. He also inherited the win in the Saguaro Handicap via disqualification before finishing fifth in the Coyote.