08/22/2008 12:00AM

Meet honors on the line in Yavapai Mile-Hi


Horse of the meet honors are there for the taking as Yavapai's top older horse, Nosir, and its top 3-year-old, Rule by Force, knock heads in the $21,000 Yavapai Mile-Hi Handicap on Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile event drew a field of seven, but the bulk of the focus figures to be directed at the aforementioned duo.

Nosir, a 5-year-old gelding owned by R J Racing and trained by Jacque Guerra, had a solid Turf Paradise meet, including two wins and a stakes placing. However, he has blossomed here. He's won both his local starts, including a powerful win in the Les Mackin Handicap on June 17, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. He came back in an allowance race here Aug. 5 and romped again, this time posting a 94 Beyer while winning geared down. Regular rider Vince Guerra is aboard at 126 pounds.

Rule by Force, owned by the Sandra Hall Trust and trained by Lyman Rollins, has his own love affair going with this track. He's won 4 of his 6 local starts, finishing second in his two losses. He won the Yavapai Downs Handicap over elders here July 15, and just last Saturday won the Yavapai Thoroughbred Derby. He posted Beyers of 87 and 82, respectively, in those wins, so he'll likely need to move forward to beat Nosir. Regular rider Miguel Hernandez has the call again at 124 pounds.

Trifecta Phil, second to Nosir in the Les Mackin and the Aug. 5 allowance race and fourth to Rule by Force in the Yavapai Downs Handicap, will attempt to butt in on their show as a potential upsetter for trainer Debbie O'Brien and rider Carl Williams.