08/29/2007 11:00PM

Multi-stakes cards spice up meeting


PHOENIX - Buoyed by traditional marquee programs, Turf Paradise unveiled a stakes slate of 46 events worth $2.2 million for the 2007-2008 season. The Phoenix track's 156-day stand runs from Oct. 5 through May 4, 2008.

The first special day comes Jan. 5 with a stakes tripleheader: the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons at a mile on the turf; the $50,000 Swift at 5 1/2 furlongs; and the $50,000 Glendale Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for fillies and mares.

A second multiple stakes program Feb. 16 is headed by the meet's top two races: the $100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup at six furlongs, and the $75,000 Turf Paradise Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The $50,000 Sun City Handicap at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares also is part of that card.

The top 3-year-olds on the circuit of both sexes will do battle Feb. 9 in the $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby and the $75,000 Arizona Oaks.

The Walter R. Cluer Memorial, named after the track's founder, moves from its customary November slot to opening day, Oct. 5. The $45,000 event at 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf provides a first step for those horses targeting the Fitzsimmons and then the Turf Paradise Handicap.

Gold Cup-bound sprinters can prep in the $45,000 Caballos del Sol on Nov. 3, the $50,000 Swift Jan. 5, and the $50,000 G Malleah on Jan. 26.