10/23/2009 11:00PM

Mutak Gold shows he can handle turf too


PHOENIX - Mutak Gold showed his strong dirt form could transfer to the turf as he proved victorious in the $50,000 Walter R. Cluer Memorial Handicap Saturday at Turf Paradise.

Owned by Robert W. Morgan and trained by Dan McFarlane, the 4-year-old gelding was making just his second start on turf - he ran fourth in his other try - in the mile event for 3-year-olds and upward. Under Ry Eikleberry, the 124-pound co-highweight stalked the pace, moved up to engage for the lead into the lane between horses and edged away in the final furlong to win by three-quarters of a length.

Pearl Fisher rallied for second, a head in front of Allegre, who also rallied from well back in the field of nine. Stormy Surge, the 9-5 favorite, stalked, loomed into the lane and finished fourth.

Mutak Gold covered the mile on turf in 1:34.12 and paid $14.80. The winner's share of $30,000 pushes his career bankroll to $179,745 from seven wins in 22 starts.

Czechers wires Queen of the Green

Earlier on the card, Czechers won the distaff version of the race, capturing the $50,000 Queen of the Green.

Owned by Allen and Susan Branch and trained by Mark Glatt, the 4-year-old filly bounced out to the lead in the mile turf contest for fillies and mares and never looked back, leading all the way to win by a length under Stephen Heiler.

Star of Whitney, the 6-5 favorite, rallied for second just in front of Double Dip, third in the field of seven. Czechers ran the distance in 1:34.70 and paid $11.60. The winner's share of $30,000 pushes her bankroll to $198,619 from five wins in 15 starts.