04/23/2008 11:00PM

Mydak heads a statebred show


PHOENIX - The spotlight shines on the home product Saturday as Turf Paradise has carded five Arizona-bred stakes, headed by the $50,000 Dwight D. Patterson. Mydak, the 2006 winner and 2007 runner-up, leads the way in the 1 1/16-mile grass event for 3-year-olds and upward. The Patterson will go as the 10th race on an 11-race program and drew a field of 10.

The day's other highlights include the $50,000 Joanne Dye for 3-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs (race 9), $50,000 Ann Owens Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs (race 7), $50,000 Sandra Hall Grand Canyon Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs (race 2), and the $40,000 Arizona Breeders' Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles (race 3).

Mydak, owned by Ramona Cugnini and trained by David Wolochuck, has had a wonderful career, most of it in the Southwest. A 9-year-old gelding, he has won 9 of 59 for nearly $200,000. He has been a stakes force at SunRay Park, Albuquerque, and Sunland Park in New Mexico, as well as here. He won an allowance race at SunRay last May and wasn't seen again for 11 months. He returned at Sunland on April 15 and rallied to be third in an allowance sprint. That should have him set up for this. Wilson Dieguez will ride.

An interesting foe is the mare Social Order. A 5-year-old trained by Molly Pearson, she won four races in a row this meet, three on the turf. She was then second in the Princess of Palms on the main track March 15 and second in a turf allowance race here April 4. Scott Stevens will ride.

Goinwest, trained by Brian Pitnick, is the highweight at 112 pounds. A 5-year-old gelding, he invades from Northern California off a third in an allowance turf route. He has, however, yet to win from six turf starts, though he does have two seconds and two thirds.

In the other stakes action:

* Cave Springs is the one to beat as nine 3-year-old fillies line up in the Joanne Dye. Trained by Kevin Lewis, she won the Bueno Stakes on the dirt here Feb. 2 and then won an allowance turf race here March 17. She was fourth, beaten just a length, in the Scottsdale Handicap at about a mile on the turf here March 31. This may be a better game for her.

* Staten Island has been disappointing in two starts this year after a 10-month layoff, but the 4-year-old filly moves back in against statebreds in the Ann Owens Distaff Handicap. Like Cave Springs, she is trained by Lewis, and she won last year's Joanne Dye by 5 3/4 lengths. She leads a field of seven.

* King Justin has knocked heads with the best sprinters on the grounds and rates the edge in the Sandra Hall Grand Canyon against five other Arizona-breds. He was fifth in the meet's two premier sprints against open foes - the G Malleah Jan. 26 and the Phoenix Gold Cup Feb. 16. He came back to romp in a 4 1/2-furlong turf race here Feb. 26. With his speed he figures an elusive proposition.

* El Mirage, a stakes winner sprinting on dirt and routing on turf against open foes, heads the Arizona Breeders' Derby against six rivals. Ez Dreamer, a stakes force here this winter before a couple of good turf stakes efforts in Southern California, is back and can certainly be dangerous. He beat El Mirage in the Arizona Breeders Futurity Dec. 1, and was then third to that rival in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile here Dec. 29. Both races were sprints. He was second in the Turf Paradise Derby and the Pasadena at Santa Anita and was third in the La Puente at Santa Anita, all routes, so the trip suits.