12/29/2006 1:00AM

New challenge for R Big Stuff


PHOENIX - So far it has been a walk in the park for R Big Stuff to prove he's the best juvenile Arizona-bred in training. He gets a chance Sunday to show he's the best 2-year-old on this circuit overall when he leads a solid field of 10 2-year-old males in Turf Paradise's Lost in the Fog Juvenile at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The $50,000 stakes, formerly called the Arizona Juvenile, was named in honor of the 2005 champion sprinter who set a course record in the 2004 Arizona Juvenile and died earlier this year from cancer.

R Big Stuff, trained by Molly Pearson, has made mincemeat of the competition here this meet. After a solid second in his debut last May at Hollywood Park, behind the now multiple winner Stella's Posada, R Big Stuff was given time off and returned here to easily beat maidens Oct. 24. He then dueled for the lead and prevailed in a classified allowance race on Nov. 24. In the Arizona Breeders Futurity on Dec. 9, he stalked the pace, took over on the far turn, and drew off to win easily by 6 3/4 lengths. R Big Stuff earned a 87 Beyer Speed Figure that day, easily the best in the Sunday field. Only Half Famous has posted an 80-plus figure (82) and only a couple others have Beyers in the 70's.

Still, R Big Stuff's activity here has been restricted to facing statebreds. Sunday, he must deal with open foes.

A recent new face to this area looms his primary threat. Ourticketohome was monstrous during the summer and fall, winning four straight at Great Falls, Western Fair, and Yellowstone Downs in Montana, and was second in a stakes at Whoop Up Downs in Alberta, Canada. He invaded here for the Dec. 12 Old Line Policy for trainer Janis Schoepf and in that sprint stalked the pace and finished well to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Half Famous nearly won his maiden at Del Mar in September. He came here and romped by 7 1/4 lengths in an allowance race. He was then second in the ATBA Sales Stakes and the Nov. 10 Sail on By. He hasn't raced since the Sail on By.