03/13/2010 12:00AM

Otto Von Voom upsets in Tempe Handicap


Otto Von Voom showed that while others may be more proven on dirt, the grass surface in Saturday's $26,500 Tempe Handicap at Turf Paradise was more than an equalizer as he went from maiden winner to stakes winner.

Owned by Hart-Win Stable and trained by Kent Jensen, Otto Von Voom, a 3-year-old son of Skimming, pressed pacesetting 2-1 favorite Pinal early in the mile grass race, moved up to challenge that rival on the far turn, had to endure a long battle, but got the better of that rival under Scott Stevens and drew off late to win by two lengths. Pinal was second with Slews Approval another half-length back in third in the field of six 3-year-olds.

Otto Von Voom ran the distance in 1:36.68 and paid $10.20. The winner's share of $15,900 pushes his career bankroll to $25,420 from two wins in four starts.

Desert Sky: Likely a Star does it again

Likely a Star continued her resurgence with blinkers added with a strong win in the $27,375 Desert Sky Handicap. After some modest form, the High Country Racing LLC color-bearer added blinkers for a $10,000 claimer on this turf course on Feb. 6 and romped by 7 3/4 lengths. Trained by Keith Bennett, she showed that that was no fluke here as she stalked the pace in the mile grass race for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and upward, surged to the lead into the lane, and edged clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths under Wilson Dieguez. Markmelauras set the pace and stayed on for second while Table Mesa, the 7-5 favorite, sat back and rallied for third in the field of nine.

Likely a Star ran the mile on turf in 1:34.59 and paid $6.80 as the second choice. The winner's share of $16,425 pushes her career bankroll to $102,166 from six wins in 28 starts.

Scottsdale: On the Cover takes step up

On the Cover, trying grass for the first time and winners for the first time, found both to her liking as the California invader captured the $27,750 Scottsdale Handicap.

Owed by William R. Peeples and trained by Adam Kitchingham, On the Cover sat back, steadily advanced on the far turn, eased out into the lane for clear sailing, surged to the lead and kept hard-charging Glendive safe to win by a length under Stephan Heiler. Glendive was well back early and put in a strong rally for second in the mile grass race for 3-year-old fillies, while Unloch the Fury was last early in the field of 10 and finished well for third. Bleach Blonde, the 8-5 favorite, sat toward the back early and could make only modest headway, finishing fifth.

On the Cover, a 3-year-old daughter of Pulpit, ran the distance in 1:37.05 and paid $14.20. She earned $16,650, pushing her career bankroll to $39,510 from 2 wins in 5 starts.