01/27/2011 12:29PM

Plenty of questions in Turf Paradise's Glendale Handicap


PHOENIX – Saturday’s $25,000 Glendale Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the grass at Turf Paradise comes chockfull of questions: Was Let’s Dream Again’s recent romp a sign she’s peaking? Can last year’s runner-up in this race and proven turf mare Table Mesa get back to her best? Can Snuggs and Kisses take the form that led her to an easy upset on dirt in the Kachina Handicap earlier this month to the turf, a surface on which she’s yet to hit the board in three prior tries?

How you answer those questions likely determines who you fall behind in the race for fillies and mares. A field of eight is entered.

Let’s Dream Again, owned by Dan Agnew and John Xitco and trained by Mike Chambers, had always shown ability. She won twice on turf in Kentucky last spring/summer. She came here for the Nov. 13 Chandler, dueled on the lead while wide, and finished a respectable fourth. It was her performance Dec. 27 in a $16,000 claimer here, however, that drew the eye. Again under Anne Von Rosen, she set the early pace under pressure but quickly opened up a six-length lead going to the backstretch and was never given an anxious moment again, winning by 6 3/4 lengths. She has worked well since, including a bullet 59.20-second move here Jan. 11, and figures to be winging out front again, though she’s won from off the pace before. Von Rosen has the call.

Table Mesa, owned by Dennis Weir and trained by Sandi Gann, is the proven commodity. She’s won just one of her six grass starts, but three seconds and two thirds, many of those coming in stakes, show she’s a major player. After six months off, she ran second in the Queen of the Green on grass here Oct. 23. She comes off a third-place finish behind Saturday rivals Snuggs and Kisses and Catana Perez in the Jan. 8 Kachina Handicap on dirt. The move to turf may help her turn the tables. Scott Stevens rides.

Snuggs and Kisses, owned by L. Barrett Bernard and trained by Dennis Sowers, has yet to be a factor in three grass tries. However, she may be a brand-new filly. The 4-year-old easily won a restricted $15,000 claimer at Churchill Downs on Nov. 11 and then came here to stalk the pace, take over into the lane, and draw away to win the Jan. 8 Kachina. Juan Rivera, aboard for the Kachina score, rides again.

Catana Perez ran second in the Kachina and has won on turf, specifically this turf course Nov. 6. Amber Got Even has posted two of her three wins on grass.