10/14/2010 12:27PM

R Skydiver, El Rancho meet in sales stakes

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PHOENIX – Some of the best yearlings – now juveniles – to exit the 2009 Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association sale will knock heads at Turf Paradise Saturday. The $35,000 colt and gelding division of the ATBA Fall Sales Stakes, which goes as race 7 on the card, drew a field of 10 headed by R Skydiver and El Rancho. The $35,000 filly division, carded as race 8, matches 11, including R La Patrona and Stormy Crystal. Each race is at six furlongs.

R Skydiver and El Rancho figure to vie for favoritism in the male division. R Skydiver, trained by Henry Dominguez, romped over maidens by 8 1/2 lengths at Ruidoso July 30. He backed it up with a very good second in the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Aug. 22 after a brutal start and very wide trip. In the Oct. 1 trial for Saturday’s race, he dueled for the lead, took over, and drew off to win by six lengths for a 61 Beyer. Miguel Hernandez, aboard that day, keeps the ride.

El Rancho, owned and trained by Karl Myers, has two wins in three starts, all at Turf Paradise. After his debut win April 17 he finished fourth in the ATBA Sales Stakes May 2, beaten less than a length. He got the summer off and came back to win a trial for this by a head Oct. 1 for a 67 Beyer. Jake Barton was aboard and keeps the call.

Fast Freight may pose a threat in the male division for trainer Dan McFarlane. He ran second in the Prairie Meadows Gold Juvenile July 17. After some time off he came here and finished third in his trial behind El Rancho as the 7-10 favorite.

The filly division may come down to proven commodity R La Patrona and the highly promising Stormy Crystal. R La Patrona, like R Skyrider trained by Dominguez, has won two of her three starts. She won her debut here April 16 before having trouble at the start when 10th in the ATBA Sales Stakes here May 2. She came back from a layoff to her trial for this race by a half-length here Oct. 1. R La Patrona’s earned a Beyer of 42 in the trial under Hernandez, who stays with her.

Stormy Crystal, trained by Molly Pearson, made quite a splash in her debut, which came in a trial here Oct. 1. She dueled for the lead under Adolfo Morales, then drew off to win with ease by 10 3/4 lengths for a 48 Beyer. Morales stays aboard Stormy Crystal.

Hidden Crystal could have a say after finishing second in a trial, a half-length behind R La Patrona, while 7 3/4 lengths clear of the others. She is also trained by Pearson.