01/20/2007 12:00AM

Rebound in order for R Big Stuff

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PHOENIX – One day after Against the Law tries to reestablish herself atop the local 3-year-old filly pecking order in the Sun Devil, R Big Stuff will try to do the same in Sunday’s $40,000 Rattlesnake. A one-mile event for 3-year-olds, the Rattlesnake lured a field of 10.

Trained by Molly Pearson, R Big Stuff has run roughshod through the Arizona-bred ranks since he arrived here in the fall from Southern California. He easily won his maiden here Oct. 24, then whipped statebreds in an allowance race Nov. 24, and then put a cherry on top with a 6 3/4-length victory in the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity on Dec. 9.

That sent him into the Dec. 31 Lost in the Fog Juvenile, in which he faced open foes as the 3-5 favorite. After dueling early under regular rider Miguel Hernandez, R Big Stuff gave way and faltered to fifth in the field of 10, beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Half Famous. In to the West and Waltz Time, who both return in the Rattlesnake, finished second and third.

Hernandez keeps the ride on R Big Stuff, who will try a distance beyond 6 1/2 furlongs for the first time and is mired outside in post 8.

The biggest danger to R Big Stuff may come from a horse also trained by Pearson. Waltz Time has been knocking on the door in recent months, with rallying seconds in the Fool the Experts here Nov. 26 and the Old Line Policy here Dec. 12. He rallied to finish third in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile and acts like a horse who wants this longer trip. Hector Ventura Jr. rides.

In to the West dueled early in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile and just couldn’t quite keep up late with Half Famous. That speed can help him flee his outer post, and, being by a son of Gone West, he should handle this trip. In to the West will be ridden by Ry Eikleberry.

Derouin and Mr Charly-potatoes are interesting upset possibilities. Derouin has blossomed of late, posting two straight big sprint wins here. By multiple Grade 2 route winner Benchmark, he is bred for this longer trip. Mr Charlypotatoes may be a maiden, but he has shown ability and is proven at this trip, running second the only two times he’s gone a mile.