Updated on 09/16/2011 8:14AM

Resolve out-Beyers his Patterson foes

Email

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Local horses take the spotlight as a pair of $30,000 stakes for Arizona-breds highlight Saturday's Turf Paradise card.

The Dwight Patterson Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up, goes as the eighth race on the 11-race program. The Patterson attracted a field of 10 runners, led by 122-pound highweight Resolve, winner of last year's Arizona Breeders Derby and recent strong runner-up at Santa Anita in his 2002 debut.

Also in the field are Mistakenly Special, who has stakes credentials routing and sprinting both on turf and dirt both here and in northern California, and last year's Patterson winner, Nics Eclipse, who comes into the race off three straight runner-up efforts against open foes.

The Ann Owens Distaff Handicap, race 10 at six furlongs for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up, drew a field of seven, including 122-pound highweight Knoll Lake, who hasn't raced since her disappointing last-place finish against open company in the Cactus Flower.

Also in the Ann Owens are Nikki's Angel, who has been competitive versus Arizona-breds in the past, and Chuichupa, who ran third in her last start, which was her first in more than two months.

Resolve showed in Southern California he is as tough as ever. Facing open $80,000 optional claiming foes in his return to the races on April 7, he set the pace and got caught on the wire, losing by a nose. His 95 Beyer Speed Figure was his best ever, and now he returns to his home ground and a turf course he relishes. In his lone race against Arizona-breds, he won by 16-plus lengths.

Trained by Eric Kruljac, Resolve and Nics Eclipse will be coupled in the betting, an entry that looms a prohibitive choice.

Mistakenly Special is versatile and speedy, but he is also winless in three turf tries. Still, he ran a good second on the turf here in January. He is capable of setting 44-second-and-change half-mile splits.

Considering that Resolve's game is speed, too, these two could hook up in a duel early.

That would be beneficial to Nics Eclipse, who is 4 for 5 in exacta finishes on this course and won the Patterson last year with a big late kick, beating local star G Malleah.

In the Ann Owens, Knoll Lake might well be favored, based on some strong performances. She has won races by 20, 17-plus, and seven lengths in three of her five career victories. However, when last seen, on March 9, she finished last of 10 in the Cactus Flower. As part of a 4-5 entry that day, she dueled on a wicked pace and fell apart after a half-mile. She has worked well since, has fired fresh in the past, and has two big open-length wins against fellow Arizona-breds.

Nikki's Angel, on the other hand, comes in on the strength of a strong optional claiming effort March 25. She has versatility, which figures to come in handy here. She beat Knoll Lake in the Cactus Flower, and in her two starts against Arizona-breds defeated two-other-than foes and then was second, beaten a head, in last year's Bueno.

for Turf Paradise entries.

Subscribers: to purchase past performances for Turf Paradise.

Non-subscribers: to purchase past performances for Turf Paradise.