01/25/2006 12:00AM

Rookie owners from Arizona chase Millions


It hasn't taken long for a pair of owners whose horses usually race at Turf Paradise to find their way into the deeper end of the pool. Chris Eaton is headed to Santa Anita with his mare Allbow for Saturday's $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf, while Mark Dyer will be heading east to Gulfstream Park with Night Dash for the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf.

Allbow has post 3 and will be ridden by Miguel Hernandez, while Night Dash landed post 8 and Chris DeCarlo. Both races are at 1 1/8 miles.

Both Eaton and Dyer are first-time owners. Who have found jewels in the rough. Eaton, along with Michael Hogan, found Allbow for an amazing $900 at the Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Sale in October 2003. Dyer has since bought out Hogan's share. The 5-year-old Allbow has rewarded him by earning nearly $45,000.

"I was almost made homeless when I told my wife April that we were the proud owners of a race horse," said Eaton. "She's warmed up to the idea now."

Dyer paid a mere $5,000 for Night Dash at the 2002 Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association sales and then gave the yearling to his wife, Janie, as a birthday present. Night Dash has since won more than $48,000.

" 'This is a present to yourself,' my wife told me," Dyer said. "I said, 'No. You keep all the winnings and you have no expenses.' She's been on several shopping sprees."

While both are first-time owners, they share something else - both employ trainer Manuel Uriza, who has a royal equine pedigree.

"My grandfather was Laz Barrera. I can't tell you how much I learned from him," said Uriza, 30, of the late Hall of Fame trainer of Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner in 1978. "My other grandfather, Ruben Uriza, won Mexico's first-ever gold medal, in equestrian show jumping competition in the 1948 Olympics in London."

* Chris Landeros and Lori Keith both ended the week all wet. But in this case, that was a good thing. That's because both notched their first career victories last week at Turf Paradise.

Landeros, a 17-year-old rider from San Francisco, guided home String of Pearls ($4) in the second race on Jan. 18 and after returning from the winner's circle got the obligatory bucket of water dumped on him by rider Leslie Mawing.

In last Friday's second race, 23-year-old Keith, from Epsom, England, notched her first career win aboard Sandyneck ($10). Again, Mawing did the honors.