10/30/2008 12:00AM

Shesa Private I can prove toughest


PHOENIX - How tough is Saturday's $50,000 City of Phoenix Stakes at Turf Paradise? Well, of the 11 entered in the six-furlong event for fillies and mares, six are stakes winners. The five who aren't have all at one point competed against even tougher in Southern California.

There may be one in the field, however, who is ready to explode. Shesa Private I, a 6-year-old mare owned by Tangarae Farms and trained by Bart Hone, is already a proven stakes horse. She won stakes at Ruidoso in 2006 and 2007 and finished third in this race two years ago.

She returned from a layoff of more than a year here in an optional claimer Oct. 20, and drew off to win with complete authority by 5 3/4 lengths. She appears to be back in peak from.

Ever So Pretty ran second at Santa Anita on Oct. 1, her first start in more than five months. She worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11.40 at Hollywood Park Oct. 18.

Malia Sofia, trained by Mike Chambers, comes here in peak form, having won three straight, including the Sun Devil here Oct. 4. That came against 3-year-olds only so she must deal with elders here.

Goodbye Norma Jean has been a terror in the Southwest, having won stakes at Ruidoso (twice) and SunRay Park. This will be her first local start.

Ornamental Touch won at Hollywood Park and Golden Gate in the spring, but then ran sixth in a stakes at Solano on July 13 and hasn't run since. Pure and Simple rallied smartly after a sluggish start to be third in the Sun Devil behind Malia Sofia here Oct. 4.

Staten Island was the top 3-year-old filly on this circuit the first part of 2007. But she was gone 10 months and didn't come back nearly as sharp.

Silent Kitten won twice at Santa Anita in the spring and has battled tough foes since in Southern California, while Beaulena returns from the Northwest for Chambers (who has won with 3 of his first 6 starters this meet). She won this race in 2006 and was third in 2007.

Felicitee gives Chambers a third horse in the field.