03/15/2007 12:00AM

Snowbound Halo catches pace break


Snowbound Halo is quick, real quick. But he got a lesson in speed in the Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise last month when he chased the winner, Relato del Gato, through insane fractions of 21.20 seconds and 42.78 and ended up eighth, beaten 18 1/2 lengths. He doesn't face anything close to that kind of speed in Saturday's $45,000 Coyote Handicap at Turf Paradise. The 6o1/2-furlong event lured a field of seven.

Snowbound Halo, owned by Gail Pickard and trained by Jimmie Pickard, made quite a splash to start his career, rattling off three straight big wins here. He then dueled for the lead in the Swift here on Jan. 6 and ended up fifth, four lengths behind winner and Saturday rival Family Guy. He bounced right back, though, to win the G Malleah Handicap here Feb. 3 before his sizzle and fizzle in the Feb. 24 Gold Cup. New rider Jeff Smith has the call.

Family Guy chased Relato del Gato all the way around and finished third in the Gold Cup. A 5-year-old trained by Eric Kruljac, Family Guy figures to be formidable here under Scott Stevens.

Summer Sensation is an interesting entrant. Also trained by Kruljac, the 5-year-old gelding has made only five starts and won four of them, including his last three in a row. He beat optional claimers twice and last time beat first-level allowance foes, so this is a hefty step up. Daniel Vergara rides.

Trail This shortens up after three starts here going a mile or farther. He won the Last Chance Derby at 1 1/16 miles and the Chuck N Luck at a mile. He dueled for the lead and faltered in the 1 1/16-mile Turf Paradise Handicap on the turf here Feb. 24. His first two wins came sprinting, so he can handle the trip.