08/15/2007 11:00PM

Snowbound Warrior sharp coming into Yavapai Derby

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After three straight failures in stakes in the spring and early summer, it was time for Snowbound Warrior to regroup. Well, the move has worked, and he springs into Saturday's $21,000 Yavapai Derby at Yavapai Downs the heavy favorite off two powerful victories. A field of 11 3-year-olds is entered in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Trained by Ron Chappell, Snowbound Warrior won a maiden race here last September, signaling his fondness for this track. He followed with a string of modest efforts in Turf Paradise stakes, so Chappell moved him back into the allowance ranks and things turned around. He dueled for the lead and drew away in an entry-level allowance sprint here July 15.

Snowbound Warrior came back in a mile classified allowance race here July 30, and was never threatened, cruising home by 4 3/4 lengths.

Waltz to the Blues represents a legitimate threat, even if he can boast only of a maiden win. Trained by Drew Fulmer, he came here off two modest Turf Paradise outings and posted two runner-up finishes. He then broke through in a maiden sprint here July 17, going right to the lead in the six-furlong race and winning by more than eight lengths.

Lotta Gamble beat Waltz to the Blues by six lengths in winning his maiden sprinting here June 24. He came back to be fourth behind Snowbound Warrior in an allowance sprint here July 15 and then was second against restricted claimers here July 31. Lotta Gamble is trained by Kevin Lewis, who has won with 11 of his first 35 starters this meet.