01/16/2016 6:59PM

Somethings Unusual invades to upset Cotton Fitzsimmons

Coady Photography
Somethings Unusual wins the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile by a head Saturday at Turf Paradise.

PHOENIX – Somethings Unusual invaded from Southern California, dropped in class, and returned to routing, and it all added up to an upset victory Saturday in the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile at Turf Paradise.

Owned by Bruce Treitman and trained by Michael McCarthy, Somethings Unusual ($19.80) bided his time early in the mile grass event as Empire Knight set the pace, remained well back turning for home,  but came with a strong run in the lane under Iggy Puglisi to defeat the stubborn Az Ridge by a head.

Az Ridge, last season’s Horse of the Meet here and third in this race last year, stalked the pace, took the lead into the lane but just couldn’t quite out-finish the winner. Perfectly Majestic rallied from last to get third, while fellow Southern California invader Big Cazanova, the 8-5 favorite, pressed the pace but weakened to finish fifth in the field of nine.

Somethings Unusual ran the distance in 1:37.01, and the winner’s share of $44,640 gives him earnings of $303,644 from four wins in 28 starts. He’s possible to come back for the $35,000 Turf Paradise Handicap at 1 1/16 miles here Feb. 13.

With a Twist wins Glendale Handicap

With a Twist made it a stakes sweep for the invading Southern Californians earlier on Saturday’s card, continuing her strong form and gamely capturing the $35,000 Glendale Handicap.

Owned by Jerry McClanahan and trained by Bob Hess Jr., With a Twist ($4) stalked the pace in the 1 1/16-mile turf event for distaffers under Brice Blanc, steadily advanced into the lane, engaged then-leader My Blue Sky in midstretch and gamely won the battle to the wire by a neck. My Blue Sky was a game second, finishing well clear of Peppy Miller in third (4 1/4 lengths) in the field of eight.

With a Twist, who won for the fourth time in her last five starts and was claimed for $32,000 by Hess Jr. on Nov. 7 (two races after having lost her to via a claim), ran the distance in 1:45.50. The winner’s share of $21,049 gives her earnings of $268,863 from 10 wins in 26 starts. It’s possible she’ll return for the $35,000 Sun City Handicap at a mile on this course Feb. 13.