04/27/2005 11:00PM

Special Truce gets surface edge


PHOENIX - The Grand Canyon may be the best of the 12 races on Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders' Day at Turf Paradise on Saturday, but there are four other stakes as well, all for Arizona-breds.

Six 3-year-olds will do battle in the $25,000 Arizona Breeders' Derby. Buck Wine is the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile main-track event, which is the first race on the 12-race card. Buck Wine, trained by Glen Wasson, finished second in the Arizona Stallion Stakes on the turf here on April 9, and his only victory came on turf. Leslie Mawing rides.

The main threat to Buck Wine figures to be Special Truce. Trained by Jerry Atkin, Special Truce was third in the Arizona Stallion Stakes, more than four lengths behind Bucks Wine. That race was on turf, however, and Special Truce may be more effective on the main track. Navin Mangalee rides.

Maxine M. Piggott

The $40,000 Maxine M. Piggott Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs brings out eight 3-year-old fillies. Missingrbueno comes off a fifth-place finish after blowing the start in an optional claiming race here March 28, but her victory here in the Arizona Breeders' Futurity Dec. 4 stamps her as a major player in the Piggott. Trained by Kevin Eikleberry, Missingrbueno moves back in against statebreds. Mawing has the call.

Lite Write may go favored in the Piggott off her 2 victories in 3 starts, including the Funallover here Dec. 21 over open company. Among the horses she beat was an eventual stakes winner, Virden. Lite Write hasn't raced since. She has worked strongly for her return, and her trainer, Bart Hone, is terrific off this kind of layoff (31 percent winners). Scott Stevens rides.

Ann Owens Distaff

Miss Noteworthy goes for her sixth consecutive victory in the $40,000 Ann Owens Distaff Handicap, the 10th race on the card. She carries high weight of 123 pounds, giving from two to 12 pounds to her foes in the six-furlong event.

Winner of the Maxine Piggott here last year, Miss Noteworthy dominated in New Mexico last year. At Ruidoso, she won two stakes, then shipped to SunRay Park and romped by more than 13 lengths in another stakes. That win came Aug. 28, and she hasn't raced since. She has shown before she can fire off a layoff, and she won her only race on this track. Alfredo Juarez Jr., her regular rider last summer in New Mexico, comes in to ride.

The 121-pound second highweight is Marquet First, who comes here sharp off a third-place finish in the open-company Bueno Stakes here April 3. The winner of that race, Top Penny, has numerous victories, and the runner-up, Fun'ngames Toknite, came right back to win as well. Leading rider Wilson Dieguez, aboard for all four of Marquet First's races here this season, keeps the call.

Dwight D. Patterson

The $40,000 Dwight D. Patterson at 1 1/16 miles on the turf is one of the most competitive and best betting races of the day. A field of 11 is entered, led by co-highweights Imdabossau and Overland Road at 120 pounds each.

Imdabossau, owned and trained by Eikleberry, won this race last year, but things have not gone so well since. Imdabossau saw his form sour here in the fall, was given nearly four months off, and came back with a pair of mediocre outings on the turf here. He has done his best work, however, on this course (3 of his 4 career wins), and with those two races under his belt and a good work since he might be ready to snap back to life. Mawing rides.

Overland Road likewise comes off a pair of so-so outings, but like Imdabossau was racing off an extended layoff. Unlike Imdabossau, however, Overland Road tried open stakes horses in his two return outings. He moves back in against statebreds with a good work since. Both career wins came on this course.

Owned by Dennis Weir and trained by Kevin Lewis, Overland Road will be ridden again by Joel Campbell.