01/17/2008 1:00AM

Speed, inside post favor Nook and Granny


Nook and Granny and Cave Springs finished a neck apart in second and third to the dazzling High Resolve in last month's Arizona Juvenile Filly Stakes at Turf Paradise. In Saturday's $50,000 Sun Devil, the question is which of the two adapts best to the mile distance in their route debuts.

They head a field of nine 3-year-old fillies in what is the primary prep to the $75,000 Arizona Oaks on Feb. 9.

Nook and Granny may rate the slight edge for owner-trainer David La Croix. That's because she may have more speed than Cave Springs and be able to get first run on her rival.

Nook and Granny is favorably drawn in post 4 while Cave Springs is mired on the far outside. Also, Nook and Granny is a daughter of Impeachment, who ran third to Fusaichi Pegasus in the 2000 Kentucky Derby and provides stamina to her pedigree.

Nook and Granny won her debut at Hollywood Park last May but didn't race again until Dec. 5 in an optional claimer at Hollywood. She was a solid second that day before coming to Phoenix to chase High Resolve home in the Arizona Juvenile Filly. High Resolve is now headed to Gulfstream for a shot at the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks.

Cave Springs, trained by Kevin Lewis, has the pedigree to go at least a mile. She is by In Excess and out of a Conquistador Cielo mare. She may not be quite as quick as her main rival, but the way she has finished in her sprints also indicates she can handle the distance.

Cave Springs won her maiden by 8o1/4 lengths locally on Nov. 16 in her second start, and then won the Arizona Breeders Futurity by two in the slop Dec. 1. In the Juvenile Filly, she sat in midpack and finished steadily to be third.

Bitterbutsweet was an impressive winner on the local turf Nov. 27 at about 7 1/2 furlongs, and came back to be second in an optional claiming sprint on Jan. 13. She's bred to route, being by Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid.