11/09/2017 11:26AM

Sprint stakes get cream of local crop

Shawn Coady/Coady Photography
Shrewd Move tries to add a win in the Luke Kruytbosch Stakes on Saturday to this victory opening day in the Bienvenidos.

PHOENIX – Saturday’s two stakes at Turf Paradise have attracted the best local sprinters of each sex. The $30,000 Luke Kruytbosch, for 3-year-olds and up, has Bienvenidos Stakes winner Shrewd Move among its nine entrants, and the $30,000 City of Phoenix, for fillies and mares, rematches B C Z Middleton and Fight to Glory among a field of seven.

The Luke Kruytbosch, named for the former track announcer who died in 2008, goes as race 7, and the City of Phoenix is race 5. Both stakes are at six furlongs.

Shrewd Move, a 5-year-old gelded son of Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument, was an easy winner of the Bienvenidos as the 3-5 favorite Oct. 14, opening day of the meet. Owned by Yeamans Racing Stables and trained by Dan McFarlane, he dueled for the early lead and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths under Leslie Mawing, who rides again Saturday.

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Shrewd Move has won 10 times, with six of those victories coming at Turf Paradise.

His main challenges may come from Storm Power, who chased him home in third in the Bienvenidos and was third in this race last year; Kaabraaj, romping winner of this race last year and fourth in the Bienvenidos; and Leadem in Ken, who after being sidelined more than 15 months has come back to win 3 of 5.

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B C Z Middleton and Fight to Glory finished first and third in the Princess of Palms here Oct. 21. B C Z Middleton, a 4-year-old daughter of Nobiz Like Shobiz, won the Princess of Palms for a second straight year. She chased pacesetter Fight to Glory and went on to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

That was her third win in four starts here, with the only loss being a second in this race last year to Constellation, who ran in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Scott Stevens rides B C Z Middleton, who is trained by Jeff Metz.

Fight to Glory, trained by Robertino Diodoro, was the 6-5 favorite in the Princess of Palms. She set a hot pace before tiring to finish 2 3/4 lengths behind B C Z Middleton under Andrew Ramgeet, who returns in the saddle Saturday. That was Fight to Glory’s first start in three months, so she may improve off that outing.