10/27/2004 11:00PM

Strong invaders in Saguaro


PHOENIX - The invaders appear to hold the strongest hands in Saturday's $40,000 Saguaro at Turf Paradise. The six-furlong event for 3-year-olds goes as the fourth race on an eight-race card, shortened from its normal slate of races because of the Breeders' Cup. First post is 9:55 a.m., with two races run before the Lone Star Breeders' Cup program begins. Race 3 will pick up at 3 p.m., after the BC card has concluded.

Blairs Roarin Star comes in from Southern California off a string of good outings. He has been in the top three in six straight races. Blairs Roarin Star won two dirt races in that span. He moves to the barn of red-hot trainer Don Mills (6 for his first 12 here) and is the horse to beat.

Cocoa Latte, also in the Mills barn, came here from Arapahoe and Canterbury and took no time making himself at home. In his Oct. 13 local debut, Cocoa Latte dueled early and drew off to win comfortably over allowance foes. He has since posted a bullet four-furlong work in 46 seconds last Sunday to indicate that he retains his edge.

Pure is another Southern California shipper, and he is trained by last year's leading trainer here, Troy Bainum. A son of Unbridled's Song, Pure comes off a big mile try at Santa Anita on Oct. 8 and now moves back to a dirt sprint, which may be more to his liking. He has yet to beat winners. He worked strongly at Santa Anita last Sunday, going five furlongs in 58.80.

Star Tel invaded from Southern California and won an allowance sprint here on Oct. 5. He has plenty of speed, and his last shows he likes this track.

The local Snowbound Writer is back for more after finishing strongly behind Star Tel in that Oct. 5 race. That marked Snowbound Writer's first start since Dec. 20, so he's certainly eligible to improve.

Thundering Verzy, meanwhile, invades from the Midwest off a string of fine stakes efforts. He is trained by Phil Storms.