03/04/2004 12:00AM

'Toknite': With best out, it's her show


PHOENIX - Very Vegas and Cokes Melody have been the two best 3-year-old fillies at Turf Paradise. But Saturday's $40,000 Cactus Cup Handicap will give others a chance to play while the cats are away. The 6 1/2-furlong event, which has lured a field of seven, may give Fun'ngames Toknite a chance to take the spotlight. But it isn't going to be easy.

Fun'ngames Toknite, who carries high weight of 119 pounds for trainer Eric Kruljac, finished third to Cokes Melody and Very Vegas last time out in the Sun Devil at a mile here Jan. 17. Fun'ngames Toknite closed well to be third after being wide early, the result of a disadvantageous outside post. The Sun Devil was also her first route, and although she ran well, it's possible she's better as a late-running sprinter. Fun'ngames Toknite has worked strongly for this, and her Sun Devil run looks even better since Very Vegas and Cokes Melody came back to run one-two in the $75,000 Arizona Oaks here Feb. 7. This past Sunday, Very Vegas returned again to win the $111,000 La Habra on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

Fun'ngames Toknite will be ridden by Scott Stevens.

Three others, each carrying 118 pounds, pose significant threats to Fun'ngames Toknite.

Sauceonside comes off two impressive wins, a 7 1/2-length maiden win here Jan. 12 and a near-three-length allowance win here Feb. 3. She earned Beyers of 84 and 78, respectively, which match up with Fun'ngames Toknite's best figure, which is 79. Sauceonside will be ridden by Glen Corbett for trainer Kory Owens.

Better Knot was beaten almost four lengths by Sauceonside in the Feb. 3 allowance race, but came back to win by over six lengths in the slop here Feb. 23 for an 80 Beyer. With more rain possible, Better Knot could get another track she likes. Joel Campbell rides for trainer Michael Lenzini.

Lil Easy has won two in a row - a maiden race here Dec. 5 and an allowance win here Jan. 16 - but hasn't raced since. She has worked well for her return. Vince Guerra rides for trainer Jacque Guerra.