12/22/2009 1:00AM

Trio of stakes includes two for juveniles


PHOENIX - Turf Paradise offers a stakes tripleheader Saturday, headed by the $50,000 Lost in the Fog Juvenile.

The Lost in the Fog, a 6 1/2-furlong event for 2-year-olds, drew a contentious field of nine, including Arizona Breeders Futurity one-two finishers Pinal and Napili Point, ATBA Sales Stakes hero R El Jefe, unbeaten Northern Californian Excessive Passion, and sharp youngsters Cheatin a Little and Speedy Hit.

The $50,000 Kachina Handicap is for fillies and mares at a mile on the main track. A field of seven is headed by California raiders Briecat and Victorina.

The $50,000 Arizona Juvenile Fillies is the 2-year-old filly counterpart to the Lost in the Fog. It is run at 6 1/2 furlongs and drew a field of six, with Southern California raider Haggai the horse to beat.

Excessive Passion may go favored in the Lost in the Fog. He won both of his starts in Northern California but hasn't run since winning a stakes at Pleasanton on July 4. He has worked splendidly for trainer Jeff Bonde, who has superb off-the-layoff numbers.

Pinal romped by 12 3/4 lengths for trainer Kevin Lewis in a trial for the Arizona Breeders Futurity here Nov. 13 and validated that with a 3 1/2-length win in the finale Nov. 28. He has speed and figures to be winging from the outside. Napili Point also won his Nov. 13 trial for the Arizona Breeders Futurity impressively and then chased Pinal all the way around while finishing second to him in the Nov. 28 finale for trainer Tom Bartol.

R El Jefe, trained by David Van Winkle, got the meet off to a great start in October after shipping here from Canterbury, easily winning his trial for the ATBA Sales Stakes and drawing away to win the Oct. 17 finale. He then tried the Golden Nugget on the Golden Gate Tapeta on Nov. 21 but broke slowly, had a rough trip, and was never a factor. Returning here and to dirt may be key.

Cheatin a Little has won 3 of his 4 starts, including his first two local tries in November. He rallied to win Nov. 30, beating today's foes Holy Buckets and Speedy Hit.

Holy Buckets came here from Idaho and finished second in his only two local outings, both in November and both to Cheatin a Little.

Speedy Hit has won 3 of 4 starts. He was favored when third behind Cheatin a Little and Holy Buckets in that Nov. 30 race but may move forward. That was his first outing in nearly three months.

Kachina field led by Grade 2 winner

Briecat and Victorina are the ones to beat in the Kachina.

Briecat has knocked heads with the likes of superstar Zenyatta in Southern California and is a Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed. She comes off a fifth in Hollywood Park's Grade 2 Bayakoa on Dec. 5.

Victorina has shipped here twice before and won on both occasions. She comes off an allowance third at Golden Gate on Nov. 6.

Haggai tops Arizona Juvenile Fillies

Haggai romped in her only start over maidens at Oak Tree at Santa Anita for Bob Baffert and figures tough in the Arizona Juvenile Fillies if she can bring that form here and to dirt.

Tornado Betty comes off a six-length allowance romp for trainer Ed Kereluk. Izzy Rules won her first two starts, both at Pleasanton in July, including a stakes win over boys. She faltered in a stakes at Fairplex on Sept. 19. She's been freshened and has worked splendidly.

Got an Itch is out to make amends for burning some money after finishing second at 1-5 in the ATBA Sales Stakes and second at 4-5 in the Arizona Breeders Futurity.