11/23/2013 8:42PM

Turf Paradise: Az Ridge hardly rusty returning in Cactus Wren

Coady Photography
Geovanni Franco collects his second stakes win of the card aboard Lazy Daisy May in the fillies division of the Arizona Breeders' Futurity.

Az Ridge relished the wet going at Turf Paradise on Saturday, easily taking the $26,750 Cactus Wren Stakes in his first start in more than seven months.

Owned by the Sawyer Cattle Company and trained by Dan McFarlane, Az Ridge sat second early in the 6 1/2-furlong event contested over a wet/fast sealed track after two days of heavy rain. He chased pacesetter Espresso Springs to midstretch, took command from that foe, and drew away to win by 3 1/2 lengths under Kelly Bridges.  Espresso Springs stayed on for second, a half-length ahead of defending champ Jamaican Memories. Four scratches reduced the field to five.

Az Ridge, a 4-year-old gelded son of Toccet, was winning for the third straight time and for the fourth time in his last five starts. Freshened since a sprint win here April 7, he paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite and ran the distance in 1:15.46. The winner’s share of $16,585 gives him a bankroll of $148,902 from 6 wins in 22 starts.

*Got an Itch, who ran one of her worst races in her only other try on a wet track, looked like a different horse on the wet/fast sealed track this time as she rallied to post a 14-1 upset in the $28,500 Cactus Flower.

Owned by Jan Osborn and trained by Molly Pearson, the 6-year-old Got an Itch stalked the pace in fourth in the 6 1/2-furlong event for fillies and mares, came with a wide run into the lane under Geovanni Franco, and edged past her rivals to win by a length. Lady Jila rallied from well back to be second in the field of seven. Rock U Up, stalked the pace and finished third but was disqualified and placed fifth after crowding a couple rivals late. Tribal Gal, the 1-5 favorite after romping by 5 1/4 lengths in the Princess of Palms in her only start here Oct. 12, chased the pace but was one of the runners hindered by Rock U Up. She finished fifth, but was moved up to fourth.

Got an Itch paid $30.40 and ran the distance in 1:16.78. The winner’s share of $17,317 gives her earnings of $197,464 from 7 wins in 26 starts.

*Rockin Home used his speed to dominate the $54,533 Arizona Breeders’ Futurity colt-and-gelding division. Sent off the 7-5 favorite off a romping win in his Nov. 6 trial for this, the 2-year-old Rockin Home went right out to a clear lead under Jorge Carreno in the six-furlong event, set fast splits, and opened up in the lane to win easily by 4 3/4 lengths. J P Rocker chased the winner from the start, ending up second, while Rocked Twice rallied for third in the field of 10. Deadly Black Eagle, the second choice, stalked the pace but faded to sixth.

Owned by Tamara Metzen and trained by David Van Winkle, Rockin Home paid $4.80 and ran the distance in a fast 1:08.72. The winner’s share of $28,517 gives him earnings of $38,472 from 2 wins in 5 starts.

*Lazy Daisy May validated her 2-5 favoritism in the $48,000 Arizona Breeders’ Futurity filly division, but it wasn’t easy. Owned by Stable HMA and trained by Molly Pearson, giving her a second stakes win on the day, Lazy Daisy May stalked the pace, reeled in pacesetter My Fine Lady late and just had enough to fend off hard-charging longshot Enact to win by a neck. Enact, a maiden sent off at 55-1, finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 5-2 second choice My Fine Lady, who had a clear lead into the lane before finishing third in the field of 12 juvenile fillies.

Lazy Daisy May was ridden by Geovanni Franco, giving him a second stakes win on the day. She ran the six furlongs in 1:10.20 and paid $2.80. The winner’s share of $25,000 gives Lazy Daisy May, a 2-year-old daughter of Rocky Bar, earnings of $117,921 from 3 wins in 4 starts. All three wins have been in stakes.