12/13/2012 4:06PM

Turf Paradise: City of Phoenix might set up for Jaws n' Paws


PHOENIX – While Saturday’s $35,000 City of Phoenix Stakes at Turf Paradise isn’t long on quantity – the six-furlong race for fillies and mares drew a field of just six – it makes up for it with quality. A case can be made for each of the half-dozen in the field.

The race shape and her versatility may mean the race plays into the hands of Jaws n’ Paws. The 5-year-old mare, owned by Stateside Racing and trained by Robertino Diodoro, hasn’t run since June 24 when she was a strong second at Northlands Park. That loss ended a five-race win streak that began with two claiming wins at Santa Anita. She then came here for the first time and romped by 4 1/2 lengths in the Mesa Handicap and looked even better romping by 9 1/4 lengths in the Princess of Palms Handicap. She went to Northlands and gamely won an optional claimer before her June 24 loss and subsequent layoff.

Jaws n’ Paws has worked superbly for her return, and she has the speed to get position but also the ability to sit and pass horses. And with a few sizzlers signed up here, that versatility may be key. Jorge Carreno rides.

The main sizzler is 3-year-old Page Springs. Owned by the Sawyer Cattle Company and trained by Dan McFarlane, Page Springs may be the quickest horse on the grounds. However, she showed a bit more patience while winning the Cactus Flower here Nov. 24. She showed her speed, yes, but didn’t run off to a long lead and then hold on as she’s done before. This time she went fast early, but had plenty left in the tank under Anne Von Rosen to kick away late and win easily by seven lengths. She’s 6 for 8 on this track.

Page Springs may have company early. E Z Kitty won two straight sprints at Emerald Downs this spring in front-running fashion for her trainer at the time, Robert Gibson. After faltering in the Boeing on July 8 at Emerald, she came here and tried turf Oct. 27 in the Queen of the Green, but she dueled for the lead and faded. E Z Kitty is back to her best game and surface for new trainer Mike Chambers.

La Pinot came here from Northlands Park this fall and has posted two big wins, both in front-running fashion, first by 11 1/4 on Oct. 26 and then by 3 1/4 on Nov. 9.

Elvies Lane’s last win was a 6 1/4-length romp here Dec. 10, 2011. She’s struggled since, but her last three came against tougher in Southern California and her closing style may play well here. True Way of Grace invades from Southern California, where she faced classy opposition. She’s another closer who may enjoy the pace picture here.