02/21/2013 12:58PM

Turf Paradise Derby lures Southern California invader Persuasive Paul

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The Turf Paradise Derby is Glenco Kid's first start since this victory in the Lost in the Fog on Dec. 29.

PHOENIX – The local 3-year-old crowns are on the line Saturday at Turf Paradise in the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby and $35,000 Arizona Oaks, and the lack of a dominant favorite in each race has resulted in two highly competitive tests. The derby, which goes as race 8, drew a field of nine males going 1 1/16 miles on dirt. The Oaks, race 6, matches 10 sophomore fillies going a mile on the main track.

Favoritism in the derby may fall to Southern California raider Persuasive Paul. A son of Olmodavor owned by John Fuller and trained by Doug O’Neill, Persuasive Paul beat maidens on turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 12. He then tried dirt for the first time there Jan. 31 in a strong optional claimer, but after getting bumped early, he gave way badly to finish last of six, beaten 25 lengths.

That result, of course, isn’t what may attract money; it’s the company he kept. That race was won by Super Ninety Nine, who came back to win Oaklawn’s Grade 3 Southwest by 11 lengths Monday, and runner-up Code West is entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Risen Star. Joe Steiner comes in for the mount.

The top local hope may be Glenco Kid. A stakes winner routing at Hastings last fall, Glenco Kid makes his first start since rallying to win the Lost in the Fog here Dec. 29. He ran fifth in Betfair Hollywood Park’s Real Quiet in between those two starts. Richard Hamel rides Glenco Kid, who is trained by Sandi Gann.

Stoneridge Gold, trained by Robert Henson, ran third in the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park on Dec. 23. He came here and tried turf Jan. 16, but faded to seventh after early traffic trouble. Returning to dirt may help. Jake Barton stays aboard.

Oaks a rematch of Juvenile Filly

The Arizona Oaks rematches the top three finishers from the Arizona Juvenile Filly here Dec. 26: Set’n On Ready, Hyena, and Mo’s Teresa. Toss into the mix Pine Ridge, who was sixth that day but who came back to romp in a turf event, and you have a tough contest.

Hyena, owned by the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trained by Gann, was the 9-5 favorite in the Arizona Juvenile Filly on the strength of some good Southern California form. She had some traffic issues in that race while rallying for second and looks to get her revenge on Set’n On Ready.

Set’n On Ready, trained by Molly Pearson, looked super powering home to win that race easily. She was then favored going 7 1/2 furlongs on turf here Jan. 15, but had the worst of the draw (post 10), got hung out wide into the first turn while trying to get position, and gave way to finish seventh as the 2-1 favorite.

Mo’s Teresa, owned and trained by Miguel Silva, came back to beat $12,500 claimers here Jan. 9 and then beat $10,000 claimers here Feb. 12. All her work has been sprinting, so she’s routing for the first time while moving back up in class.

Pine Ridge was sixth after a wide trip in the Arizona Juvenile Filly but moved to turf here Jan. 15 and was an easy winner. If she brings that form to dirt, she’ll be tough. She won a maiden race on dirt last July 1 at Churchill Downs.