01/28/2012 7:43PM

Turf Paradise: Derive confirms affinity for local surface in Swift

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Derive continued his love affair with the Turf Paradise racetrack as the 6-year-old made it four wins in as many starts since coming here in the fall by easily taking the $35,000 Swift Stakes on Saturday.

Owned by Rick Wiest and trained by Robertino Diodoro, Derive was stepping well up in class after three wins against lesser, including claimers in his last two. Under Jorge Carreno, who was up for the prior three wins, Derive went right to the lead from his rail slot, was still clear turning for home, and stayed on gamely to prevail over Saratoga Boot by three-quarters of a length. Absolutely Cool was third in the field of seven in the 5 1/2-furlong race, another 3 1/4 lengths behind Saratoga Boot.

Derive ran the distance in 1:01.90 and paid $5.60 as the favorite. The winner’s share of $21,266 gives him career earnings of $167,648 from 6 wins in 20 starts. This may also set him up perfectly for a shot at the meet’s marquee event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on Feb. 18.

*Rare Sunset used her speed to prevail in the $35,000 Glendale Handicap. Owned by Canadian Sunshine Stable and trained by Miguel Silva, the 7-year-old Rare Sunset went right to the lead in the 1 1/16-mile grass race for fillies and mares, received a stiff challenge on the turn and into the lane from 3-2 favorite Snuggs and Kisses and Hard Seven, was able to rebuff those threats, and drew off again to win by 1 1/2 lengths under Jocelyn Kenny.

Hard Seven stayed on well for second while Sweetsomerwine rallied from well back for third in the field of seven. Snuggs and Kisses dogged the winner from the start, loomed a threat turning for home but couldn’t sustain her run and faded to fifth.

Rare Sunset ran the distance in 1:41.89 and paid $6.40 as she second choice. The winner’s share of $21,266 gives her career earnings of $151,557 from 11 wins in 38 starts.