10/27/2011 11:54AM

Turf Paradise: Forest Mouse looks strong in Cluer Memorial


PHOENIX – Forest Mouse, an impressive recent winner on grass at Turf Paradise and 3 for 3 overall on the Phoenix sod, knocks heads with last year’s horse of the meet All Saint as a field of 12 is entered for Saturday’s $35,000 Walter R. Cluer Memorial. The race, named for the track’s founder, is at a mile on the turf and goes as race 8.

Earlier on the card (race 6), distaffers clash in the $35,000 Queen of the Green. That mile turf race drew a field of eight, led by Rare Sunset who comes off a smashing 5 3/4-length win on this course Oct. 10. Southern California raider Irenes Jackpot and Pivotal Queen, who is 2 for 2 on this course with both wins coming in recent weeks, lead the opposition.

Forest Mouse, owned and trained by Mark Jensen, rattled off five straight wins this past spring, three of those here and two of them on turf including the Tempe Handicap. After those three wins came stakes wins at SunRay Park and Arapahoe, though he was disqualified from first to second in the May 29 Inaugural at Arapahoe. That was still enough to earn a shot at the Grade 2 American Derby at Arlington on July 9. He found those waters too deep, finishing ninth, and then ran third and fourth in a couple Arapahoe stakes. The 3-year-old was freshened, came here for an allowance race on turf Oct. 14, bided his time early, and powered home to win going away. Michael Baze, who was up for that last win, remains aboard.

All Saint was last year’s horse of the meet, and it wasn’t even close. The 5-year-old son of Skimming rattled off four big wins here, two coming on turf including the Fitzsimmons Handicap and the Wildcat Handicap. He next tried tougher in three stakes, two in Southern California and one at Emerald, to no avail. He’s been freshened and returns to a course he loves (he’s 2 for 2 on this layout) with some strong works in tow. Michael Iammarino, his regular rider, has the call again.

Other contenders include Edgerin J, a winner of three straight grass races this past spring summer, including one here; Fox in the House, a four-time winner on this course; and One Call, winner of four local grass starts including the Dwight Patterson.

Rare Sunset tops Queen of Green

Rare Sunset, owned by Canadian Sunshine Stable and trained by Miguel Angel Silva, figures tough to handle in the Queen of the Green. She ran second in a stakes on the turf at Canterbury on Aug. 20 and then was fifth against some tough males in a dirt sprint there Sept. 11. She came here, moved back in to face girls and back to turf Oct. 10, and after dueling early drew off to win with ease by 5 3/4 lengths. Anything near a repeat of that makes her formidable. Jocelyn Kenny rides again.

Her main opposition figures to come from Irenes Jackpot, winner of the Scottsdale Handicap on this course in her only prior try here March 19. She is coming off some solid Southern California grass efforts. Pivotal Queen is a winner of three of her last four, with her last two coming in her first two grass outings here Oct. 9 and Oct. 17.