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Turf Paradise: Hall takes shot in both Chandler and Coady stakes
By Chuck Dybdal
Since returning to Turf Paradise from Hastings Park in British Columbia, trainer Phil Hall has been looking forward to Saturday’s two turf stakes for 3-year-olds.
He’ll be sending out Racing for Gold in the $35,000 Chandler, a one-mile race for fillies, and The Gov in the $35,000 Jack Coady Sr., a one-mile race for males.
Racing for Gold, who has won both her turf starts at Turf Paradise, is a stakes winner who has hit the board in all nine lifetime starts and will try to go over the $100,000 mark in lifetime earnings Saturday.
She has six rivals, including Smarty B, who ran second to her in an allowance race here Oct. 26, and Smokin’ Grey, who was fourth as the favorite in the same race.
Smarty B, who won her debut over the course, put her head in front in the lane in the allowance race but couldn’t hold off Racing for Gold’s strong finish.
Double Java Girls has won three straight but will be making her turf, route, and stakes debut. Rounding out the Chandler field are Maggieredvanentune, On Time Again, and Checkoutmyman.
Hall purchased Racing for Gold last year before her winning debut, which came against males on the turf at Turf Paradise. Racing her on the turf was always in his plans because of Racing for Gold’s breeding. Her sire, Finality, was a graded stakes winner on turf.
“I wasn’t worried one bit about her ability on turf,” Hall said. “She beat the boys on it her first time but never got back on it until that prep race last month.”
She won the prep, a 7 1/2-furlong allowance race on the turf here, which came on the heels of a victory in the CTHS Sales Stakes at Hastings.
Hall believes Racing for Gold will duplicate or improve on her last start because she’ll appreciate the longer distance of the Chandler.
Coady looks like a scramble
While Racing for Gold looks like a solid favorite in the Chandler, the Coady appears a wide-open affair. The 12 runners made their last start at five different racetracks.
The stakes winner Boca Bay won his turf debut here following a claim by trainer Molly Pearson. Az Ridge won the ATBA Stakes here last year and lost a photo in the Pomona Derby at Fairplex in September. Major Magic, who won a turf sprint stakes as a 2-year-old, ships in from Santa Anita. Stakes winner Born Force comes off a third in his turf debut behind Boca Bay and Why Frank, who is also entered.
The Gov makes his first start since fading badly in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby at 1 1/8 miles on Sept. 9.
A Joey Franco gelding, he won a maiden race in his lone turf start, and has hit the board in five of seven starts against winners, including a pair of stakes seconds and a third.
“He’s run some big ones, but he’s also thrown in some clunkers,” said Hall.
Both so-called clunkers came at 1 1/8 miles, so Saturday’s shorter distance should play nicely for him.
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