05/01/2011 8:48AM

Turf Paradise: Lewkacy romps as heavy favorite in Gene Fleming Breeders' Derby


Lewkacy continued his sharp form and notched the biggest win of his career as the 3-year-old gelding captured Saturday’s $50,000 Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby, part of a stakes quintet at Turf Paradise highlighting Arizona-breds.

Owned and bred by the Triple AAA Ranch and trained by James Frey, Lewkacy  bounced right to a clear lead in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and never really had an anxious moment, maintaining a clear lead under Vince Guerra and eventually winning by 2 1/4 lengths geared down. Salado Tribe chased in third early and kept to his task to finish second, 9 ¼ lengths clear of the others. Jamaican Memories stumbled at the start and ran on for third in the field of seven.

Lewkacy ran the distance in 1:44.69. As the 6-5 favorite he paid $4.40. The winner’s share of $25,000 gives him a career bankroll of $54,047 from 3 wins in 11 starts.

In the day’s other stakes action:

*Jacksonville ($17.60) had an easy time of it in the $26,500 Ann Owens Distaff Handicap, leading all the way in the six-furlong event for fillies and mares to score by 3 1/2 lengths under Tyler Baze for owner/breeder Dennis Weir and trainer Sandi Gann. Lonesome Creek ran second and Sheshimaintenance was third in the field of six. Table Mesa, the defending champ and 1-5 favorite , finished fourth.

*Top Debutante ($3.40) invaded from Southern California for owner/breeder Triple AAA Ranch and trainer Kory Owens to easily win the $26,750 Joanne Dye, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies. Ridden by Vicky Baze she bided her time and finished strongly to win by 3 3/4 lengths. Ryan’s Audrina rallied for second while Gotta Skedaddle, who dueled on the pace early with Fairaway, ended up third in the field of seven.

*Ez Dreamer ($3.20) showed there’s still gas in the tank as despite coming off two very poor races he dropped in class and toted high weight of 126 pounds to victory in the $25,000 Sandra Hall Grand Canyon Handicap. Under Scott Stevens the Triple AAA Ranch-bred and –owned Ez Dreamer  chased pacesetter Frisky Ricky in the 6-furlong event, took over in the lane and drew off to win by 3 lengths as the 3-5 favorite. Frisky Ricky held second with Espresso Sprints third in the field of seven.

*One Call ($3.80) used his speed to dominate the $25,000 Dwight D. Patterson Handicap. Owned by Ken Person and Thomas Johnson, and trained by Person, he went right out to a clear lead under Vicky Baze and played keep-away all the way around, eventually reporting home three lengths clear in the 1 1/16-mile grass race. Ilikechocolatemilk rallied from well back for second with Bullittone finishing third in the field of seven.