10/04/2012 2:46PM

Turf Paradise: Page Springs returns to home track in Princess of Palms


PHOENIX – There was a time last year when Page Springs looked as though she might be the best female juvenile to race on this circuit since, well, ever. Alas, Page Springs has fallen on hard times at 3, but she returns to the site of her best work looking to get back on track in Saturday’s $35,000 Princess of Palms.

Despite her accomplishments, she’s not the likely favorite in the six-furlong dirt event for fillies and mares, which drew a field of six. That honor probably goes to Lasso From El Paso.

Page Springs, owned by the Sawyer Cattle Company and trained by Dan McFarlane, was nothing short of amazing to start her career. She won her debut here in April 2011 by 13 1/4 lengths. That started a five-race win streak that extended into fall 2011.

Page Springs won an ATBA Sales Stakes here by seven lengths in her second start, then the Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows by 3 1/4 lengths, an allowance race here by 14 3/4 lengths, and another ATBA Sales Stakes here by 3 1/2 lengths. She was never even behind a horse at any margin call in those five starts.

She hasn’t won since. She ran fourth in the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity here last November, was rested, and ran second in the Joanne Dye here April 28. She tried bigger circuits this spring and summer to no avail, finishing eighth and seventh in a pair of Churchill Downs races in June, had her saddle slip and didn’t finish a race at Saratoga on July 30, and then ran fifth at Arlington on Aug. 26.

She’s back to where it all started as the hope surely is that home cooking will get her rejuvenated. Anne Von Rosen rides Page Springs, who has posted three straight bullet workouts.

Lasso From El Paso has been consistent and has shown she can route and sprint on turf, synthetic, and dirt. She won a $40,000 claiming grass sprint at Betfair at Hollywood Park on June 10. After more than three months off, she ran fifth in a grass stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. She’s no stranger to this place, having won the Arizona Juvenile Filly Stakes last Dec. 26 and finishing second in the Arizona Oaks on Feb. 25.

Lasso From El Paso is trained by Eric Kruljac and will be ridden by Scott Stevens.

Hot on Top, trained by Molly Pearson, halted Page Springs’s win streak in the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity here last Nov. 26 after having lost her three prior starts to that filly. Trouble is, she hasn’t run since. Jake Barton will be aboard Saturday.