02/23/2013 8:03PM

Turf Paradise: Persuasive Paul exits key race to capture Turf Paradise Derby

Coady Photography
Persuasive Paul, under Joe Steiner, draws away to a 3 3/4-length victory in the Turf Paradise Derby.

Persuasive Paul swooped in from Southern California and captured Saturday’s $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby.

Owned by John Fuller and trained by Doug O’Neill, Persuasive Paul last ran sixth in a very strong race at Santa Anita won by Super Ninety Nine, who came back to win Oaklawn’s Grade 3 Southwest by 11 lengths. The runner-up that day, Code West, finished second in Saturday’s Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds.

Under Joe Steiner, Persuasive Paul, the 2-1 favorite, sat in midpack in the field of nine 3-year-old males, commenced his run on the turn, swept past the leaders, and drew clear to win easily by 3 3/4 lengths. Brokered stalked the pace, took the lead into the lane but was no match for the winner while finishing a clear second. Tiz Fitting ran on for third

Persuasive Paul  paid $6.60 and ran the 1 1/16 miles on the main track in 1:44.16. The winner’s share of $44,640 gives him earnings of $93,490 from 2 wins in 6 starts.

Agent Scully scores in Arizona Oaks

Agent Scully continued her progress and made it three wins in her last four starts as the daughter of Johannesburg dominated the $35,000 Arizona Oaks.

Owned by Jim McFadyen and trained by Robertino Diodoro, Agent Scully stalked the pace under Nate Smith, moved up nicely between horses, took over into the lane, and drew off to win with ease by 6 3/4 lengths. Le Facteur Wow rallied from last to get second over another deep closer, Swiss Engagement. Hyena, the even-money favorite, was prominent from the start, had the lead into the lane but weakened, finishing fifth in the field of nine.

Agent Scully paid $19 and ran the mile on dirt in 1:38.95. The winner’s share of $20,832 gives her earnings of $37,475 from 3 wins in 7 starts.