03/24/2011 11:30AM

Turf Paradise: Point Attended looks to resume winning ways in Coyote Handicap


PHOENIX – It took a couple raiders from out of town and a sloppy track to spoil Point Attended’s perfect 5-for-5 record at Turf Paradise. He doesn’t figure to be saddled with either issue as he looks to get back on track in Saturday’s $25,000 Coyote Handicap. The 6 1/2-furlong event drew a field of nine, including most of the top local sprinters.

Point Attended, owned by Bill Dory and trained by Robertino Diodoro, won his first five starts at the Phoenix track, four of them this meet including a romping score in the Jan. 22 Swift Stakes. That sent him into the meet’s marquee event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on Feb. 19, as the top local hope. But to give you an idea how tough that race came up with so many talented shippers coming in for the six-furlong race, Point Attended still went off at 10-1. While facing tough rivals and a track made sloppy by overnight rains, Point Attended pressed the pace from the start and while unable to keep up with the top two finishers – Wiredfortwotwenty and Pinkarella – did hold third. Ry Eikleberry has the call on the 5-year-old gelding.

Lesson in Deceit, Chaplain, and Rule by Force are the main hurdles. They just ran one-two-three in a strong optional claimer here March 11 at this distance. Lesson in Deceit lagged back and finished full of run to post a 35-1 upset by a neck under Scott Stevens. Chaplain, who had run sixth in the Phoenix Gold Cup prior, also finished strongly for second as the favorite. Like Point Attended, he is trained by Diodoro. Rule by Force, a multiple stakes winner at Yavapai Downs, ran fourth in the Phoenix Gold Cup. He pressed the pace before running third in the March 11 sprint.

A new shooter who could be dangerous is comebacker Raetodandty. He won his debut by 5 1/4 lengths on grass here last April 17 and then went to Southern California where he won 2 of 5 starts. He last ran fifth in a grass sprint at Del Mar on Sept. 1. Owned and trained by Val Brinkerhoff, he has worked strongly for his return, though this also marks his first dirt attempt.