04/25/2013 3:45PM

Turf Paradise: Red Zeus may be favored in Breeders' Derby

Coady Photography
Red Zeus comes off a 16-length win in the Arizona Stallion Stakes.

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Five stakes races celebrate the local product as Turf Paradise presents Arizona-bred Day on Saturday. The $50,000 Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby is the richest of the events, and pits six 3-year-old Arizona-bred males at 1  1/16 miles on the main track. The Derby goes as race 2 on the nine-race card.

Red Zeus, owned by Dick and Peggy Howard and trained by Dan McFarlane, may go favored, as this son of Red Sky’s comes off a monster 16-length win in the Arizona Stallion Stakes here April 6. That was on turf, but he has won on dirt. He ran sixth in the Turf Paradise Derby against open 3-year-olds here Feb.  23.

His main rival figures to be Lewiston. A son of El Roblar owned and trained by Don Schnell, he beat Red Zeus when they were maidens here last Oct. 7. He was fourth to Red Zeus in the Arizona Breeders Futurity Nov. 24 and beat him in a turf allowance race here March 18. He comes off a rallying third in a main-track sprint April 7.

In other action:

◗ Jamaican Memories carries high weight of 122 pounds as seven 3-year-olds and upward go six furlongs in the $35,000 Sandra Hall Grand Canyon Handicap (race 4). A Carol and James Brolin colorbearer and David Van Winkle trainee, he was fifth in this last year and comes off a fourth-place finish in the Coyote Handicap behind likely the horse of the meet, L.A. Weekend. His main rival may be Espresso Springs, who won this last year for Geri Gowdy and Rick Wise. Trained by Wise, he carries 120 pounds and comes off a pair of second-place finishes.

◗ Tribal Gal and Sallyana invade from California to lead a field of seven in the $35,000 Joanne Dye Stakes (race 5), a 6 1/2-furlong main-track event for 3-year-old fillies.

Tribal Gal, owned by John Pendergast and trained by Kory Owens, comes off a smart optional claiming win on Golden Gate’s synthetic main track March 17. Sallyana, owned by Triple AAA Ranch and also trained by Owens, won her debut easily here last Nov. 24. She went to California and returns after finishing fourth in an optional claiming sprint at Golden Gate April 12.

◗ Bullittone may be sitting on a score as he faces seven in the $35,000 Dwight D. Patterson Handicap (race 7) at about 1 1/16 miles on turf. Owned by Ron Chappel PLC and H. J. Angeli Jr. and trained by Chappell, he carries 120 pounds after rallying nicely for third in the Wildcat Handicap here April 6. He ran fifth in this last year but appears a better horse now. He faces defending champion Salado Tribe. That runner, owned by Barbara Nielson Swenson and trained by David Van Winkle, was a game winner as the favorite here last year but wasn’t seen again until just a few weeks ago, when he finished a well-beaten fifth in his turf comeback April 9. He carries high weight of 121 pounds.

◗ Maggieredvanentune, Page Springs, and Hindu Kush, the top three finishers from last year’s Ann Owens Distaff Handicap are set to go at it again in this year’s $35,000 renewal (race 8). The six-furlong main-track event for fillies and mares drew a field of 12.

Page Springs may go favored as the 123-pound highweight for the Sawyer Cattle Company and trainer Dan McFarlane. A multiple stakes winner sprinting over this track, she comes off a fourth-place finish in the very tough Mesa Handicap here March 9. Maggieredvanentune (119 pounds), owned by Marva and Bob Pennington and trained by Phil Hartman, hasn’t won in her seven starts since winning this last year but showed signs of life when rallying for second against restricted claimers here March 29. Hindu Kush (117 pounds), owned by Marvin Fleming and trained by Bill Brashears, comes off a game win over $8,000 claimers on turf here April 3.

A danger to those three may be Lady Jila (120 pounds). Owned by Michael Barro and trained by Sharlot Martinez, this 6-year-old mare has won 7 of her last 10. She has won 13 times overall, eight of those here, including her last start April 6.