02/25/2012 7:42PM

Turf Paradise: Taylors Deal leads local derby sweep

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PHOENIX - The big question in Saturday’s $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby was whether the local contingent could possibly fend off a strong raiding party from Southern California.

Chalk one up for the locals.

Taylors Deal, making his first start since capturing the Lost in the Fog Juvenile here Dec. 26, led a sweep of the top three spots by the local contingent in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds.

Owned by the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trained by Sandi Gann, the son of Second in Command sat midpack in the field of 10 3-year-old males. Under Mario Gutierrez he steadily advanced to the far turn to challenge for the lead, battled Makors Finale into submission and drew away to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Makors Finale, fourth in the Lost in the Fog and a recent big allowance winner here, stalked the pace, moved up to take the lead on the far turn and into the lane but couldn’t finish with the winner while holding third over another local, Born Force, who rallied for third. Southern Californians Inquisitive Son, Immaculate and Congrats Ski (the 9-5 favorite) finished fourth, eighth, and last (10th), respectively.

Taylors Deal ran the distance in 1:43.82 and paid $11.80. The winner’s share of $44,175 gives him earnings of $79,928 from three wins in five starts.

Regal Betty best in Arizona Oaks

Regal Betty struck a blow for the Southern California raiders as she appreciated the move down in class, capturing Saturday’s $35,000 Arizona Oaks. Owned by Michael Talla and trained by John Sadler, the 3-year-old daughter of Congrats bided her time early while 4-5 favorite Lasso From El Paso bounded out to a monstrous lead while setting fast splits in the mile main-track event for 3-year-old fillies. While Lasso From El Passo led by 9 lengths coming off the clubhouse turn and by 12 lengths going down the backstretch, Regal Betty was content to wait under Antonio Castanon. She eagerly went after that foe on the turn, had no trouble reeling her in to challenge for the lead in midstretch before taking over and drawing off to win by three lengths. Lasso From El Paso was second, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of My Kentucky Rose in the field of six.

Regal Betty ran the distance in 1:37.45 and paid $6.80 as the third choice. The winner’s share of $21,483 gives her career earnings of $63,633 from two wins in six starts.