04/30/2003 11:00PM

Turf Paradise track report


PHOENIX - In the last two months, Embassy Belle has faced some of the best female turf runners in Southern California: Final Destination, Heat Haze, and Garden in the Rain. Seeking an easier spot for her, trainer Ben Cecil has shipped Embassy Belle to Turf Paradise for the $35,000 Sun City Handicap.

Embassy Belle has the best resume among the nine fillies and mares in the one-mile turf race. All three of her wins came last summer in Ireland. She has run three times in the United States, finishing second in a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita on Jan. 29 and third in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap at a mile Feb. 17. She returned April 5, finishing fifth to Heat Haze in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas down the hill at Santa Anita.

Moonlit Maddie and Aspen Hill have been knocking heads in some of the meet's top races for female turf runners. Moonlit Maddie won the Desert Sky Handicap March 29, beating Aspen Hill by a length. Before that, in a $40,000 optional claimer here March 3, Aspen Hill beat Moonlit Maddie. When the pair met in the Glendale Handicap Feb. 2, Moonlit Maddie finished second and Aspen Hill third. The winner was Southern California shipper Secret Garden.

Moonlit Maddie does her best work from off the pace, while Aspen Hill uses her tactical speed.

Ec Lady comes in from northern California in sharp form. She has won 2 of her last 3, all at Golden Gate, since being claimed by Nick Hines, and 9 of 25 overall. Ec Lady is also entered in an $80,000 optional claiming turf route at Hollywood Park on Saturday.