04/04/2013 1:26PM

Turf Paradise: Why Not Be Perfect concedes weight in Wildcat Handicap

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Coady Photography
Why Not Be Perfect is coming off a 5 1/4-length win in the Turf Paradise Handicap.

PHOENIX – Why Not Be Perfect looks to cement his status as the top route horse at Turf Paradise as the 6-year-old carries high weight of 124 pounds in Saturday’s $35,000 Wildcat Handicap. Despite his success this meet, Why Not Be Perfect didn’t exactly scare away the opposition as eight signed on to challenge the likely heavy favorite in the 1 3/8-mile grass event.

Also on Saturday’s program is the $35,000 Arizona Stallion Stakes. The 7 1/2-furlong grass event for 3-year-olds conceived by a stallion standing in Arizona drew a field of six.

Trained by Jeff Metz, Why Not Be Perfect came here riding high off a big optional claiming win at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 10 and didn’t miss a beat. He easily captured the Hank Mills Sr. Handicap at a mile on dirt by 3 1/2 lengths Dec. 22. He moved back to turf for the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap at a mile Jan. 12 but threw in a bit of a clunker, stalking the pace before fading to sixth.

Why Not Be Perfect bounced back with a vengeance, however, as he stalked the pace in the Turf Paradise Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf Feb. 16, took over into the lane, and drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths.

Why Not Be Perfect has been off since, and while it’s his first time going this far he did run well going 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita last fall when fourth, beaten just 1 3/4 lengths. Anne Sanguinetti, who was aboard for his three local starts, keeps the mount as Why Not Be Perfect gives from five to 10 pounds to his rivals.

Potential spoilers include K J’s Maddog, who comes off a 6 1/2-length romp over on this course March 24, albeit over restricted claimers; Tobiah’s Journey, easy winner of an allowance grass race here March 18; Flexiplus, winner of two straight on turf here recently; and Grandpa Roy, who comes off a game win over tough optional claimers here March 1.

◗ Red Zeus looms a heavy favorite in the Arizona Stallion Stakes as one of just two winners in the field, and is the most proven on turf. Trained by Dan McFarlane, he ran second in his only two grass starts, including his most recent race here March 18.