12/31/2009 12:00AM

Twin Sparks has tough act to follow


Trainer Karl Myers thought Twin Sparks was heading into last year's Swift Stakes at the top of his game.

This year he knows the 7-year-old gelding is at the top of his game for Saturday's $50,000 Swift at Turf Paradise.

Twin Sparks just set a world record, running six furlongs in 1:06.49 to win the Caballos del Sol Handicap at the Phoenix track by 11 1/4 lengths.

Twin Sparks had won two straight races prior to last year's Swift, but he got bumped and was forced to check into the turn, and dropped out of contention quickly in the 5 1/2-furlong race. But he's hit the board in every start since then, including a third in Phoenix Gold Cup in February, and comes into Saturday's race after his sensational world-record victory on Nov. 21. He was given a Beyer Speed Figure of 106.

Twin Sparks has recorded two solid half-mile works since, including a bullet 46.40 half-mile drill last Sunday.

"The track was lightning fast that day," Myers said of Twin Sparks's record. "He likes a hard track, and Turf Paradise is known for that."

The world record came in the gelding's second start after minor surgery to tie a flap that impeded his breathing.

"That made a difference," said Myers, who will also start Mark's My Name, a 5-year-old gelding who just recorded the best Beyer of his career, an 87, in a Turf Paradise allowance victory.

"He's just starting to come into himself," Myers said of Mark's My Name. "He's had his problems, too, but if you can straighten them out, these horses can run pretty well."

Five runners will challenge the Myers duo: Bobadieu and Goin' Dancin, second and third behind Twin Sparks in the Caballos del Sol; Bound to Be MVP, last year's Swift runner-up; the stakes winner Hezamazing; and comebacking Forest Echoes.