01/20/2011 9:33AM

Twin Sparks tries to recapture the magic at Turf Paradise


PHOENIX – Saturday’s $25,000 Swift Stakes at Turf Paradise is a fork in the road for one-time top sprinter Twin Sparks and the local sprint division. The 5 1/2-furlong event may be the last chance for Twin Sparks, now 8, to reclaim some of his old glory, or it could mark a changing of the guard in the division. The six-furlong world-record holder, Twin Sparks heads a field of nine.

Owned by Bobbie Parsons and trained by Karl Myers, Twin Sparks was marvelous here in late 2009 and early 2010. In November 2009 he set a world record of 1:06.49 while winning the six-furlong Caballos del Sol here. He came back in January 2010 to win this race. But things have not gone well since. He was then seventh as the favorite in the Phoenix Gold Cup and sixth as the favorite in the Coyote Handicap. After nearly nine months on the bench, Twin Sparks returned in the 2010 Caballos del Sol on Dec. 4 to try and get his mojo back. It didn’t work. Twin Sparks dueled for the lead but faded to finish sixth.

The Swift is his first race since the Caballos del Sol. Ry Eikleberry has the call again.

Not only has time possibly taken its toll on Twin Sparks but he faces plenty of other early speed here, meaning this race sets up for someone to take control from off the pace. Point Attended, trained by Robertino Diodoro, fits the bill, and he loves this track. The 5-year-old Point Attended is has started four times on this main track, and won every time. He found Southern California foes too tough when seventh at Santa Anita Jan. 2, but the return to his favorite track can do the trick in his first stakes attempt. Jorge Carreno rides.

Beale Street has speed but isn’t speed-crazy, and his third in the Grade 3 Premiers at Hastings last fall shows he’s got quality. Rule by Force is a multiple-stakes-winning sprinter and is 5 for 7 (second in the two losses) at this distance. But he comes off a couple modest outings here in December. Five Star Fortune comes here sharp with two wins in his last four starts. He dueled for the lead and finished a nose second here Jan. 3, but speed is his primary asset and he faces ample other speed here.