02/19/2009 12:00AM

Two stakes attract top local 3-year-olds


PHOENIX - The titles of top local 3-year-old and 3-year-old filly are up for grabs Saturday in the $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby and the $50,000 Arizona Oaks.

The Turf Paradise Derby, at 1o1/16 miles, goes as race 7 on the card. In the field of seven are local division leader Hidden Bounty and dangerous Southern California shipper Mayor Marv. The Oaks, race 5, drew six fillies who will race at a mile, and it is likely to serve as coronation for Carlsbad, who dominated the division at 2.

Mayor Marv, owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert, may be coming into the derby off only a maiden win, but he's already knocked heads with some of the top 3-year-olds in Southern California. He was second to Grade 3 San Rafael winner The Pamplemousse at Hollywood Park Dec. 14 and was second by a half-length to Papa Clem in a maiden race at Santa Anita Dec. 29. Papa Clem came back to run second to Pioneerof the Nile in the Gradeo2 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita.

Mayor Marv led all the way to graduate at Santa Anita Jan.o17.

Hidden Bounty is the local measuring stick, and he appears to be improving. After running second versus Arizona-breds in the Arizona Breeders Futurity here Nov. 29, he romped by seven in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile Dec. 27 and by 6 3/4 lengths in the Rattlesnake here Jan. 31.

Carlsbad will be a heavy favorite in the Oaks for owner Dennis Weir and trainer Kevin Lewis. She makes her 2009 debut here after a brief and dazzling 2008. She won a maiden race here by 4 1/4 on Oct. 15, then won the filly division of the Arizona Breeders Futurity on Nov. 29 by 14 1/4 lengths. To show that wasn't all she had, she went on to win the Dec. 27 Arizona Juvenile Filly race by 19 lengths.

Carlsbad does have to deal with a layoff and this also marks her first route, but a strong mile work in 1:38.60 here Feb. 7 hints she's ready to go. Regular rider Daniel Vergara has the mount.

A couple Southern California raiders may be her biggest hurdle: Miss Bodine, who has the same connections as Mayor Marv, and Vikkilee.