12/22/2008 12:00AM

White Spar edges stablemate

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PHOENIX - Surely by the far turn owner Dennis Weir and trainer Kevin Lewis knew they'd be posing for pictures after the $50,000 Cactus Wren Handicap at Turf Paradise Saturday. It was just a matter of whether it would be with even-money favorite White Spar or 8-5 second choice El Mirage.

Well, White Spar's courage prevailed as the talented 3-year-old, on the lead from the start of the 6 1/2-furlong event, battled back when passed in midstretch by his stablemate and edged away late to win by 1 1/2 lengths under Daniel Vergara. El Mirage was gallant in defeat, pressing the winner from the start, edging past him in midstretch, but unable to keep up in the final furlong to be second. Still, he ended up over 20 lengths clear of third finisher Corporal Tillman in the field of eight.

White Spar ran the distance in 1:14.99 on a track rated muddy after days of rain in the area, and paid $4. The winner's share of $30,000 pushes his career bankroll to $185,447 from six wins in 11 starts.