ATBA Online News

Scrap Iron highlights stakes-filled Breeders’ Festival day

The Arizona Breeders’ Festival day card at Turf Paradise on April 23 was a big day for trainer Kevin Eikleberry, who saddled Scrap Iron to win the Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby and sent out Lieutenant Margie to romp in the Joanne Dye as the shortest-priced favorite in the five stakes events for Arizona-breds.

Scrap Iron, who runs for breeder Roger Downes, had been unplaced in four starts since winning a claiming event in January and used every yard of the stretch to run down pacesetter Heber, getting the best of a close finish in 1:44.98 for a mile and a sixteenth. Race favorite Two the Punch checked in third. Scrap Iron is a gelded son of Informed.

Starting the day’s stakes festivities with a splash was Lieutenant Margie, who took the lead early in the Joanne Dye and roared away from her rivals, winning by 11 and a half lengths in 1:15.64 for six and a half furlongs. After chasing divisional champion Heidi’s in Charge in all three starts at 2, Lieutenant Margie, by Margie’s Wildcat, has come into her own at 3, sandwiching a second in Arizona Stallion Stakes against males with two victories. Bred by Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC, she runs for Eikleberry and Kent Kunz.

Veteran Red Zeus returned to win the Dwight D. Patterson Handicap for the second straight year, coming away with a half-length victory in 1:41.33 for about a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Red Zeus, a 6-year-old gelding by Red Sky’s, runs for breeder Peggy Thompson and is trained by Dan McFarlane.

Also trying for an encore was Jamaican Memories, winner of the 2015 Lyman and Bradley Rollins Handicap and recent winner of the Phoenix Gold Cup. But J P Rocker had the race well in hand, leading throughout and pulling away late to win by six lengths in 1:08.08 for six furlongs. J P Rocker, a half-brother by Rocky Bar to champion Tribal Gal, was bred by John Pendergast and is campaigned by Andy Spitalny. J. Jay Kruljac trains. Jamaican Memories just held second over Midnight Officer.

Wrapping up the stakes card with a double for sire Rocky Bar was Camille, prevailing over Mobiledixie and Dance Affair in a tight finish in the Ann Owens Distaff Handicap. Six-year-old Camille was bred by Triple AAA Ranch and runs for owner/trainer Tomas Hinojosa. The final time for the six-furlong event was 1:09.50.

Arizona’s 2015 champions to be honored at Awards Dinner

The ATBA congratulates Arizona’s champions of 2015, which will be honored at the upcoming ATBA Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Dinner, to be held on April 22 at Turf Paradise. 2015 Champion Arizona-Bred Two Year Old Filly & 2014 ATBA Sale Arizona-Bred Leading Filly Earner Heidi’s In Charge Breeder: Tosch & Cheryl Keshian Owner: Mark […]

French General, McKenzie Honey take Sales Stakes Trials

Two trials for the upcoming Arizona Spring Sales Stake were contested at Turf Paradise on April 19, with French General winning the first and McKenzie Honey taking the second. The final times for the two events were virtually identical, as French General, a gelded son of To Honor and Serve, won his event in 52:50 […]

Hey Ez Money prevails in tight Arizona Stallion Stakes finish

The seven and a half-furlong Arizona Stallion Stakes was decided in the final strides as Hey Ez Money edged past favored Lieutenant Margie to win by a neck in 1:31.20 over a firm turf course. The top two overtook pacesetting Sondrio and Heber in upper stretch and opened up on the field, eventually finishing two […]

Arizona-breds shine on Gold Cup Day

Veteran Arizona-bred Jamaican Memories, last seen finishing fourth behind Absolutely Cool in the Hank Mills Sr. Handicap last month, turned the tables in the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on Feb. 13. Sitting well back off a blazing early pace, Jamaican Memories ran on late to edge out Storm Power in the last inches of the […]

New ATBA officers, board member

New ATBA Board of Directors officers have been elected: •Marvin Fleming, President •Jan Osborn, Vice President •Wende Macumber, Secretary/Treasurer The Board also welcomes its newest member, Michael Barro.

‘Unusual’ finish in Cotton Fitzsimmons

The $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile, run on Jan. 16, came down to inches at the wire when California invader Somethings Unusual ran down locally based Az Ridge in the final yards to win by a head in 1:37.01 over firm turf. Perfectly Majestic, the only horse behind Somethings Unusual in the early stages of the […]

Turf Paradise celebrates 60 years

The ATBA wishes a happy 60th anniversary to Turf Paradise, which ran its first race on Jan. 7, 1956, and has operated a racing meet at the present location every year since.