Favorites stole the show for the ATBA Breeders’ Festival day card at Turf Paradise on April 22, which featured five stakes races for Arizona-breds. All five events were won by favorites, including four at odds-on.
The star of the day was Yo Y Me, romping to a widening victory in the $50,000 Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby to score his fifth straight win. Making his first start of 2017, the Dixie Chatter gelding stalked the pacesetters in the mile and a sixteenth event and won as he pleased in 1:45.45 as stablemate Ida Goodest, recent winner of the Arizona Stallion Stakes, chased him home. Yo Y Me was bred by Fleming Thoroughbred Farm and runs for trainer Kevin Eikleberry, William Matthews and J. Lloyd Yother.
Prior to closing 2016 with a victory in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile, Yo Y Me had won the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity on a stakes-filled card on Dec. 10. Two of the three other Futurity day card stakes winners returned with victories on ATBA Breeders’ Festival day, including Cactus Wren winner Rockin Home and Cactus Flower winner Sierrita.
Rockin Home scored in the Lyman and Bradley Rollins Handicap, prevailing in a three-way finish between sons of Rocky Bar as he beat last year’s Rollins winner J P Rocker by three-quarters of a length, with Rocked Twice third. The final time for the six-furlong event for older Arizona-breds was 1:09.97. Rockin Home is trained by David Van Winkle for Tamara Metzen.
Sierrita swept to victory in the Ann Owens Distaff Handicap, female counterpart to the Rollins, taking the lead late and drawing away rapidly to win by three and a half lengths in 1:10.64. The Top Hit filly is trained by F.C. Frazier and runs for Linden Hatch and Brent Stapley.
Both Rockin Home and Sierrita were bred by Triple AAA Ranch.
In a racing rarity, Red Zeus won the Dwight D. Patterson Handicap for the fourth straight year, sweeping past last year’s Gene Fleming winner Scrap Iron to ease away by a length and a quarter in 1:43.44 for a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Now 7, the Red Sky’s gelding was bred by Dick and Peggy Hopwood and continues to run for the latter. Dan McFarlane trains.
Dancer’s Notes was a daylight winner in the Joanne Dye Breeders’ Oaks, contested at seven and a half furlongs on the turf, pulling away from Top Hat Wildcat to win by three and a quarter lengths in 1:32.67. The Fappie’s Notebook filly runs for Silva Racing and trainer Miguel Silva. Dancer’s Notes was bred by Hal Snowden Jr.