Saturday, Nov. 24, was a big day for trainer Dan McFarlane, who saddled two of the four Fall Breeders’ Festival winners, including a romping victory by Page Springs in the first running of the Cactus Flower and a surprise score by longshot Red Zeus in the colt and gelding division of the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity.
Page Springs went to post in the Cactus Flower as the shortest-priced favorite among the day’s featured events and the 1-5 shot promptly won by seven lengths, the largest margin among the four stakes. A state champion last year at 2, the Rocky Bar filly has now won two straight at the Turf Paradise meet for owner-breeder Sawyer Cattle Company.
Red Zeus drew off quickly to win the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity by three and a half lengths, picking a big spot to earn his first victory. California invader Anytime, the race favorite, overtook pacesetter Mo Rock for second, but was no match for the winner. Dick and Peggy Hopwood bred and own the Red Sky’s colt.
A pair of Triple AAA Ranch first-time starters dominated the filly division of the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity, with Sallyana, by Top Hit, leading home stablemate Red Rachel by four lengths. Both fillies are homebreds, trained by Kory Owens.
Earning his first stakes win since the 2010 Arizona Breeders’ Futurity, Jamaican Memories pulled away late to take the Cactus Wren by four lengths over Frisky Ricky and favored Az Ridge. The 4-year-old Slew City Slew gelding, bred by H & E Ranch, won for connections Carol and James Bolin and trainer David Van Winkle.
The Cactus Wren and Cactus Flower were new events added this year, for Arizona-breds or horses which had passed through any ATBA fall sales. Both were taken by Arizona-breds.