Rocky Bar progeny star in Arizona stakes showcase

A pair of short-priced Rocky Bar juveniles headlined the day’s events at Turf Paradise on Nov. 23, a card which featured the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity divisions as well as the Cactus Wren and Cactus Flower, stakes events for older horses that are Arizona-breds or which have been sold through the Arizona fall mixed sale.

The Arizona Breeders’ Futurity for colts and geldings was the faster of the two juvenile events. Rockin Home, a 7-5 public choice, was the front-running winner by four and three-quarter lengths while zipping home in 1:08.72 for six furlongs. Bred by Triple AAA Ranch, the gelding now campaigns for Tamara Metzen and was saddled by David Van Winkle.

Lazy Daisy May, already the winner of the filly divisions of the ATBA Spring and Fall Sales stakes, was the odds-on choice in the filly division of the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity. Lazy Daisy May and longshot Enact overtook My Fine Lady near the wire, with Lazy Daisy May holding Enact safe by a neck in 1:10.20. Bred by John Campo III, Lazy Daisy May runs for Stable HMA and is trained by Molly Pearson.

Winner of the 2011 ATBA Fall Sales Stakes for colts and geldings, Az Ridge did not find the winner’s circle at 3 until the last day of 2012, when he won the Luke Kruytbosch. Since then, he has won three of four starts at 4, including Saturday’s Cactus Wren. The favorite in a small field of five, Az Ridge tracked pacesetting Espresso Springs then went on to win by three and a half lengths in 1:15.46 for six and a half furlongs. A Kentucky-bred Toccet gelding, Az Ridge is owned by Sawyer Cattle Company and trained by Dan McFarlane.

The Cactus Flower, filly and mare counterpart to the Cactus Wren, was expected to be a showcase for recent Princess of Palms winner Tribal Gal, but the 1-5 favorite was unplaced in a bumpy finish, even with the benefit of the disqualification of third-place finisher Rock U Up. Veteran mare Got an Itch, was the one-length winner over Lady Jila for owner Jan Osborn and trainer Molly Pearson, with Hindu Kush elevated to third after Rock U Up was disqualified and placed fifth. The winner is a 6-year-old daughter of Rocky Bar, bred in Arizona by Just for Fun Farms, LLC.