Coming from last of a six-horse field, Todo Es Toro swept by his rivals in the Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby to win with authority, cruising away to a two and three-quarter-length victory over race favorite Bold Flame in the defining moment of a stakes-filled card at Turf Paradise on April 20.
Highlight of Arizona Breeders’ Day, with five stakes for Arizona-breds, the Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby was a showcase for the Line of David gelding, owned and bred by Dr. Tawnja Elison. He was timed in 1:46.28 for a mile and a sixteenth. Jack McCartney trains.
The remaining stakes events were split evenly between horses bred by Arizona powerhouses Fleming Thoroughbred Farm and Triple AAA Ranch.
Fortified Effort won the Lyman and Bradley Rollins Handicap as the shortest-priced favorite in the five stakes events. Winner of the Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby last year, Fortified Effort had finished first or second in eight of 10 starts since and had just been honored as the Arizona-bred champion 3-year-old male of 2018. The Ez Effort gelding reeled in pacesetter J P Rocker and drew off to win by a length and a half at 2-5, running six furlongs in 1:10.03.
Fortified Effort was bred by Fleming Thoroughbred Farm and campaigns for J. Lloyd Yother, trainer Kevin Eikleberry, William Matthews and Marvin Fleming.
Fortified Effort’s half-sister Let Me Fly, champion Arizona-bred 2-year-old filly of 2018, won the Joanne Dye Breeders’ Oaks for the same connections. Last early, Let Me Fly, a daughter of Ez Dreamer, rushed up to take the lead in the final turn and was well clear of a late run by Star Sundae. The final time for seven and a half furlongs on the turf was 1:32.29.
Both Fortified Effort and Let Me Fly are out of the Gulch mare Shaky Canyon.
The Dwight D. Patterson Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf featured a rematch between Thegloryisallmine and Beat the Heat, who last met in an allowance event in late March. The former’s lengthy victory that day led to him being dispatched as an odds-on Patterson favorite and he led almost every step but the last one, being edged out in a tight photo finish by Beat the Heat, a 4-year-old Uh Oh Bango gelding who runs for owner and breeder Triple AAA Ranch. Lymon Perren trains. The final time was 1:42.81.
Raging Lady waited behind early speedsters Foggia and Beauty Black before forging to the front to win the Ann Owens Distaff Handicap by three-quarters of a length over late-running Littlesisterdon’tu. The final time for the filly-and-mare counterpart to the Lyman and Bradley Rollins was 1:10.13. A 5-year-old mare by Top Hit, Raging Lady was bred by Triple AAA Ranch and runs for Jesus Torres. Fernando Gamez trains the mare, who was winning her third straight race.