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Arapahoe Park weekend stakes preview—Aspen, Rowe Derby, Cherry Creek Futurity, Molly Brown

June 14, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Saturday: 2010 Colorado Thoroughbred Horse of the Year returns in Aspen Stakes

Danzip, the 2010 Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association Horse of the Year, returns to Arapahoe Park in the Aspen Stakes on Saturday for the first time since the year he won the award. Danzip won the 2010 Aspen, and on Saturday he faces the 2011 Aspen winner, Linda Robertson’s E F Five. The field of nine for the 6-furlong, $30,000 race for Colorado-breds also includes Bill Vanlandingham’s Wally Van, who won four stakes in four starts at Arapahoe Park last year and is a contender to be named Colorado Horse of the Year at the CTBA Breeders Awards Dinner on June 30.

Danzip, a 5-year-old owned by Ted Betz and K and M Grinolds LLC, trained by Douglas Grinolds and to be ridden by Russell Vicchrilli, is the 8-to-5 morning-line favorite. He did not race in 2011 and has returned this year with a win and a second in allowance races and a second in the Coyote Handicap at Turf Paradise in Arizona.

Saturday: Baby I Like It goes for Cherry Creek-Lucille Rowe double while Always Furst tries to extend streak

Hugo Barron Sierra’s Baby I Like It was just thousandths of a second faster than Jose Castro’s Always Furst in trials to the Lucille Rowe Derby, and they will break from the two outside posts in the field of 10 in Saturday’s $55,000 finals over 350 yards for Colorado-breds. Baby I Like It clocked :17.582 in the trials, and Always Furst timed :17.588.

Baby I Like It, to be ridden by Alejandro Luna for trainer Jose Manuel Barron, won the 2011 $75,000 Cherry Creek Futurity, Arapahoe Park’s top Colorado-bred 2-year-old race. Always Furst, to be ridden by Elliot Bachicha, Jr., for trainer Hipolito Michel-Valverde, is on a three-race win streak from maiden claiming to allowance to derby trials dating back to last year. He was fourth behind Baby I Like It in last year’s Cherry Creek Futurity.

Sunday: Sire Ivory James has four in Cherry Creek Futurity

Ivory James is the sire of four of the 10 finalists for Sunday’s $75,000, 330-yard Cherry Creek Futurity, including fastest qualifier Im Rowdy James. Im Rowdy James clocked :17.13 for owner Luis Rogelio Nava, trainer Jose Gonzalez and jockey Flavio Lozano in the trials on June 1. The fastest trial win was the first in three starts for 2-year-old bay colt.

Ivory James is also represented by Hipolito Michel-Valverde trained Avatar 2010, who qualified third-fastest in winning his debut effort in the trials in :17.26, Shiney Ivory and Kansas Ivory. Michel-Valverde also trains second-fastest qualifier Iza Sugar N Spice, winner of his trial in :17.24 in his first career race for jockey Elliot Bachicha, Jr.

Sunday: Stakes winners Sorta Special and Came West face off in Molly Brown

Sorta Special, the 13-to-1 upset winner of the Ingrid Knotts Stakes at Arapahoe two weeks ago, faces recent Ruidoso Downs stakes winner Came West in the 6-furlong, $40,000 Molly Brown Stakes on Sunday. Came West’s stakes win was in come-from-behind fashion in the $50,000 First Lady Handicap in New Mexico while Sorta Special’s was in front-running style.

Scherzi, the 2010 Molly Brown winner who was fourth in last year’s renewal as the 2-to-1 favorite, is also in the field of nine that includes Ingrid Knotts second Sweet Dixie Van.