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Scottsdale, Tempe Handicaps and Wiener Mania showcased on Saturday

March 12, 2015     E-mail this page to a friend!

Three-year-old turf racing is in the spotlight with the $35,000 Scottsdale and $35,000 Tempe Handicaps, the duo stakes’ features on Saturday, March 14, at Turf Paradise.

Also in the spotlight Saturday will be the extensively cute Wiener Dogs—over 200 Wieners are signed up—who will be paraded, costumed and, yes, race throughout the day in the family picnic grove.

Of course, the horses will race, too. Both the Scottsdale, for fillies and the Tempe, for boys, is for 3-year-olds at one mile on the grass.

Scottsdale Handicap
Of the 11 fillies entered only five have previously raced on turf (four have won) and eight of the 11 have routed before. Three trainers have double entries adding to the challenge of handicapping an already challenging race.

Starting with F.C. Frazier’s SUM Racer, winner of the Arizona Oaks to the Molly Pearson-trained Myrna Lou, a three-time winner including the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity and an optional claiming race at Del Mar, to the two-time Golden Gate winner Star’s Woman making her first start for trainer Dan McFarlane, this is a race for a case to be made for almost every entrant.

Tempe Handicap
Three trainers have seven of the ten entrants. McFarlane has three and Pearson and Robertino Diodoro have two each.

Attention will be drawn to the Pearson-trained Rock Hard Kowboy, runner-up in the Turf Paradise Derby to eventual winner, California shipper Why Two. Prior to that, the son of Kodiak Kowboy won two starts, both on the turf course.

Diodoro’s first time starter maiden winner Mesa Brute followed his February 3 turf victory with three solid works.

Not to be overlooked is the McFarlane-trained Shrewd Move who will be two-turning for the first time and first time taking to the grass. However, the son of Closing Argument finished fourth in Belmont Park’s Tremont Stakes in June. Shrewd Move’s recent victory came locally on Feb. 2, a 5 ˝ furlong romp optional claiming event.

Wiener Mania, Dollar Day, and St. Patrick's

They may not run as fast as the Thoroughbreds at Turf Paradise but they have heart.

Wiener Mania returns to Turf Paradise Saturday, March 14th. Sponsored by Arizona Adopt a Greyhound, the event features Wiener Dog races from noon to 5:00 p.m. Hundreds of dogs and their owners have entered what is becoming a premiere race in the Wiener Dog circuit That’s in addition to a full card of live horse racing. The day also features $2 hot dogs and $2 beer, live music and bounce inflatables for the kids.

Just before the Wiener Dog races is a “Parade of Wieners,” in which the Wiener Dogs will walk down the stretch on the racetrack. There is also a Wiener Dog Costume Contest.

“These Wiener dogs have heart and an impressive following. I just hope the horses don’t get jealous,” said Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia.

Sunday, March 15, is Dollar Day. Grandstand admission is a dollar. So are programs, hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream and sodas. There will also be live music and $2 beer.

Tuesday, March 17, is Saint Patrick’s Day, when fans can wear a little green and save a lot of green. Grandstand admission is free and draft beer is $2. Turf Paradise will also offer a corned beef and cabbage special in the Clubhouse and Turf Club.