Tie Rod Leads Locals in Turf Paradise Derby

Tie Rod, who counts a romping victory in the Rattlesnake Stakes among his three lifetime triumphs, leads the local Arizona contingent in Saturday's $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby for 3-year-olds in Phoenix.

The Turf Paradise Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, has attracted a field of nine, with seven of them locally based and two shipping in from California.

Gregorian Bay and Rival Islands make up the Golden State duo.

Gregorian Bay, trained by Craig Dollase, broke his maiden at first asking at Hollywood Park and then recently finished second in allowance company at one mile at Golden Gate.

Everest Stable, who won the Turf Paradise Derby with Mambo Train in 2004, will be represented by the gelding Rival Islands. With a lone maiden win from four starts, the Kentucky-bred Rival Islands finished third in a Jan. 28 starter allowance test at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.

The locals should not be overlooked, especially the California-bred gelding Tie Rod, who won the traditional Derby prep, the one-mile Rattlesnake, by nearly 14 lengths on Jan. 26 in a time of 1:36. Prior to that victory, Tie Rod finished unplaced to Lost in the Fog Juvenile winner Half Famous. Half Famous finished third in Santa Anita’s San Vicente (gr. II) on Feb. 11.

Tie Rod's victory in the Rattlesnake was his first beyond 6 1/2 furlongs. A son of Old Topper  , Tie Rod is owned by trainer Joe Johnson and John Pendergrast

The Arizona-bred gelding R Big Stuff also sports three lifetime victories. Trained by Molly Pearson, R Big Stuff won the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity and then finished unplaced in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile as the favorite. He ran fourth in his last effort, the Three Phase Stakes on Feb. 4.

$100,000 Turf Paradise Derby (Race 7, 3:25 p.m.)
3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Gregorian Bay (KY), Glenn W. Corbett
2. Derouin (CA), Orlando A. Martinez
3. Rival Islands (KY), Scott A. Stevens
4. In to the West (CA), Ry Eikleberry
5. Tie Rod (CA), Juan G. Rivera
6. Party With Todd (KY), Leanne M. Painter
7. Waltz Time (CA), Leslie Mawing
8. R Big Stuff (AZ), Miguel Hernandez
9. Preferred Yield (KY), Wilson O. Dieguez
Each assigned 122 pounds.

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