Eclipse, McCarthy, Fuentes Sweep Turf Paradise Stakes
By Jeremy Balan BloodHorse
Southern California invaders Michael McCarthy, Ruben Fuentes, and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners swept the pair of stakes at Turf Paradise Jan. 12, highlighted by a dominant effort from Ohio (below) in the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap.
Trained by McCarthy, ridden by Fuentes, and owned by Eclipse and Bruce Treitman, the Brazilian-bred Elusive Quality gelding powered away in the stretch to earn his first stateside stakes victory by 6 1/2 lengths. A $50,000 claim by McCarthy June 10 at Santa Anita Park, Ohio finished the one-mile test in 1:35.87 on the firm Turf Paradise grass. Since the claim, Ohio also placed in the City of Hope Mile Stakes (G2T) at Santa Anita.
Thegloryisallmine finished second at 59-1, three-quarters of a length ahead of Gato Guapo in third. Another California shipper, grade 2 winner Blackjackcat, got a good trip but began to back up in the second turn and finished sixth, 10 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
Earlier on the Turf Paradise card, Eclipse and TNIP Racing’s Impasse (above) took the non-black-type Glendale Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths.
Under Fuentes, the Quality Road mare closed from eighth to win the 1 1/16-mile turf test in a final time of 1:43.58.