TAKES EARLY LEAD AND PREVAILS GOVERNOR’S
Wash. (May 18, 2013) * Sis’s Sis returned to the races in style Saturday
afternoon at Emerald Downs. RIVER
OF ACES ZIPS TO VICTORY Emerald
Downs News and Stable Notes $50,000
IN $50,000 GOVERNOR’S HANDICAP
AUBURN, Wash. (May 19, 2013) - Apparently North American Thoroughbred Racing Company has another Longacres Mile candidate in 2013.
The nom de course for Glen Todd of Surrey, British Columbia, North American Thoroughbred Racing Company campaigned Taylor Said to a victory in the 2012 Mile. This year’s candidate is Hoist, a powerful 4-year-old son of Mineshaft who simply ran the opposition into defeat Sunday, scoring a one-length victory over 40-to-1 Stryker Phd in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
Why Not Be Perfect finished third while defending champion and 3-to-2 betting favorite Winning Machine finished last.
Ridden by Aaron Gryder at 118 lbs, Hoist zipped 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.78 and paid $8.40, $5.40 and $4.80. Mike Puhich-saddling his third winner on the card-is the winning trainer.
The Governor’s is the first step for older horses en route to the 78th edition of the $200,000 Longacres Mile on Sunday, August 18, and a harbinger for the division.
With probable favorite Makors Finale sidelined, some wondered where the early pace would come from in the Governor’s, but Hoist, handled perfectly by Gryder, answered that question immediately. Sprinting clear in the opening strides, Hoist opened a long early lead, setting fractions of :21.93 for the quarter-mile and :43.83 for the half.
Hoist then extended the lead to four lengths past mid-stretch, and was never seriously threatened although Stryker Phd closed the gap late.
“With the post he had today, I was happy that the horses we had to beat were on the outside of us,” said Gryder, the leading rider this year at Hastings Racecourse. “I just wanted to break as I clean as I could. I knew that my horse was extremely quick, so they were going to have to really push to outrun him early.
“They didn’t want to push, so I kept my horse out in the middle of the track and forced the other jockeys to make decisions. By the time we got to the turn, he was going quickly enough that we could just open it up. I didn’t hear any other horses coming, I just heard (trainer) Mike Puhich yelling.”
Hoist earned $27,500 for the win and pushed his career bankroll to $201,901. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred has a 4-1-5 mark in 11 starts including stops at Fair Grounds, Belmont Park, Saratoga, Santa Anita and Hastings, where his lone start was a third in the 2012 B.C. Derby. Most recently, Hoist finished a troubled third in the April 28 allowance race won by Makors Finale.
Stryker Phd, ridden by Debbie Hoonan at 114 lbs, rallied from last to finish second and paid $31.40 and $8.60.
Trained by Margo Lloyd, the 4-year-old Washington-bred gelding has finished in the top three in six of his seven career starts including a victory vs. maiden special weights on the turf at Golden Gate Fields.
“I can’t wait to go a route,” Hoonan said. I started to ask him at the three-eighths pole and he just started flying. I thought we were going to win it, I really did.”
Why Not Be Perfect, the starting high-weight ridden by Anne Sanguinetti at 121 lbs., also closed well to finish third and paid $4.80.
Assessment finished fourth, followed by Kooky Saluki, D’honorable One, Edge Forward and Winning Machine.
Winning Machine, runner-up in last year’s Longacres Mile and first, second or third in 20 of 30 starts at Emerald Downs, turned in an uncharacteristic performance. Regular rider Javier Matias was puzzled by the effort.
“I moved him into a good position, but when I asked him, he gave me nothing today,” Matias said. “I don’t know what happened out there. It seemed like everything was OK, but then he was just out of it. I don’t think he was tired. He just had a bad day.”
Next up for older horses is the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap at one mile on Sunday, June 16.
NOTES: Puhich also clicked with Southern Solution ($7.40) in race eighth and Eltoninadress ($13.20) in race three. Matias and David G. Lopez each rode two winners on the 10-race card. Juan Gutierrez and Isaias Enriquez each rode a winner, and Gutierrez leads Enriquez 24-20 in the standings. Both jockeys have at least one win on 14 of the 15 cards this season*Jeff Metz saddled Why Not Be Perfect to a third in the Governor’s Handicap and finished first and third in the nightcap with Last Diamond ($8.20) and Twist My Kazoo*Chris Stenslie remains atop the trainers’ standings by a 14-12 margin over Metz, with Frank Lucarelli, Tim McCanna and Blaine Wright all tied for third with six wins apiece*Southern Solution ($7.40) edged Scat Daddybaby in race eight to become the meet’s eighth two-time winner*Trainer Roy Lumm, winning a four-way shake, claimed Southern Solution for $15,000 for owner Richard Ford*Sollovino ($8.40) prevailed in the Quarter Horse opener with Cassie Papineau picking up the mount for trainer Saul Rodriguez. Betting favorites are 0-for-3 in Quarter Horses races this season*Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:45 p.m. It’s a four-day race week capped by Monday racing on Memorial Day.
3-YEAR-OLDS & UP
74th RUNNING, MAY 19, 2013
6-½ FURLONGS IN 1:14.78 (:21.93, :43.83, 1:08.12, 1:14.78)
JOCKEY AARON GRYDER, HOIST, WINNER: “I worked him a couple time up at Hastings and he’d been training great. He drew a good post today. With the post he had today, I was happy that the horses we had to beat were on the outside of us. I just wanted to break as I clean as I could. I knew that my horse was extremely quick, so they were going to have to really push to outrun him early. They didn’t want to push, so I kept my horse out in the middle of the track and forced the other jockeys to make decisions. By the time we got to the turn, he was going quickly enough that we could just open it up. I didn’t hear any other horses coming, I just heard (trainer) Mike Puhich yelling.”
JOCKEY DEBBIE HOONAN, STRYKER PHD, SECOND: “I can’t wait to go a route. I started to ask him at the three-eighths pole and he just started flying. I thought we were going to win it, I really did.”
JOCKEY JAVIER MATIAS, WINNING MACHINE, 3-TO-2 FAVORITE, SIXTH: “He broke out of the gate really good. I moved him into a good position, but when I asked him, he gave me nothing today. I don’t know what happened out there. It seemed like everything was OK, but then he was just out of it. I don’t think he was tired. He just had a bad day.”
NOTES: Hoist (11-4-1-5-$210,901)*Mike Puhich has three wins today and three career stakes wins @ EmD*This is the first win @ Emerald Downs for 42 year-old jockey Aaron Gryder, and No. 3,607 in his career*Puhich, Glen Todd (North American Thoroughbred Racing Co.) and Mario Gutierrez combined to win the 2012 Longacres Mile with Taylor Said*Next for 3-year-olds and up: $50,000 Budweiser Handicap, one mile, Sunday, June 16.
Seeing her first racing action in seven months, the classy 6-year-old led all the way and drew off for a 3 ¾-length victory over Carrabelle Harbor in the $19,000 Rising Star Stables Purse for older fillies and mares.
With Rocco Bowen riding, Sis’s Sis ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.91 and paid $4.60, $3.60 and $2.20. Jim Penney is the trainer for Kama’aina Thoroughbreds (Zach & Beth Correa).
Trained by Penney throughout her 23-race career*including honors as Top 3-Year-Old Filly at Emerald Downs in 2010*Sis’s Sis is wearing new silks this year, having been purchased privately from Mike and Amy Feuerborn. By Cahill Road-Carni Gal, Sis’s Sis enjoyed a good 2012 season with two wins in four starts including a runner-up effort in the Belle Roberts Stakes.
Hustled to the lead from the one-hole, Sis’s Sis led through fractions of :22.75, :45.39 and :56.88, and held sway while turning back bids from Carrabelle Harbor and Lady Vivien.
Carrabelle Harbor, ridden by David G. Lopez, chased the winner from second place but was unable to push on by, and edged Lady Vivien for second. The runner-up paid $2.60 and $2.40.
Lady Vivien, ridden by Javier Matias, rallied into contention on the turn, and finished well while making her first start since September. Lady Vivien paid $2.60. Whiskey Miner and Solar Wind completed the order of finish.
Overall, Sis’s Sis is 9-4-1 in 23 starts with earnings of $158,520.
In the $18,900 sub-feature for 3-year-olds, Cariboo Road ($11.80) and jockey Debbie Hoonan surged from off the pace for a 2 ½-length victory over Finallygotabentley in 1:08.54 for six furlongs. The winner, a 3-year-old Washington-bred by Cahill Road, is two-for-two at the meet for trainer Dan Markle and owners Glyn Kelly and Anne MacLennan. Finallygotabentley now has six runner-up finishes in eight career starts including the 2012 Gottstein Futurity and Premio Esmeralda Stakes.
Isaias Enriquez posted his fourth straight two-win day and has ridden at least one winner on 13 straight cards. However, leading rider Juan Gutierrez also had two wins and maintains a 23-19 lead over Enriquez in the jockeys’ standings.
NOTES: In race three, Olympic Lights ($5) led all the way for his second win at the meet and 16th all-time at Emerald Downs. The 9-year-old gelding is now tied with Market Master and Bob Stories for second place on the track’s all-time win list. West Seattle Boy is No. 1 with 21 wins*Grab the Goods ($9.60) also became a two-time winner at the meet with a rail-skimming rally in race two for Javier Matias, Chris Stenslie and One Horse Will Do Corp*Showmethemoneyjim ($9.60) and jockey Anne Sanguinetti inherited the win in race four as the winner, Ontheshadydside, came in past mid-stretch and fouled third-place finisher Silver Sneakers. Silver Sneakers was placed second and Ontheshadyside was placed third*With seven wins at the meet, Hoonan has overtaken Jennifer Whitaker 414-412 as the track’s all-time leading woman rider*Congratulations to Dude Ranch, champions of Saturday’s RAINN ’EM IN benefit for the fight against sexual violence. Dude Ranch is coached by Patrick Pintar, with jockeys Travis Zinkel, Randy Jones, Damian Warren and Pintar*On the Preakness under card, 4-year-old filly Pianist ($15.40) was a romping winner for co-owner Dan Zucker in the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3) for fillies and mare on turf*Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2:15 p.m. Race nine is the 74th running of the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs. Defending champion Winning Machine is the 9-to-5 morning line favorite with Turf Paradise invader Why Not Be Perfect second choice at 5-to-2.
IN FEATURE RACE UNDER KUBINOVA
AUBURN, Wash. (May 17, 2013) * River of Aces put her tremendous speed to good use Friday, zipping to a 2 ½-length victory in the $13,750 feature race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
With her regular rider Eliska Kubinova aboard, River of Aces ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.75, and paid $6.20, $4 and $2.60. Charles Essex is the trainer for owner-breeder Dean & Judy Anne Essex of Granite Falls.
A 4-year-old Washington-bred filly by Sam’s Ace-Itsrivertime, River of Aces won three races at Emerald Downs last year, including an allowance/optional claiming win over double stakes winner Talk to May Lawyer. Her overall mark is 4-1-0 in nine starts with earnings of $39,847.
Friday, River of Aces broke a step slow from the inside post-position, but rushed up to take command while drilling the opening quarter in :21.37 seconds. From there, she widened the lead to 1 ½ lengths while running the half-mile in a sizzling :44.08, and drew out to a three-length lead while running five furlongs in 1:02.75. After that, the outcome was never in doubt as River of Aces maintained a healthy lead to the wire.
“She’s very fast,” Kubinova said in the Winner’s Circle. “She broke in a little bit (at the break), but once her feet hit the ground she gets going.”
Stephanie Plum, ridden by Leonel Camacho-Flores, chased the winner from flag-fall to finish but settled from second place. The runner-up paid $4.80 and $3. It was two lengths back to Cheese Danish, ridden by Debbie Hoonan, and a $3.40 show payoff.
Touch of Elegance and Kind of Naughty rounded out the order of finish.
NOTES: Leading rider Juan Gutierrez was blanked in three mounts for his first winless day at the meeting. Gutierrez leads Isaias Enriquez 21-17 in the jockeys’ standings*Enriquez had his third straight two-win day and has ridden winners on 12 straight cards*Quarter Horse racing kicked off the Friday card with long shot Dashin Baby Boy ($53.80) winning the opener in :18.19 for 350 yards, and Fast Intention ($8) taking race two in :46.61 for 870 yards. The all Quarter Horse early daily double paid a whopping $710.40*Veteran Washington horseman Chuck Findlay passed away Thursday in California where for the last few years he worked as a groom at Hollywood Park. Perhaps best known as the trainer of $303,929 earner Super Seven, a son of Trooper Seven that earned $303,929 and won stakes at Longacres, Playfair, Yakima Meadows and Exhibition Park. Findlay is the son of noted Washington trainer Bill Findlay. Chuck Findlay saddled 34 winners at Emerald Downs, the last one was Galactic Fire in 2004. He leaves a daughter, former Emerald Downs trainer Julie Findlay*Live racing continues Saturday with first post 2 p.m. The Preakness simulcast is between the third and fourth races with post time 3:20 p.m. (PDT)*Preakness Pancakes from 9-11 a.m. offers up free breakfast, program and admission to Saturday’s live racing at Emerald Downs*Also Saturday, nationally renowned RAINN ‘EM IN will be at Emerald Downs to continue its fight against sexual violence.
Thursday, May16, 2013
DEFENDING CHAMPION WINNING MACHINE
HEADS FIELD OF EIGHT IN $50,000 GOVERNOR’S
Frank Lucarelli has won 724 races and 29 stakes in 18 seasons at Emerald Downs, but the veteran trainer says Winning Machine is unique.
“(Winning Machine) is an amazing horse,” Lucarelli said. “He can run short, long, you name it*he even ran a mile and three-eighths in Canada. The thing is, he always runs a big race.”
Sunday, the 7-year-old gelding begins another quest for the track’s Holy Grail as the road to the Longacres Mile begins with the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs. The defending champion, Winning Machine drew the No. 6 post-position in a field of eight, with regular rider Javier Matias getting the mount at 120 lbs.
A Kentucky-bred by Toccet-Dance With Carson, Winning Machine is 9-9-4 in a 33-race career with earnings of $468,988 for owner-breeder Fleur De Lis Stables. A three-time champion and four-time stakes winner at Emerald Downs, Winning Machine was voted Top 3-Year-Old Male in 2009 and Top Sprinter and Top Handicap Horse in 2012, when he came within a head of winning the Longacres Mile.
In last year’s Governor’s, Winning Machine came from slightly off the pace to topple Jebrica, world-record holder Hollywood Harbor and two-time Horse of the Meeting Noosa Beach in a stakes record-tying 1:13.97. In last month’s prep for this year’s Governor’s, Winning Machine was bogged down in traffic but managed to rally for second in a $21,000 allowance race won by Makors Finale in 1:02.71 for 5 ½ furlongs.
“He’s doing really good, he worked well (five furlongs in 1:00 2/5) for the race,” Lucarelli said of Winning Machine. “He’s a happy horse.”
· Makors Finale, high-weight at 122 lbs, is out of the Governor’s with a minor ailment. Trainer Tom Wenzel said he hopes to have the 4-year-old Washington-bred gelding back in action for the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap on Sunday, June 16.
· With Makors Finale out, Why Not Be Perfect is the starting high-weight at 121 lbs and trainer Jeff Metz said a major factor is getting the 6-year-old horse switched from turf back to dirt. "In the mornings, we've been trying to get him used to having dirt in his face,” Metz said. “He's been working really easy, going :58 and change without pressure.”
· The loss of Makors Finale, a front-runner, also figures to affect the early pace on Sunday and could make Winning Machine tough on or near the front. However, Metz said Why Not Be Perfect is tractable and that jockey Anne Sanguinetti could be close early. “We don't expect *Why Not Be Perfect) him to have the lead, but if they go slow enough up front, he can take it,” Metz said. “I just told Anne to play the break and see what happens."
· Aaron Gryder, the leading rider at Hastings Racecourse, has the mount on Hoist for trainer Mike Puhich and owner North American Thoroughbred Company. Winner of 2,992 career races, Gryder’s only previous ride at Emerald Downs was a third on Tropic Storm in the 2008 Longacres Mile.
· The Governor’s Handicap goes as race nine at 6:09 p.m.
The field from the rail out for Sunday’s $50,000 Governor’s Handicap: Kooky Saluki, Juan Gutierrez, 115 lbs; Stryker Phd, Debbie Hoonan, 113; Hoist, Aaron Gryder, 118; Edge Forward, Isaias Enriquez, 115; Why Not Be Perfect, Anne Sanguinetti, 121; Winning Machine, Javier Matias, 120; D’honorable One, David G. Lopez, 117; Assessment, Jennifer Whitaker, 116.
HARLEY HOPPE PASSES AWAY AT AGE 82
Longtime Thoroughbred owner and renowned businessman/politician Harley H. Hoppe passed away in his sleep Monday morning at his home on Mercer Island.
Hoppe, an owner for more than 50 years, amassed an illustrious Thoroughbred racing career that included several stakes winners including all-time favorite Red Eye Express*an eight-time stakes winner and runner-up in the 1974 Longacres Mile*and considered one of Longacres’ greatest sprinters. Along with Red Eye Express, Hoppe and trainer Howard Belvoir joined forces on numerous racehorses in a partnership that dated back to 1964. At Emerald Downs, Hoppe and Belvoir teamed with Mulcahy, voted Top 3-Year-Old Male of 2007.
Belvoir said his longtime partner and friend would be missed.
“He was a great man,” Belvoir said. “He was one of my first clients. We’d been together a long time.”
Away from the track, Hoppe owned Harley H. Hoppe & Associates*a property tax service*and was the King County Tax Assessor for many years. Hoppe also ran for Governor in 1974, and in defeat still carried all the small counties in Washington State.
His wife Teresa, daughters, Elizabeth, Amy and Susan, grandchildren, Justelle, Brayden and Alia, and half-sister Rosemary Andrews, survives Harley.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 20th at St. Monica's Church on Mercer Island.
QUARTER HORSES RETURN TO EMERALD DOWNS
SPECIAL 6:15 P.M. POST TIME FRIDAY
The first two Quarter Horse races of the meet precede Friday’s six Thoroughbred events, with post time 30 minutes earlier than normal at 6:15 p.m.
In the 350-yard opener, non-winners of two allowance runners compete for a $3,600 purse, and 3-year-old Texas-bred filly Cartel Madam and 4-year-old Oregon-bred gelding Sensor are the ones to beat.
Cartel Madam ships in from Los Alamitos, where she recently finished third and second in 300-yard allowance races with purses of $13,600 and $10,735. Sensor turned in an excellent 2012 campaign at Portland Meadows, finishing on the board in all three starts including a good third at 11-to-1 in the $15,000 Portland Meadows Derby.
The second race at 870-yards (about 4 furlongs) is a mixed field of five Quarter Horses and three Thoroughbreds. Quarter Horses generally have an advantage in such events, but a Thoroughbred, Bleu Tarp, set the track record of :45.78 while defeating five Quarter Horses here last year.
Sunday’s first race also features Quarter Horses, with a field of six maiden-claimers racing 300 yards for a $5,000 tag.
Emerald Downs ran only five QH races in 2012, after running 18 in 2011.
The meet’s biggest race for Quarter Horses is the $60,000 Bank of America/Emerald Downs Championship Challenge on Sunday, September 1.
ADVANCE WAGERING AVAILABLE ON PREAKNESS
Emerald Downs will offer advance-wagering Friday on Saturday’s 138th running of the Preakness Stakes from Baltimore, including a special Daily Double on the $300,000 Pimlico Special (Friday race 12, 2:52 p.m.) and the $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes (Saturday, race 12, 3:20 p.m.)
First post Saturday at Pimlico is 7:45 a.m., with wagering available on the early races at the Quarter Chute Café. The main Emerald Downs’ building opens at 9 a.m. with the 13-race Pimlico card joined in progress.
Emerald Downs’ first post is 2 p.m. Saturday, with the Preakness simulcast scheduled between races three and four on the nine-race card.
PROFESSOR POLLOWITZ OFF & RUNNING IN 2013
People don’t always have time to handicap races with a fine-toothed comb. After all, it’s a busy world and handicapping can be an involved pastime.
Enter Professor Pollowitz, whose “Pick of the Day” is the newest feature in the Emerald Downs official program, the idea being that each day “The Professor” serves up a horse de jour and a suggested play with said horse.
Professor Pollowitz is actually Jacob Pollowitz of media relations and a co-host on the weekly CSN Show Emerald Downs Live. A keen handicapper, Pollowitz is a student of the sport*his father Michael Pollowitz is a longtime Thoroughbred owner*and takes great pride in his picks.
So naturally Pollowitz was elated when Timely Note prevailed to the tune of $20.80 in the first race, Friday, May 10, and also began a suggested $1 Pick 3 that paid $129 for a $12 investment. Coming off a rough trip in his Emerald Downs debut, Timely Note was the Pick of the Day and a “single” on the $12 Pick 3 ticket (1x4x3).
Through the first four weeks*totaling 12 picks*Pollowitz has selected four winners, two second-place finishers and two third-place finishers. A $2 win ticket on his 12 horses to date produced a gross $36.60 in payoffs*a net profit of $12.60!
E Z KITTY DOING WELL AFTER HASTINGS’ WIN
E Z Kitty is “feeling great” following her two-length victory over Exclusive Diva in Sunday’s Hastings Handicap, according to trainer Jeff Metz. The 5-year-old He’s Tops mare earned an 87 Beyer*two points off her career-best 89 in the one-mile Kachina Handicap at Turf Paradise*while her winning time of 1:08.26 tied the stakes record set three years ago by No Flies On Doodle.
“We checked everything out after her race and she’s doing fine,” Metz said of E Z Kitty. “She came out great and she should be ready for the (Washington State) Legislators Stakes in June.”
The $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes is Sunday, June 10, and is the second older filly and mare stakes en route to the $65,000 Emerald Distaff on August 18.
Hastings runner-up Exclusive Diva got an 82 Beyer, down three points from her neck victory over E Z Kitty last month. Both E Z Kitty (18-10-2-2-$182,873) and Exclusive Diva (10-6-3-1-$157,071) have extraordinary lifetime records.
YOU ME AND EMA B FACING MINOR SETBACK
You Me and Ema B, the track’s champion older filly or mare of 2011, remains in light training, according to trainer Margo Lloyd.
A 6-year-old daughter of You and I, You Me and Ema B hasn’t had an official workout since her third-place finish to Exclusive Diva and E Z Kitty on April 21, but Lloyd is optimistic that will soon change.
“We had something small come up after her last race, so we’re going to just wait until she tells us she’s ready,” Lloyd said. “She’s still a very cheerful horse. She’s happy and eating well.”
A fan-favorite, You Me and Ema B won two Emerald Downs’ stakes races in 2011 and also finished third in the Emerald Distaff. She has a 4-0-1 mark in seven career starts and earnings of $85,670.
NOTES: Weekly honors: Trainer-Terry Gillihan (4-3-0-0); Jockeys-Jennifer Whitaker, Rocco Bowen, Isaias Enriquez (community support);Owner-Bruce & Cass Maller (E Z Kitty/Hastings Handicap); Groom-Juan Garcia (trainer Dan Markle); Washington-bred: Roarified (breeder Carleen & Dan Belton)*An abbreviated version of Emerald Downs Live airs from 2-4 p.m. Saturday on CSN (channel 179)*Polish Dollar continues to roll along, getting an 81 for his two-length victory over Camp Granada in Sunday’s $18,900 sub-feature...The 7-year-old gelding has two of the meet’s three fastest times at six furlongs*1:08.09, 1:08.70*and with 12 EmD wins is tied with Wasserman and Touch of Elegance for third on the list of most wins by an active horse*Washington-bred of the Week Roarified earned a career-high 71 Beyer for Sunday’s four-length win in 1:09.42 for six furlongs. The 5-year-old mare has compiled a remarkable 9-0-0 record in 13 career starts, the first 12 races coming for trainer Chris Stenslie and owners One Horse Will Do Corp. and Tina Saxold. Sunday’s victory was Roarified’s first start for trainer Doris Harwood and owners Michael Pollowitz and Jeff Wilson*The popular Preakness Pancakes is offered free from 9-11 a.m. Saturday on Track Level. Fans get a free pancake and bacon breakfast, free program and admission to the day’s races, a tram tour and special interviews as Robert Geller and Jacob Pollowitz visit with jockey Isaias Enriquez Bowen and trainer Jeff Metz*Geller performs double-duty Saturday as he also guest stars at Emerald ED featuring a discussion on Thoroughbred confirmation. The free class begins at 12 p.m. in the Emerald Room (4th floor)*Polish Dollar, Just Meteor, Jade Road and Roarified are all double winners at the meet*Super Hi-Fi will perform live Friday night at Emerald Downs*A victory by Olympic Lights in Saturday’s third would tie the 9-year-old gelding with Bob Stories and Market Master for second on the all-time Emerald Downs win list. Olympic Lights enters the six-furlong event with a 15-for-38 record at EmD*The six horses in Saturday’s third*Olympic Lights, Buddy Dave, Chicks Dig Him, Decarchy Cocktail, Rainier Missile and Perusethenews*have a combined 36 wins and 84 in-the-money finishes at Emerald Downs*
Saturday’s card also spotlights a pair of allowance/optional claiming races. In race seven at six furlongs, six 3-year-old colts and geldings hope to bolster their resumes for the $50,000 Auburn Handicap on June 3. Markle sends out both Cariboo Road and Country Rules against 2012 Gottstein Futurity runner-up Finallygotabentley, and Northern California shipper Step On the Gas makes his EmD debut for trainer Mike Puhich. Race eight is for fillies and mares with Northwest Farms’ highly-regarded Stopshoppingdebbie facing triple stakes winner Carrabelle Harbor and four others*Tasya, a five-time winner at Emerald Downs, is on a roll at Golden Gate Fields for owner Richard Beal. Claimed for $6,250 in January, the 5-year-old mare bids for her fourth straight win Friday while jumping into a $31,000 purse for $62,500 optional claimers*Stormy Lucy, stakes-placed in graded company twice last year as a 3-year-old, makes her 2013 debut in the June 9 Redondo Beach Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, trainer Frank Lucarelli said*Marathon specialist Horatio is featured in this week’s edition of Thoroughbreds After The Finish Line. The 14-year-old gelding is profiled in the track’s official program with additional photos and video available at emeralddowns.com*Posse Power, third in the 2011 Longacres Mile, makes his first start this year in a $31,000 allowance/optional claimer Saturday at Golden Gate Fields*Emerald Downs honors recently retired Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley with a race on Saturday, June 15*EmD fastest times (thru May 12): 5F*Seattle Game, :56.80, April 27; 5 ½ F*Exclusive Diva, 1:01.56, April 21; 6F*Polish Dollar, 1:08.09, April 20; 6 ½ F*Cat Von Diva, 1:15.52, May 11; 1M*El Gran Bebe, 1:39.12, May 4.
FEATURES WINNING MACHINE, MAKORS FINALE
AUBURN, Wash. (May 12, 2013) * The road to the Longacres Mile officially begins with the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap on Sunday, May 19. The first of four open stakes for 3-year-olds and up, the 6 ½-furlong Governor’s is the lone sprint in the series and drew an outstanding list of 12 nominations.
Last year’s Top Older Horse and Top 3-Year-Old, Winning Machine and Makors Finale, staged a dramatic sneak preview last month with Makors Finale holding off Winning Machine by a neck in 1:02.71 for 5 ½ furlongs.
The defending Governor’s champion, Winning Machine is coming off his best season in which the Kentucky-bred won two stakes, finished second in two others and came within a head of winning the Longacres Mile. Makors Finale, meanwhile, dominated the sophomore ranks with four stakes wins and was named the WTBOA Washington Horse of the Year for 2012.
The third, fourth and fifth-place finishers from the April 28 allowance race*Hoist, Edge Forward and D’honorable One*also are nominated to the Governors, along with 2012 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic winner Kooky Saluki and 2012 Top Claimer Rocky’s Quest.
Why Not Be Perfect, fresh off honors as Top Turf Horse at Turf Paradise, moves back to dirt for the Governor’s, while a string of Vancouver-based runners*Devil in Disguise, Herbie D and Hoist*also are nominated to the race. Devil in Disguise, runner-up in the George Royal last month at Hastings Racecourse, and Hoist, third in last year’s B.C. Derby, are both owned by North American Thoroughbred Racing Company and trained by Mike Puhich. Those are the same connections that sent out Taylor Said to win the 2012 Longacres Mile.
The venerable Governor’s*2013 marks the 74th running*has produced a long list of champions over the years, most recently Winning Machine, Noosa Beach (2011), Atta Boy Roy (2009), Wasserman (2008), Starbird Road (2006) and No Giveaway (2005).
After the Governor’s, the older horse division continues with the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap, one mile, June 16; $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap, 1 1/16 mile, July 8, and $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3), August 18.
Governor’s Handicap*74th Running, 6 ½ Furlongs, Sunday, May 19
Assessment (KY-9)....Tice Ranch Stables LLC....Howard Belvoir
D’honorable One (FLA-4).... Nelson Family Racing....Blaine Wright
Devil in Disguise (KY-4).... North American T’bred Racing....Company Mike Puhich
Edge Forward (KY-4).... Ivor & Jack Jones....Doris Harwood
Herbie D (BC-5)....George Robbins....Robert Gilker
Hoist (KY-4).... North American T’bred Racing Company....Mike Puhich
Kooky Saluki (WA-5).... MOH Stables, Inc.....Jim Penney
Makors Finale (WA-4).... Karl Krieg....Tom Wenzel
Rocky’s Quest (KY-5).... John & Janene Maryanski....Blaine Wright
Stryker Phd (WA-4).... Jim & Mona Hour....Margo Lloyd
Why Not Be Perfect (KY-6).... J. C. Racing Stable....Jeff Metz
Winning Machine (KY-7).... Fleur De Lis Stables....Frank Lucarelli
TAKES EARLY LEAD AND PREVAILS
Wash. (May 18, 2013) * Sis’s Sis returned to the races in style Saturday
afternoon at Emerald Downs.
OF ACES ZIPS TO VICTORY
Downs News and Stable Notes