SHOWDOWN IN THE $65,000 GOTTSTEIN FUTURITY!
PRIME ENGINE ATTEMPTS TO DETHRONE TRACKATTACKER
All season Trackattacker has dominated the discussion as the standout among 2-year-olds this season at Emerald Downs.
Unbeaten and untested in four starts with three stakes wins and a track record, Trackattacker’s average winning margin is over 9 lengths. In fact, the Washington-bred son of Harbor the Gold has garnered so much attention that some Vegas bookmakers have already set odds on his chances to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on November 1 at Santa Anita Park.
“He’s the real deal,” said Dennis Snowden, assistant to trainer Frank Lucarelli. “He is such a nice animal and he’s doing even better now. This is the best he’s been galloping all year.”
But there’s a new kid in town, Prime Engine, and he rocked the local racing scene with an exceptional debut performance last Saturday. The10 ¾-length length victory in 1:03.55 for 5 ½ furlongs was so impressive that the $65,000 Gottstein Futurity on Sunday, September 28, is no longer considered a mere formality for Trackattacker.
Prime Engine earned an 83 Beyer, highest by a 2-year-old here since Gallant Son notched an 86 in 2008, and seven points higher than Trackattacker’s career-best 76 Beyer earned in the Emerald Express.
Whether a trip to Southern California is in the cards for Trackattacker is contingent upon how well he performs in the Gottstein, which at 1 1/16 miles has long been considered the state’s championship race for 2-year-olds.
“Prime Engine is probably the nicest colt that Trackattacker has had to face,” Snowden said. “The problem is that Prime Engine’s only gone 5-½ furlongs once, and two weeks later will be asked to run 1-1/16 miles. I honestly see Trackattacker getting out front early, getting challenged and just sprinting away.
“He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Snowden said of Trackattacker. “He’s Mr. Hyde when he’s by himself relaxing on the front end, but when you start to challenge him, he’ll turn right into Dr. Jekyll. He’s not going to let anyone get in front of him without putting up a fight.”
After Prime Engine’s unveiling, trainer Mike Puhich quickly confirmed with Emerald Downs’ Joe Withee that the chestnut son of Northern Afleet would wheel back in the Gottstein, and take on Trackattacker. While Prime Engine’s eye-catching win has changed the storylines from Trackattacker’s brilliant campaign to a newfound rivalry, Snowden remains confident that his gelding will secure the juvenile championship event.
CHRIS LARMEY FEATURED SATURDAY AT EMERALD ED
Chris Larmey, one of the region’s finest handicappers and top tournament players, joins host Vince Bruun for the season’s final edition of Emerald ED at 12 p.m. Saturday in the Emerald Room (4th floor).
Focusing on Winning Angles & Money Management, the free class also previews Saturday’s live racing at Emerald Downs, and looks at California Chrome’s return in the
$1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing.
To sign up for Emerald ED, simply go to emeralddowns.com at: http://emeralddowns.com/calendar.aspx?dt=&v=
NOTES: Weekly Honors #23: Jockey-Leonel Camacho-Flores (11-4-2-3); Trainer-Martin Pimentel (3-2-0-0); Owner-Jack Zaborac (1-1-0-0); Groom-Ladislao Caro (trainer Jeff Metz); Washington-bred-Another Winter (breeders Tim Floyd, James Broussard & Horseplayers Racing Club). . .Saturday’s sixth race features older $40,000 claimers racing 6 ½ furlongs for a $18,900 purse. Dare Me Devil, with wins his last three times at the distance, faces 6 ½-furlong world-record holder I Keep Saying, Fist Full of Green, Calculated Chaos, Memphis Mobster, Rocky’s Quest and Winning Machine, back at Emerald Downs after an unsuccessful stint at Del Mar. . .In Sunday’s $21,000 allowance feature for older fillies and mares at one mile, Goin to the Window and Blueberry Smoothie make their final career starts before joining Northwest Farms’ band of broodmares next year in Kentucky. As for Stopshoppingdebbie, the undefeated 4-year-old filly arrived safely at Santa Anita at noon Wednesday, according to trainer Tom Wenzel. Still no announcement on whether the Curlin filly runs September 27 in the $300,000 Zenyatta (G1) at 1 1/16 miles, or October 4 in the $100,000 LA Woman (G3) at 6 ½ furlongs. . .Sunday, Hastings Racecourse offers the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old colts & geldings foaled in Canada, and the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old fillies foaled in Canada. Both races are 6 ½ furlongs, with unbeaten and untested Lord Rosberg the probable favorite in the Jack Diamond and Finality’s Charmer and Quatre Cat co-favorites in the Sadie Diamond. . .Ambush Alley, runner-up in the Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge, runs in one of four $3,000 Trials Friday at Turf Paradise. . .Alert Bay earned an 89 Beyer for his win in Sunday’s B.C. Derby, only one point higher than 3-year-old Noosito got for winning the Chinook Pass Stake here September 7. . .Free Coffee at the Quarter Chute Café this weekend! Saturday’s free java is courtesy of Trackattacker and Sunday’s coffee is compliments of Mike Man’s Gold. . .Led by Mike Feuerborn, Robbie Baze, Joe Withee, Vern Baze and Dean Mazzuca, Team Emerald Downs was victorious over Hastings Racecourse in the annual CAN-AM Ryder Cup Tuesday at Shuksan Golf Course in Bellingham. Way to go, guys!