West Seattle Boy winning the 2011 "The Bob Stories"
EMERALD DOWNS TO HONOR WEST SEATTLE BOY
WITH POSTERS, SPECIAL CEREMONY ON JUNE 30
The track’s all-time wins leader will have a special day when Emerald Downs salutes West Seattle Boy on Saturday, June 30.
Special limited edition West Seattle Boy posters—featuring all 21 of the gelding’s wins at Emerald Downs—will be given away to fans, and there also will be a special winner’s circle retirement ceremony, a West Seattle Boy tribute will be shown on television monitors, and West Seattle Boy will appear at that morning’s Emerald A.M. show in the paddock.
Retired after his most recent start at Portland Meadows, West Seattle Boy finished with a career record of 111-26-14-20 with earnings of $184,710. At Emerald Downs, West Seattle Boy compiled a 21-12-15 mark in 88 starts with earnings of $166,850. He won three races at Emerald Downs as a 12-year-old in 2011, and three races at Emerald Downs as an 11-year-old in 2010.
West Seattle Boy’s 21 career wins at Emerald Downs are five more than any other horse in the track’s 17-season history, and both his longevity and exciting come-from-behind style made the gelding one of the most popular runners in track history.
Owned by Jerry Carmody and Lisa Baze, West Seattle Boy has already begun a new career as a pony horse at Emerald Downs, but the owners have graciously agreed to allow the horse to appear before his fans twice on June 30—both as the featured attraction at Emerald A.M. and during the races in the winner’s circle. In the latter appearance, the gallant gelding will receive a special gift courtesy of Emerald Downs.
EL GRAN BEBE LOOKS TO EXTEND STREAK SUNDAY
El Gran Bebe, a demon last fall on turf in Northern California, will put his three-race winning streak on the line Sunday in an allowance optional claiming race for older horses at six furlongs. A field of six 3-year-olds and up will race six furlongs for a $20,000 purse.
Conditioned by Washington Hall of Fame trainer Jim Penney, El Gran Bebe was an absolute terror on the Golden Gate turf course in the early winter months, climbing up the class ladder from a $12,500 claiming race for 3-year-olds to an allowance race for older horses. While Christmas came early for owner/breeder Michael and Amy Feuerborn, their homebred’s winning streak looked more like the film Groundhog Day.
Instead of comedian Bill Murray trying to win over actress Andie MacDowell, it was El Gran Bebe winning each race gate-to-wire with Kevin Krigger aboard by 1-¼ lengths.
Now, it’s back to dirt for El Gran Bebe. And with a hot pace expected, the 4-year-old gelding will likely have to change his tactics. Kay Cooper, Penney’s daughter and chief assistant, said El Gran Bebe would have to take advantage of his outside draw.
“My horse has speed, but it’s route speed,” Cooper said. “He’ll have use the outside draw to keep an eye on the inside speed.”
To win, El Gran Bebe likely will have to catch the quick-footed pacesetter Cat On Base. In a 4-½-length romp April 14, Cat On Base tied the track record for the fastest 5-½ furlongs(1:01-1/5), a mark that lasted eight days until Hollywood Harbor set the world record of 1:00.87 Sunday. Nevertheless, Cat On Base’s speed and El Gran Bebe’s winning streak should make for one hotly contested feature race.
The field for Sunday’s ninth race: Emancipated, Jose Zunino, 120 lbs, Cat On Base, Jennifer Whitaker. 124; Advancement, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 124; Slim Pickins, Javier Matias, 120; El Gran Bebe, Juan Gutierrez, 120; Our Eagle Boy, William Antongeorgi, 120.
Hollywood Harbor setting the world record for fastest 5-1/2 furlongs in 1:00.87
HOLLYWOOD HARBOR GETS CAREER-HIGH BEYER
Hollywood Harbor’s world-record performance on Sunday—5-½ furlongs in 1:00.87—also earned the 5-year-old gelding a career-high 92 Beyer Speed Figure. It was the highest Beyer this season at Emerald Downs, eclipsing the 89 that Cat On Base was given April 14 after running 5-½ furlongs in 1:01.37.
Trainer Chris Stenslie said Hollywood Harbor (10-6-3-0-$112,786) emerged from the record-setting performance in great shape, and plans to run her star sprinter vs. two-time Horse of the Meeting Noosa Beach in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap at 6-½ furlongs on Sunday, May 20.
Other notable Beyers from Week 2:
· Aaron the Baron earned a career-high 83 for his runner-up finish to Hollywood Harbor, and trainer Doris Harwood said she plans to run both Noosa Beach and Aaron the Baron in the Governor’s Handicap. A 5-year-old Tribunal gelding, Aaron the Baron has a lifetime mark of 2-2-1 in eight starts with earnings of $31,229.
· City Twister got an 81 for his 8-¾-length victory in 1:01.85 for 5-½ furlongs. Trainer Dan Markle said the 3-year-old He’s Tops colt came out of the effort in good shape and could come right back in an allowance race in the second condition book. “He’s an awful nice colt, but his shins were a little tender (as a 2-year-old). He’s come back really well this year. He’s a big, gorgeous horse.”
· Class Included was given a 76 Beyer for her one-length triumph in 1:02.18 for 5-½-furlongs. The 4-year-old Include filly has never finished worse than second in 10 career starts (10-5-5-0-$191,823) and is on a collision course with You Me and Ema B in the $50,000 Hastings Handicap on Sunday, May 13. The 2011 Top Older Filly or Mare, You Me and Ema B has five workouts under her belt including her first five-furlong drill (1:00-3/5) last Sunday.
· Showme Yourfriends got a 70 for a one-length victory in 1:02.19 for 5-½ furlongs. The 4-year-old Delineator gelding has a 4-3-1 mark in 10 starts at Emerald Downs, and was one of three winners for Trainer of the Week Stenslie.
Colonel Courtney after winning his first race at Emerald Downs
“CHICKASAW VS THE COLONEL”
OLDIES BUT GOODIES FACE OFF SATURDAY
For 12-year-old gelding Colonel Courtney and 10-year-old gelding Chickasaw Park—tied for second most all-time active wins with 12 at Emerald Downs—nothing beats the competition of horse racing. So it will be business as usual for the crafty veterans Saturday when they lock horns in the day’s second race—a $5,000/$4,000 claiming event at 5-½ furlongs.
Sure, it’s been five years since Colonel Courtney’s five-length romp over graded-stakes winner Court’s In Session at Bay Meadows, in which he earned a resounding 97 Beyer Speed Figure. Similarly, it’s been nearly five years since Chickasaw Park’s dominating 4-½-length victory in the 2007 Chinook Pass Sprint at Emerald Downs. But after a combined 170 starts and $591,519 in purse earnings, both Thoroughbreds are still going strong and clearly relishing their work.
In fact, Colonel Courtney, who earned $35,999 in 2011, comes off a dominating victory on opening weekend at Emerald Downs. Not only was it “The Colonel’s” first start at Emerald Downs, but it also was only his fourth career race around two turns. Not bad, considering he’s run in over 100 sprints at 19 different racetracks. And trainer G.D. Khalsa, who has trained Colonel Courtney since last November, said he doesn’t see the 12-year-old son of Mt. Livermore slowing down anytime soon.
“He came out of the last race as sharp I’ve ever seen him,” Khalsa said. “He’s a happy horse.”
Another happy horse on opening weekend had to be Chickasaw Park, who after missing nearly the entire 2011 season fired a big shot off the bench for trainer H.R. Pat Mullens. The son of Delineator was beaten only a neck while finishing third to 10-time winner Kool Comic and Declan Downs. It was an impressive effort considering the Washington-bred closed 1-½ lengths on a speed-favoring track. A win Saturday also would push Chickasaw park over $200,000 in career earnings. His overall record is 61-13-14-5 with earnings of $198,481 for Mullens, Ed Zenker and Swede Larson.
NOTES: Week 2 honors: Jockey-Jose Zunino (7-3-0-1); Trainer-Chris Stenslie (9-3-1-0; Owner-One Horse Will Do Corp, Tina & Scott Saxwold; Groom-Manuel Osoria (Hollywood Harbor, Showme Yourfriends)…Juan Gutierrez rode four winners last week and is three wins from tying Ricky Frazier for second-place all-time at Emerald Downs. The ever-steady Gutierrez has finished in the top 10 each of the last 10 seasons and has 883 career wins at EmD…Gutierrez is among five riders log jammed in second place with five wins apiece: Gutierrez, Joe Crispin, William Antongeorgi, Debbie Hoonan and Leonel Camacho-Flores. Eliska Kubinova had a relatively slow week at 18-1-1-3, but she remains in first place with six wins…Frank Lucarelli, who led all trainers with 14 multiple win days last year, is off and running in 2012 with training doubles last Saturday and Sunday…Lucarelli’s two winners Sunday both romped: Majorca Gold winning the sixth race by 3-½ lengths and Seattle Game improving to 6-for-14 at Emerald Downs with a 7-¼ length score in the ninth…2011 Top Claimer Touch of Elegance makes her 2012 debut in Friday’s fourth race for $10,000/$8,000 claiming fillies & mares at 5-½ furlongs. The 5-year-old mare is now trained by Roy Lumm…Slovakia native Maggie Rossak will make her first US start on Friday aboard Frijole Baby in the second race…The Lucarelli-trained Gallant Son drew the outside No. 11 post-position in Saturday’s $150,000 San Francisco Mile (G2) on the turf at Golden Gate Fields. Post time is 4:15 p.m…2010 Longacres Mile runner-up Jersey Town is 3-to-1 third choice in Sunday’s $150,000 Westchester Stakes (G3) on opening weekend at Belmont Park…Diamond of Blue, trained by Blaine Wright, will face seven other 3-year-olds Thursday in the $70,000 Harry Henson Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. Post time for the 6-furlong stakes race is 4:06 p.m.…Similar to last week, the weather is expected to improve over the weekend in Auburn with Sunday shaping up as glorious racing weather: 64 degrees and sunny…Emerald A.M. debuts 9 a.m. Saturday with entrance at the northeast corner by the paddock. Track announcer Robert Geller and media relations’ assistant Jacob Pollowitz host the free show that features interviews with jockey Rocco Bowen and owner Jody Peetz. The show includes free coffee and pastries, and afterward a free tramcar stable tour will be offered…Congratulations to jockey Joe Steiner for riding a winner on opening day of Betfair Hollywood Park. Steiner guided All Six Sisters ($14) to a six-length victory in the second race….Emerald Downs’ Vice President Jack Hodge also had a nice win Thursday as the 5-year-old mare Upperline ($6) prevailed in the $150,000 Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (G3) on the turf at Keeneland. Hodge co-owns the Maria’s Mon mare with Arthur B. Hancock III, John Adger and trainer Michael Stidham…Sunday’s eighth race at EmD is a $21,500 allowance race for 3-year-olds featuring the return of both 2011 Dennis Dodge Stakes winner Brady’s Kat and 2011 Premio Esmeralda Stakes third-place finisher D’honorable One…Saturday’s feature is a $25,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up at 5-½ furlongs featuring a pair of 4-year-old geldings—Kooky Saluki and National—from the Jim Penney barn…Emerald Downs Live on Comcast Sports Network (CSN) returns to its normal 2-6 p.m. time slot this Saturday.