INVESTED PROSPECT TOPS IRISH DAY STAKES
Invested Prospect carries superb credentials into Sunday’s $50,000 Irish Day Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile. Unbeaten in three starts, she came off the bench for a gate-to-wire victory in the 6 ½-furlong Seattle Stakes on May 8.
The Irish Day, however, marks new territory for Invested Prospect. It’s the first route assignment for the Blaine Wright trainee.
It’s a formidable assignment, perhaps made even more daunting by drawing the outside post in the eight-horse field, meaning jockey Juan Gutierrez will have to gun Invested Prospect to the lead or risk getting hung wide around the first turn. And with several horses in the same boat—Lady Diva, Princess Katie and B C Z Middleton also are routing for the first time—it’s reasonable to assume the early pace will be hot and heavy.
Also, Invested Prospect’s 123 lb impost would be the most weight ever carried by a winner of the Irish Day.
On the other hand, Invested Prospect (3-3-0-0-$63,775) is super talented and most likely the fastest of the speed horses. Her connections are practically peerless: Wright tops the trainer standings with a 12-for-30 mark at the meet while Gutierrez is one of the track’s all-time big-money riders, ranking No. 3 with 59 career stakes wins. So it’s also reasonable to assume Invested Prospect is ready to run a big race, and that she’ll get a fine ride.
But can she do it? In 20 previous runnings, six horses led gate-to-wire to win the Irish Day—Stopshoppingdebbie (2013), Elusive Noise (2011), Ladyledue (2009), Enumclaw Girl (2008), Mishill (1998) and Spite and Malice (1997). Last year, the Wright-trained Seeking the Light—also ridden by Gutierrez—finished second at 10-1 odds, and the winner Belle Hill was the real deal, reeling off subsequent victories in the Kent Stakes and Washington Oaks.
Invested Prospect’s breeding—By Abraaj-No Constraints—could pose a problem. Although crowned state champion 2-year-old filly of 2007, No Constraints finished last in her only two routes including, coincidentally, the 2008 Irish Day.
California shipper Brookys Star and Canadian shipper Princess Katie are the only new faces in the race. The former, trained by Tim McCanna, is winless in four starts this year at Golden Gate including an eighth in the California Oaks. The latter, trained by Robert Gilker, finished runner-up to Snuggles in the May 8 Ross McLeod at 6 ½ furlongs at Hastings Racecourse.
Sophie’s Trophy in 2006 is the last shipper to win the Irish Day at Emerald Downs. In fact, Sophie’s Trophy and Langara Lass came down from Canada to finish first and third in the 2006 Irish Day.
Betting favorites are 0-for-4 in stakes this season: Princess Kennedy, 5th at 3-1, Seattle Stakes; Mach One Rules, 2nd at 6-5, Auburn Stakes; Kikisoblu, 6th at 1-1, Hastings Stakes; Kaabraaj, 3rd at 9-5, Governor’s Stakes.
The Irish Day Stakes goes as Race 8 on a nine-race card. Post time is 5:39 p.m.
The field for the 21st running of the Irish Day Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile: My Heart Goes On, Francisco Duran, 119 lbs; Lady Diva, Javier Matias, 117; Brookys Star, Eswan Flores, 117; Find Joy, Isaias Enriquez, 117; Princess Katie, Leslie Mawing, 119; Princess Kennedy, Rocco Bowen, 119; B C Z Middleton, Jose Zunino, 117; Invested Prospect, Juan Gutierrez, 123.
CARRYOVERS GALORE ON FAB FRIDAY NIGHT!
The $0.20 Pick 7 and the $0.50 Pick 5 will have the attention of handicappers Friday as both exotic wagers have sizable carryovers heading into the day's seven-race card.
The Pick 7, introduced this season at Emerald Downs, takes a five-day carryover of $15,156 into Friday and covers every race on the card. Meanwhile, the Pick 5, which starts in race three, will tempt handicappers with its $9,307 carryover.
The average field size for Friday's card is nearly 8.5 horses per race and concludes both the Pick 7 and Pick 5 with an 11-horse field. First post is at approx. 6:35 p.m.
THE PRESS BOX PODCAST: IRISH DAY STAKES
The 45-minute program will showcase every stakes race this season including Sunday's $50,000 Irish Day Stakes.
Hosted by Jacob Pollowitz (Professor Pollowitz) and Vince Bruun (Mr. Media), The Press Box Podcast starts approx. 30 minutes before post time before each stakes and includes horsemen interviews, handicapping, Matt Dinerman's live race call, the Winner's Circle interview and a comprehensive look at the race's history.
You can listen to the show live or recorded by visiting the track website at emeralddowns.com or at mixlr.com/emerald-downs.
MEMORIAL DAY RACING CAPS OFF FOUR-DAY RACEWEEK
For the first time this season, Emerald Downs will host four straight days of live Thoroughbred racing this holiday weekend.
Memorial Day racing returns Monday with several activities on tap for friends and family. In the north park, kids can enjoy pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and more.
For handicappers, the track expects a nine-race card on Memorial Day with post time at approx. 2 p.m.
May 30: Memorial Day Racing & Family Fun Day
June 3 Brewer's Night
June 10-12 Indian Relay Races
June 11 Belmont Stakes
June 19 Father's Day & Family Fun Day
June 20 20th Anniversary Celebration & Monday Racing
BEYERS & FAST TIMES
Friday, May 20
Race 1: Coming in Hot-47*
Race 2: Double Shuffle-57
Race 3: All for Me-56
Race 4: Gotta Be Diet C-54*
Race 5: Geldautomat-75*
Race 6: Diamonds Dena-67
Race 7: Gold Locket-50
Saturday, May 21
Race 1: Stella Corona-(qh)
Race 2: Tinkerbelle Tops-43
Race 3: Knife River-51*
Race 4: T.J.’s Only-62
Race 5: Eddie Would Go-50
Race 6: Parkers Delight-62*
Race 7: Ain’t Tellin’-78
Race 8: Big Hat Charlie-79
Race 9: Trygve’s Besst-64*
Sunday, May 22
Race 1: Time for a Memory-57
Race 2: Mara’s Warlock-48*
Race 3: Ms Harbor Boss-26
Race 4: Troop Ship-60
Race 5: Bar Room Riot-60*
Race 6: Cash N Dash-59
Race 7: Estellara-84* (Hastings Stakes)
Race 8: O B Harbor-98* (Governor’s Stakes)
Race 9: Coach Royal-79
Race 10: Sunshining-39*
# First-time starter
5 Furlongs :56.45 Swiss Script (3yof), May 14
5 ½ Furlongs 1:00.97 O B Harbor (4yo), April 10
6 Furlongs 1:06.86* Kaabraaj (4yo), April 23
6 ½ Furlongs 1:13.59 O B Harbor (4yo), May 22
1 Mile 1:35.27 Oldtimers Vision (5yo), April 30
XERXES SHOWS OFF ON TRAINING DAY!
Xerxes, a two-time winner at the meet, is an early candidate for 2016 Top Claimer and the featured racehorse on Thursday's "Training Day!"
EmD TWO-MINUTE CLIP: SOPHIA MCKEE
Vice President of Marketing Sophia McKee concluded her Emerald Downs tenure on Thursday but not without being the star of this week's "Two-Minute Clip!"
WEEKLY HONORS #7 (May 20-22): Jockey-Erick Lopez(pictured above) (15-3-0-0 & Estellara-Hastings Stakes); Trainer-Chris Stenslie (9-3-2-0 & O B Harbor-Governors Stakes); Owner-Jody Peetz (One Horse Will Do Corporation); Quarter Chute Café Groom-Victor Pulido (Robbie Baze); Washington-bred-T.J.’s Only (Cliff Balcom breeder); Exercise Rider of the Week-Byron Rodriguez (Roy Lumm).
FINISH LINES: As of Thursday, stable superintendent Vern Baze reports there are 1,071 horses stabled at Emerald Downs. . .Friday’s feature race is a $16,600 purse for $25,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs: Pebble Beach, Cat Camille, Kiss My Lulu, Aunt Maryann, Copy Begone, Croix Du Soleil, Allaboutthatbass, Our Clementine and Freaky Kiki. . .Saturday’s feature is a $16,600 purse for $25,000 claiming fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at one mile: Guinevere’s Finale, Perhaps a Pie, If You Like It, Cup of Soup, Bella Colomba, Love Cautiously, Alli Leigh and S U M Racer. . .Bh Lisas Boy, undefeated in four starts at Emerald Downs, makes his second appearance of the meet in Saturday’s opener for owner/trainer Bill Hoburg. A $5,000 allowance at 350 yards, the nine-horse field also features Flyin Lion, third to Bh Lisas Boy in last year’s Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge, and Snowbound Superchick, third in the 2013 Bank of America EmD Championship Challenge. . .With Polish Dollar officially retired, Chaching Pete is all alone for most wins by an active Emerald Downs horse with 15. The 9-year-old gelding, already 2-for-2 at the meet, could make it 16 with a victory Saturday in race seven for older $5,000 claimers at six furlongs. . .Robbie Baze, tied for fifth with eight wins, leads all trainers in the top 20 with an average $2 win payoff of $18.40. . .17 horses are tied for most wins at the meet with two apiece, including stakes winners Barkley, Estellara and O B Harbor. . .Roz Barclay leads the owners’ standings with a 7-0-3 record in 16 starts with earnings of $76,845, including a $27,500 check for Estellara’s head win over Ethan’s Baby in the Hastings Stakes. . .Trainer of the Week Chris Stenslie, is still wearing a sling from a broken collarbone and rib sustained in a training mishap last month. Stenslie said the sling comes off June 6. . .O B Harbor’s 98 Beyer is largest of the meet at Emerald Downs, and the 4-year-old has meet-fast times at 5 ½ furlongs (1:00.87) and 6 ½ furlongs (1:13.59). . .John Parker’s Gold Rush Dancer aims for another stakes win Saturday in the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-old California-breds at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita. . . Rocco Bowen, atop the jockeys’ standings with 26 wins, celebrated his 27th birthday Monday. Congratulations, Rocco. . .For the second straight year, Emerald Downs has been selected for TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. The reward reflects consistently great reviews earned on TripAdvisor. Nice Work!