HERBIE D 2013 HORSE OF THE MEETING
AUBURN, Wash. (September 29) – George Robbins and Darcia Doman’s Herbie D was voted Horse of the Meeting and Top Older Horse as Emerald Downs announced its 2013 season honors Sunday on closing day of the track’s 18th season.
The 5-year-old British Columbia-bred gelding was dominant in two starts while rolling to gate-to-wire victories in the $200,000 Longacres Mile and $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap. The Robert Gilker-trained bay earned the meet’s two biggest Beyers—a 101 in the 1 1/16-mile Mt. Rainier and a 100 in the Grade 3 Mile—and defeated a star-studded Mile that included shippers from New York, Kentucky, California and Canada.
Based at Hastings Racecourse, Herbie D is 10-for-13 overall with earnings of $337,928, and is the second straight B.C.-bred to win The Mile after Taylor Said captured the race in 2012.
Horse of the Meeting was hotly contested as Stopshoppingdebbie, Chu and You and E Z Kitty also received votes for the track’s top award.
Northwest Farms’ Stopshoppingdebbie was a unanimous choice for Top 3-Year-Old Filly, as the daughter of Curlin became the first horse in track history to sweep all four open stakes races for sophomore fillies, winning at distances of 6 ½ furlongs, one mile, 1 1/16-miles and
1 1/8 miles. Tom Wenzel received Top Training Achievement for his work with Stopshoppingdebbie, who is expected to return next year and compete vs. older fillies and mares.
Washington-bred 5-year-old mare E Z Kitty dominated this year’s older filly and mare division with three stakes wins, including a resounding 3 ½-length victory in the championship $65,000 Emerald Distaff, and was a unanimous choice for Top Older Filly or Mare.
Jeff Metz, trainer of E Z Kitty, was an instant success at Emerald Downs. The 46-year-old Californian saddled 42 winners and dethroned two-time defending champion Frank Lucarelli atop the trainers’ standings. Metz (Saratoga West) also was the meet’s leading owner with 20 wins. Lucarelli finished second with 39 wins—the 12th time in the last 15 seasons he’s finished first or second—including five wins by 4-year-old filly Kind of Naughty, who becomes Lucarelli’s third horse in the last four years to be voted Top Claimer.
Another newcomer captured leading rider honors as 40-year-old Isaias Enriquez unseated Juan Gutierrez atop the jockeys’ standings by a 101-96 total. For his superior first season at Emerald Downs, Enriquez also was voted Top Riding Achievement for 2013.
Enriquez and Gutierrez (who missed the final two weeks with injury) dominated the jockey colony; both nearly doubling the win total of third-place Eliska Kubinova (54 wins).
In the 2-year-old ranks, the Doris Harwood-trained Del Rio Harbor capped a spectacular four-win campaign with a 1 ¼-length victory in the Gottstein Futurity, earning honors as Top 2-Year-Old Male. And trainer Robbie Baze saddled Chu and You to four wins—including three stakes—to give owners/breeders Mike and Amy Feuerborn the track’s Top 2-Year-Old Filly.
Polish Dollar earned the nod as Top Sprinter, and the 7-year-old gelding is the oldest horse to win an Emerald Downs title in 2013. The Bob Meeking-trained gelding stormed to three victories—scorching six furlongs in 1:08.09 and 1:08.70, and 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.69. Owned by Sharon Radke, Polish Dollar is 13-for-35 lifetime at Emerald Downs.
Texas-bred Worldventurer, seven-length winner of the Emerald Derby, took honors as Top 3-Year-Old Male. Blaine Wright trains the consistent gelding for owner Peter Redekop Ltd.
Stryker Phd was voted Top Washington-bred, as the 4-year-old Bertrando gelding finished second in all four open stakes for 3-year-olds and up, including a runner-up effort to Herbie D in the Longacres Mile. Trained by Margo Lloyd for Jim and Mona Hour, Stryker Phd capped his season with a 3 ¼-length victory over Polish Dollar in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic.
Emerald Downs 2013 Season Honors
Horse of the Meeting Herbie D (BC)
Top WA-bred Stryker Phd (WA)
Top Older Horse Herbie D (BC)
Top Sprinter Polish Dollar (WA)
Top Older Filly or Mare E Z Kitty (WA)
Top 3-year-old Male Worldventurer (TX)
Top 3-year-old Filly Stopshoppingdebbie (KY)
Top Juvenile Male Del Rio Harbor (WA)
Top Juvenile Filly Chu and You (WA)
Top Claimer Kind of Naughty (KY)
Race of the Meet 78th Longacres Mile, August 18
Leading Rider Isaias Enriquez (101 wins)
Leading Trainer Jeff Metz (42 wins)
Leading Owner Saratoga West (20 wins)
Top Riding Achievement Isaias Enriquez (Wins title in first season)
Top Training Achievement Tom Wenzel (Stopshoppingdebbie)
Durkan Award David Martinez, Martin Pimentel
Lindy Award Connie Doll