Class Included (inside) winning the 2011 Washington Oaks
CLASS INCLUDED RETURNS TO ACTION SATURDAY
VS. STAKES WINNERS IN TOUGH $21,500 ALLOWANCE
Michael and Amy Feuerborn’s homebred Class Included will make her season debut Saturday in a $21,500 allowance race at 5-½ furlongs for fillies and mares.
Voted Top 3-Year-Old Filly in 2011, Class Included comes off a spectacular sophomore campaign that produced three stakes wins and a sweep of both the Washington and British Columbia Oaks. In fact, Class Included was so sharp that her connections raced her against older fillies and mares at Hastings, where she finished second in the $100,000 Ballerina Stakes (G3-C).
Now, the daughter of 2004 Top Juvenile Filly A Classic Life, will return to Emerald Downs in a showdown with some familiar faces. Sunday’s event is designed as a prep for the $50,000 Hastings Handicap on May 13, and also includes stakes-winning fillies Elusive Noise and Carrabelle Harbor.
While Class Included is the probable favorite, Kay Cooper, head assistant and daughter to trainer Jim Penney, said the filly still has to prove herself against older fillies and mares.
“The hardest transition for a horse to make is from 3-year-old to 4-year-old,” Cooper said. “We’ll find out if (Class Included) is just an outstanding 3-year-old or if she’s a great horse.”
The Penney barn won’t make it any easier for their gray-tailed filly, as Class Included’s stablemate Sweet Nellie Brown looks to stave off the up-and-comers. The 5-year-old Sweet Nellie Brown finished the 2011 season on a high note by winning the Belle Roberts Stakes on Washington Cup Day, and she also began 2011 with a snappy victory over Rewritten on opening night. She can run fresh, too.
“Both horses are training awesome,” Cooper said. “It should make for a pretty fun race.”
The field for Saturday’s $21,500 allowance race all carrying 119 lbs.: Elusive Noise, Juan Gutierrez; Sweet Nellie Brown, William Antongeorgi III; Carrabelle Harbor, Gallyn Mitchell; Class Included, Juan Gutierrez, and Kate Winsalot, Joe Crispin.
KIRO’S BILL SWARTZ WINS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD
Bill Swartz of KIRO Radio has won an Edward R. Murrow for sports reporting for his feature story on the 10-year-old gelding Skyrider.
Titled “Born to Run,” Swartz’ feature previewed horses preparing for the 2011 season and focused on Skyrider, a 13-time winner at Emerald Downs renowned for his strong personality. The Washington-bred gelding retired in seventh place on the track’s all-time wins list.
“I captured the sounds of his work out, his snorts while he was dunking his hay into a bucket of water, and the shoeing procedure,” Swartz said. “Having won best sports reporting in the Northwest Region automatically enters me in the national competition. We'll find out whether it beat the other regional entries sometime in June.”
Swartz, who works for both 710 ESPN and 97.3 KIRO FM, was hired as the morning sports anchor in 2002. His duties also include hosting the Pete Carroll show, Seahawks pre-game interviews, as well as the coaches corner before every Sounders FC soccer match with coach Sigi Schmid.
A 1978 graduate of Washington State University, Swartz said winning anything with the name “Murrow” attached to it is extra special since WSU now has the Murrow School of Communications.
Jockey Eliska Kubinova receives customary soaking after her first career victory
IT’S KUBINOVA TIME AT EMERALD DOWNS!
With three days in the books, riding apprentice Eliska Kubinova has already powered to first place in the jockey standings with five victories from 21 mounts—including three straight wins on Sunday, April 15.
Coming off a 60-win season at Portland Meadows, the striking 23-year-old Kubinova knew expectations would be high entering Emerald Downs’ 17th season. Those expectations didn’t just come from trainers, owners and fans, however, as Kubinova has put plenty of pressure on herself to achieve success. And while the native of the Czech Republic has every right to celebrate her early success, she’d much rather find ways to get better. After all, her winning rides Sunday aboard, in order, Renaissance Queen, Pokomoko and Golden N Sweet are turf history. In horse racing, Kubinova knows, people mainly want to know what you can do today—not what you did yesterday or last week.
“I wouldn’t give myself a high grade (for the weekend’s rides), because I still made a lot of mistakes,” Kubinova said. “I still have more work to do.
“(And) most of the horses that I rode, I’d been working with since February,” she added. “And most of them had been training good, too.”
Nevertheless, Kubinova is off and running at Emerald Downs. She takes a two-win lead over both Leonel Camacho-Flores and Jennifer Whitaker into Week 2 of the 24-week meeting. And she was tabbed as the meet’s inaugural Jockey of the Week, with the ceremony to take place Saturday after the third race.
For Kubinova, it’s so far, so good, but there's 78 more racing days at the meeting. As for grades, however, veteran race-goers gave Kubinova an A-plus for her early efforts. An apprentice on paper and a veteran on horseback, Kubinova not only notched a natural riding-triple on Sunday, but all five of her wins came with five different trainers.
MARIA ROSSAK TO JOIN EmD JOCKEY COLONY
The Emerald Downs jockey colony will add another European female rider when Maria Magdalena Rossak—a native of Slovakia—gets her license Friday to ride at the 2012 meeting. Rossak said she hopes to begin riding races next week.
Rossak made headlines as a 16-year-old in 2010 when she became only the second woman jockey to win the Fortuna Czech Derby in Prague, guiding her parents’ 3-year-old colt Talgado from last place to win the illustrious event.
In 2009, Rossak graduated from the Laffit Pincay Jr. Jockey School at Presidente Remon Racetrack.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW, NOT A WORLD RECORD
Cat On Base was very fast Saturday while tying the track record with a 1:01.37 clocking for 5-½ furlongs. It turns out, though, that the 4-½-length victory did not equal the world record as previously reported.
Rule by Force ran 5-½ furlongs in 1:01.03 on June 22, 2009 at defunct Yavapai Downs in Prescott Valley, Ariz. A 4-year-old at the time, Rule by Force set fractions of :22.08, :43.16 and :54.45 en route to a final time of 1:01.03 (1:01 if timed in fifths) on a fast track in the $9,700 allowance for 3-year-olds and up. Miguel Hernandez was the rider for trainer Lyman Rollins.
A 7-year-old gelding now trained by Art Sherman, Rule by Force remains active in Southern California where he most recently finished fifth in a $25,000 claiming race at Santa Anita. The California-bred son of Tribal Rule is 13-for-39 lifetime with earnings of $240,268.
For what it’s worth, Cat On Base earned a career-high 89 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory Saturday, and Rule by Force got an 88 for his 1:01.03 performance in 2009.
Cat On Base joined Willie the Cat and The Great Face as horses to run 5-½ furlongs in 1:01-1/5 at Emerald Downs, and Plenty Zloty and Silvey’s Image both ran 5-½ furlongs in 1:01-1/5 at Turf Paradise.
NOTES: Week 1 honors: Jockey-Eliska Kubinova (21-5-3-5); Trainer-Howard Belvoir (22-5-1-1); Owner-Rising Star Stable V & Belvoir; Groom-Charles Mattheisen (Larry Pierce)…Sunday’s $21,500 allowance feature race drew a top field of six older runners including the 2008 & 2009 Top Juveniles—Hollywood Harbor and Couldabenthewhisky. The field from the rail out (all carry 118 lbs): Couldabenthewhisky, Gallyn Mitchell; He’s All Heart, Juan Gutierrez; Hayjax, Leslie Mawing; Davos, Joe Crispin; Hollywood Harbor, Jose Zunino; Aaron the Baron, Rocco Bowen…Advancement earned a career-high 72 Beyer for his opening night feature race victory. The 4-year-old Doneraile Court colt ran 5-½ furlongs in 1:02.06 on a fast track…A favorable weather forecast is expected for Week 2 of the meet including temperatures in the low 70s Saturday & Sunday…Jacob Pollowitz of Media Relations will fill in for Rob Rao on Saturday’s Win, Place Show with Joe Withee at 8 a.m. on Sports Radio KJR 950 AM/102.9 FM…Trainer Chris Stenslie has three stakes winners entered this weekend. In addition to Hollywood Harbor in Sunday’s feature, Stenslie sends out 2011 Gottstein Futurity winner Talk to My Lawyer in Saturday’s fifth race for 3-year-old fillies, and 2011 Auburn Handicap winner Showme Yourfriends makes his yearly bow in Sunday’s seventh race for older $20,000 claimers…Gallant Son will be scratched from Saturday’s $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (G3) at Santa Anita, trainer Frank Lucarelli said. Instead, Emerald Downs’ Top Juvenile of 2008 will run in the $150,000 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, April 28. Hudson Landing also is expected to enter the Grade 3 turf event for trainer Blaine Wright…Lucarelli sends out Cruzin the Harbor in Sunday’s $30,000 NW1X allowance at Golden Gate. The 3-year-old full brother to Hollywood Harbor debuted with a four-length victory in a $29,000 maiden special weight March 24 at GG…Buddy Dave, a six-time winner and runner-up to Touch of Elegance for Top Claimer in 2011, makes his 2012 debut for trainer Vince Gibson in Friday’s sixth race for 3-year-olds and up at 5-½ furlongs…Davos breezed four furlongs in :50-3/5 Thursday for trainer Junior Coffey. The 7-year-old gelding makes his first start Sunday since winning the Longacres Mile consolation on Aug. 21…Jockey Juan Gutierrez begins the week seven wins shy of tying Ricky Frazier for second place in all-time Emerald Downs’ wins: The current top 10: Gallyn Mitchell 1,322; Frazier, 886; Gutierrez 879; Frank Gonsalves 561; Kevin Radke 532; Ben Russell 501; Pedro Alvarado 400; Leslie Mawing 400; Nathan Chaves 399; Jennifer Whitaker 385…A $0.50 Pick 5 Carryover of $8,645 is up for grabs Friday in Races 4-8 at Emerald Downs.