AQUA FRIO EDGES STABLEMATE IN SEATTLE SLEW
AUBURN, Wash. (July 2, 2017) – Aqau Frio might not be the biggest horse at Emerald Downs, but there isn’t many that try harder.
Running down stable mate Riser in the final yards, Aqua Frio posted a head victory in Sunday’s $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Trained by Blaine Wright—who also saddled the runner-up—Aqua Frio ran one mile in 1:34.82 and paid $14.40, $4.80 and $3.20.
Aqua Frio’s winning time was the fastest mile of the meeting, eclipsing the 1:34.88 set last week by Top Quality in the Irish Day Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
For winning rider Kevin Orozco, it was his first career stakes win.
“It’s an amazing feeling, I have tears in my eyes,” the 21-year-old apprentice rider said. “(Aqua Frio) ran an unbelievable race.”
Sunday’s outcome was a replay of last month’s Coca-Cola Stakes—except the order was reversed with Aqua Frio prevailing and Riser finishing second.
As the field turned into the lane, the only thing certain was that a Wright trainee would win. Riser, after six furlongs in 1:09.08 and seven furlongs in 1:21.78, was still well clear past mid-stretch, but Aqua Frio would not be denied and chipped away to wear down his stable mate.
“When your two horses open up at the top of the lane and fight it out, I’ll take that any day,” said Wright, the meet’s leading trainer in wins and stakes wins.
Owned by Peter Redekop of Vancouver, BC, Aqua Frio is a study in consistency. A Kentucky-bred by Uncle Mo-Down The Well, Aqua Frio is 3-6-1 in 11 starts with $136,450 in earnings, including Sunday’s $27,500 first prize. The Seattle Slews was the colt’s first stakes win after three seconds and a third in four previous stakes.
Riser, the 6-to-5 betting favorite ridden by Eswan Flores, resisted gamely when headed by Aqua Frio, but settled for second and paid $3 and $2.20. An Ohio-bred by Mizzen Mast, Riser is 2-1-0 in three starts at the meet.
More Power to Him, a California invader ridden by Rocco Bowen, finished third and paid $2.80. The 2-to-1 second choice, More Power to Him was far back early and never seriously involved in the outcome.
Perfect Come Back, Distortedatthebar, Ucanthankmelater, Rifle Gernade, Sharkzilla, Candy for Three and Marquee Marini completed the order of finish.
The $75,000 Emerald Downs Derby at 1 1/8 miles on Sunday, July 30 is next for 3-year-olds.
NOTES: Wright, Redekop and Orozco performed an encore in Race 8 as Emmett Park ($4.20) rallied from last to win the $20,500 allowance/optional claimer by a head over Papa Frank. A 6-year-old Bob and John gelding, Emmett Park ran six furlongs in 1:07.83, which also is fastest of the meet. . .Wright’s two wins give him a 28-for-72 mark at the meet (38.8 percent), and he has opened an 11-win lead over Frank Lucarelli atop the standings. . .Wright has at least one win on nine of the last 10 cards and 13 of the last 17. . .Wright is 4-2-0 in 13 stakes starts at the meet; no other trainer has more than one stakes win. . .2-year-old gelding Sippin Fire ($9.20) debuted with a smashing head victory over Brown Tiger in a stretch-long battle in the Sunday opener. The winner, a full brother to state champions Del Rio Harbor and Couldabenthewhisky, ran five furlongs in :57.36 under Javier Matias for trainer Steve Bullock and How We Roll #4. In addition to a $10,175 winner’s share, the owners received a $2,500 bonus since Sippin Fire is a Washington Sales graduate. . .Rocco Bowen posted his 12th three-win day of the season and leads Orozco 65-34 in the jockeys’ standings. . .Matias book-ended the card with wins on Sippin Fire and Solar Heat ($4.20) and has overtaken Debbie Hoonan for ninth place all-time with 442 wins at Emerald Downs. . .Tom Wenzel saddled 3-year-old geldings Rojo Bou Peep ($20.60) and Buckley Bay ($5.80) to maiden wins in Sunday’s third and fourth races. . .At Hastings Racecourse, Victress ($6.20) edged Snuggles by a neck in the $75,000 Monashee Handicap for older fillies and mares in 1:44.11 for 1 1/16 miles. . .Live racing continues Monday with special first post at 5 p.m. The Fireworks Spectacular Presented by Carl’s Jr. follows the 10-race card.