SEATTLE SLEW STAKES IS ROUND THREE IN BLOSSOMING RIVALRY OF 3-YEAR-OLDS
Emerald Downs’ has had some great rivalries over the years, but the one between Barkley and Mach One Rules is rapidly developing into a clash of titans.
Sunday already marks round three for the combatants, with unbeaten Barkley and his 5-for-5 record facing Mach One Rules in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Although five horses entered the Seattle Slew, all eyes and practically every wagering dollar will be split between Barkley (5-5-0-0-$104,775) and Mach One Rules (6-4-2-0-$113,826).
Barkley drew the No. 2 post-position with Javier Matias riding at 124 lbs, and Mach One Rules drew the No. 4 post with Leslie Mawing the jockey at 120 lbs.
The flashy sophomores already have delivered a pair of thrillers in 2016 with Barkley edging Mach One Rules by a head in 1:14.21 for 6 ½ furlongs in the Auburn Stakes, and in a virtual replay Barkley prevailed by a neck in 1:35.88 for one mile in the Coca-Cola Stakes.
Trainer Howard Belvoir said Barkley remains sharp in morning activity.
“He’s worked once a week ever since he raced, and a mile and a sixteenth is an easier race than a mile, anyway,” Belvoir said. “You have a farther run into the turn where your horse can relax a little bit before he has to switch into the lead.
“He got packed four wide the other day (in the Coca-Cola) and it shows me that he should go a route against these types of horses, anyway. Mach One Rules is a nice colt but you don’t see very many horses back up like (Barkley) did at the quarter pole and then come back on.”
The Mach One Rules camp also is pleased with their gelding’s progress.
“He worked really well the other morning and the track was pretty fast,” said assistant trainer Dennis Snowden. “So he’s coming into this race good.
“Well, Barkley and him are pretty much on the same plane and heads separated them two times in a row. Our horse has run two winning races, and that there’s going to have to be a different strategy I guess. They’re just comparable horses, it’s just a matter of who gets there first.”
With the popular Fireworks Spectacular following Sunday’s twilight program, the stands will be packed to the rafters for the Seattle Slew Stakes. Barkley, co-owned by Belvoir and Rising Star Stable III, figures to have his usual large contingent of backers adorned in red attire, while Mach One Rules, owned by Roy Schaefer’s REV Racing, also will have a big rooting section.
Should either of the two favorites falter, Super Hawk, William Crotty and Party for One—fourth, fifth and sixth in the Coca-Cola—will be waiting in the wings.
- The Seattle Slew Stakes goes as Race 6 on a 10-race card that begins at 4:30 p.m. Post time is 7:09 p.m.
- Seven of the last eight Emerald Downs Derby winners were defeated in the Seattle Slew. Prime Engine was beaten three-quarters of a length by 33-1 long shot Betrbegone in last year’s Seattle Slew, but came back with a six-length romp in the Emerald Downs Derby.
The field for the 39th running of the Seattle Slew Stakes for 3-year-old colts or geldings, 1 & 1/16 mile: William Crotty, Joe Steiner, 118 lbs; Barkley, Javier Matias, 124; Party for One, Isaias Enriquez, 118; Mach One Rules, Leslie Mawing, 120; Super Hawk, Rocco Bowen, 118.
THE CHILLI MAN OWNER: BIG OFFERS ON THE TABLE
Owner Heidi Nelson has started to weigh her options on whether to keep or sell her sensational 2-year-old The Chilli Man who has been in hot pursuit since he unveiled a mammoth debut last Sunday at Emerald Downs.
“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing with offers since his win last weekend,” said Nelson, who disclosed that some of nation’s top barns have already made inquiries. “With the offers that are currently on the table, it’s hard not to consider selling him to the highest bidder.”
The Chilli Man made waves throughout the national racing scene Sunday after the chestnut gelding’s 11-½-length victory in a maiden special weight at Emerald Downs. Trained by Monique Snowden, The Chilli Man sped the 4 ½-furlong sprint in :50.22—the third fastest time by a 2-year-old in track history—despite not being asked to uncork his final gear. The victory earned an 81 Beyer Speed Figure, good enough for fourth highest among all 2-year-olds in the country this year.
According to Nelson, if The Chilli Man stayed in her stable, the son of Trappe Shot would make his next start in the $50,000 Emerald Express on July 17, and then head to Del Mar to compete in the $200,000 Best Pal Stakes (G2) at 6 ½ furlongs.
FAVORITES WINLESS IN STAKES IN 2016
Betting favorites are 0-for-9 in stakes this season at Emerald Downs including Mach One Rules in the Auburn Stakes and Coca-Cola Stakes. Although second betting choices are a robust 6-for-9, including Barkley’s wins in the Auburn and Coca-Cola, long shots prevailed in the last two stakes: B C Z Middleton scoring at 32.60 in the Washington State Legislators Stakes for fillies and mares and Find Joy rallying for a $31.40 surprise in the Kent Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
What’s more, favorites have struggled mightily in the Seattle Slew Stakes; Alexandersrun in 2005 is the last betting favorite to prevail meaning 10 straight favorites have gone down swinging. Last year, Betrbegone led virtually gate-to-wire and produced a Seattle Slew Stakes record $68.60 mutuel—which is seventh largest for any stakes in Emerald Downs’ history.
THE PRESS BOX PODCAST: SEATTLE SLEW STAKES
The 45-minute program will showcase every stakes race this season including Sunday’s $50,000Seattle Slew Stakes and interviews with trainer Howard Belvoir and assistant trainer Dennis Snowden who saddle Barkley and Mach One Rules,
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.
FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR RETURNS SUNDAY
Promised to be the best show yet, the Fireworks Spectacular, presented by Carl’s Jr., makes its much-anticipated return to Emerald Downs on Sunday, July 3.
The gates open for the track’s banner event at9:45 a.m. for friends and families who wish to claim prime vantage points for the evening show. The day’s festivities includes three horse racing-themed family moves shown on the track’s big screen in the infield.
The day also includes 10 races of live Thoroughbred action led by Barkley who puts his undefeated record on the line in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes.
After the 10th and final race, fledgling country star Rae Solomon will perform in the North Park, and the fireworks show starting shortly after 10 p.m.
July 1 Brewer’s Night
July 3 Fireworks Spectacular
July 8-10 Equine Art Show
July 9 Breakfast at the Wire
July 9 Ladies Night at the Races (Night Racing)
July 10 Wiener Dog Races
July 16 Food Truck Night Fest (Night Racing)
BEYERS & FAST TIMES
Friday, June 24
Race 1: Tiny Tribe-56*
Race 2: Excessivelyblessed-50*
Race 3: Moby-63
Race 4: Dance With Effie-78*
Race 5: It’s My Knight-60*
Race 6: Citizen Kitty-61
Race 7: Agate Beach-51*
Saturday, June 25
Race 1: Getting Joellenned-67#
Race 2: Nightwalker-44
Race 3: Arctic Vortex-70
Race 4: Three Forks Gold-80*
Race 5: Lots of Prayers-72*
Race 6: Analysis Paralysis-51
Race 7: Image of Truth-60*
Race 8: Parkers Delight-66
Race 9: Golden Dynamo-70
Sunday, June 26
Race 1: Top Kitty Cat-69*
Race 2: Tee Time Mary-40#
Race 3: Mary Lois-64
Race 4: The Chilli Man-81#
Race 5: Italian Warrior-60
Race 6: He’s Cagey-85
Race 7: Find Joy-71*
Race 8: Trick Or Retreat-73
Race 9: Scat Daddybaby-88
Race 10: House of Money-33
# First-time starter
4 ½ Furlongs :50.22 The Chilli Man (2yo), June 26
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: 1:34.73 O B Harbor (4yo), June 19
1 1/16 Mile: 1:41.94 He’s Cagey (7yo), June 26
EmD TWO-MINUTE CLIP: ALDO ZAMAORA
Jockeys’ agent Aldo Zamora joins Matt Dinerman this week’s edition of the “Two-Minute Clip!”
WORKOUT CENTRAL: BARKLEY GALLOPS AHEAD OF SEATTLE SLEW
Undefeated colt Barkley made an appearance on the racetrack for a Thursday morning gallop in preparation for Sunday’s $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes and is the star of this week’s “Training Day.”
WEEKLY HONORS #12 (June 24-26):
Jockey-Joe Steiner; Trainer-Charles Essex; Owner-Nelson Family Racing (Heidi Nelson); Quarter Chute Café Groom-Katherine Curtin (Essex); WTBOA Washington-bred-Three Forks Gold (bred by Pat & Mullan Chinn); Exercise Rider of the Week-Leo Salas (Rosie Simkins).
Xerxes goes for a fourth straight win and fifth overall at the meet in Saturday’s feature for older claimers at 6 ½ furlongs. Xerxes currently is tied with Italian Warrior for most wins at the meet with four apiece. Eight horses gave three wins each: He’s Cagey, Seattles Best Copy, Pecos Breeze, Inexcess Again, Copy Begone, O B Harbor, Barkley and Parkers Delight. . .Beginning Friday, the 123Racing wager will be a $1 minimum. The same scoring format remains in place. . .Citizen Geller, named after our former track announcer, is developing into a fine runner for UKUSA Stables and trainer Vance Mikkelson. A 4-year-old New Mexico-bred gelding by Pro Prado, Citizen Geller set a track record of 1:20.81 for seven furlongs while scoring a 20-1 upset in Saturday’s $60,000 OB McDonald Stakes at Albuquerque. . .Trainer Jim Penney celebrates his 82nd birthday Monday. . .Dedicated to You, fifth to O B Harbor in the Budweiser Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 Thursday for trainer David Martinez. . . .For those into Mules, two of the all-time greats—13-year-old Bar JF Hot Ticket (85-53-18-8-$258,207) and 11-year-old Bar JF Red Ticket (75-42-23-4-$154,282)—meet in Saturday’s first race at Pleasanton.