GET READY FOR INDIAN RELAY RACING!
Emerald Downs and the Muckleshoot Tribe will host a three-day spectacle this weekend, with tribes from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington competing Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Muckleshoot Gold Cup.
A total of 18 tribes are entered in the event, which features three Indian Relay Races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, culminating with the championship Muckleshoot Gold Cup.
Indian Relay is the Nation’s oldest sport with a history that goes back 500 years by many accounts. Teams will race twice around the Emerald Downs one-mile track and exchange horses every half-mile. Each team’s rider must leap from one galloping horse to another in their assigned exchange box while other team members assist in handling the horses.
“We have the best teams in the country here this weekend,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “The competition is going to be intense.”
“Including travel allowances and other team benefits, features a total cash payout over $70,000. The championship team will receive belt buckles, jackets, the Muckleshoot Gold Cup and $10,000 cash.
Unlike last year’s inaugural event, which was organized by the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association, Ziegler, Emerald Downs Vice-President Jack Hodge, and Gayle SkunkCap Jr. are coordinating this year’s event. Hodge says the logistics of 18 teams arriving on the backstretch, along with coordinating judges and officials for the event, is a mammoth undertaking.
“Teams are ecstatic that we’re taking this on,” Hodge said. “Everybody is delighted to be competing here with the knowledge that this will be an annual event.”
All nine relay races—three each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—will be broadcast live as part of the Emerald Downs Live program on Comcast SportsNet NW.
Live programming airs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The races will also be streamed live on www.emeralddowns.com.
Indian Relay Racing merchandise will be sold at The Gift Horse throughout the weekend, including mugs, shirts, jackets, and hats.
Emerald Downs will produce a 60-minute documentary on the event, to be aired later this summer on Comcast SportsNet NW.
All Tribal members will receive two free admissions each day with proper ID.
The schedule of heats was to be drawn Thursday evening at a special barbecue for participants and officials.
WATCH THE BELMONT STAKES AT EmD
Come watch and wager on the 148th running of The Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Emerald Downs.
A field of 13 runners will face off in the third leg of the Triple Crown–race 11 at 3:37 p.m.–with Exaggerator installed as the 9-5-morning line favorite. A son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Exaggerator comes off a fast-closing victory in Preakness Stakes where he ended Nyquist’s run for the Triple Crown.
Exaggerator’s biggest threat could be Stradivari, who is the betting second choice at 5-1. After breaking his maiden and winning an allowance race by a combined 25 ¾ lengths, the Todd Pletcher trainee ran fourth in The Preakness. Pletcher also saddles the 6-1 third choice–Destin–who finished sixth in The Kentucky Derby.
Emerald Downs offers simulcast wagering on Belmont Stakes Day beginning at 8 a.m. with Belmont’s first post at 8:35 a.m. There are nine graded stakes races on the card with four stakes at $1,000,000 or more in purse money.
The wagering menu includes two special daily doubles. The first starts with the True North Handicap on Friday and ends with the Metropolitan Mile Handicap on Saturday. The second double starts with the Belmont Gold Cup on Friday and ends with the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
At Emerald Downs, live racing begins at 2 p.m. and features nine Thoroughbred races and three heats of Indian Relay races.
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
June 25 & 26 Celtic Weekend
BEYERS & FAST TIMES
Friday, June 3
Race 1: Caddy Shack Cat-42
Race 2: Relatively Fast-57*
Race 3: It’s My Knight-58*
Race 4: DH-Time for a Memory-55/Call Me Cinderella-55
Race 5: Cowboy Gold-58
Race 6: Xerxes-84*
Race 7: Risky With Whiskey-38
Saturday, June 4
Race 1: Heza Flying Fast-QH
Race 2: Idling-65
Race 3: Dudley Studley-51
Race 4: Sheelfly for Gold-34
Race 5: Great Ride-50
Race 6: Just Gone-73
Race 7: Daytona Beach-80*
Race 8: Thisdewarsforyou-77
Race 9: Lanazeha-47
Sunday, June 5
Race 1: Ace On the River-56*
Race 2: Gymnast Jadie-57*
Race 3: Timberfaller-70*
Race 4: Daves Birthday Boy-61*
Race 5: Fooled Again-77
Race 6: Ducoti-60
Race 7: Secret Harbor-60
Race 8: Barkley-81 (Coca-Cola Stakes)
Race 9: Oldtimers Vision-83*
Race 10: Blythe Spring-49 * Career-high # 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
EmD TWO-MINUTE CLIP: OSVALDO GONZALEZ
Jockey Osvaldo Gonzalez recently was named The Gift Horse Jockey of the Week and is this week’s “Two-Minute Clip!”
WEEKLY HONORS #9
(June 3-5): Jockey-Eswan Flores (15-4-1-3); Trainer-Neil Knapp (4-2-0-1); Owner-Rick Kessler (4-1-1-0); Quarter Chute Café Groom-Jose Diaz (Doris Harwood); Washington-bred-Timberfaller (Ron & Nina Hagen breeders); Exercise Rider of the Week-Manuel Gonzalez (Howard Belvoir).
FINISH LINES: Saturday’s opener is the meet’s first event for 2-year-olds, with 10 fillies racing 4 ½ furlongs for an $18,000 purse. Giselle (Atta Boy Roy-Runaway Lulu) represents the first starter for freshman sire Atta Boy Roy. . .With his victory in the Coca-Cola Stakes, Barkley joined Xerxes, Inexcess Again, Copy Begone and Seattles Best Copy as three-time winners at the meet. Barkley also is No. 1 in earnings with $66,275 and the only horse with two stakes wins. . .Copy Begone (3-3-0-0-$22,605) bids to become the meet’s first four-time winner in Friday’s $16,600 feature race for $25,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. . .Leslie Mawing begins week 10 with a 33-32 lead over Rocco Bowen in the jockeys’ standings with Juan Gutierrez (22), Erick Lopez (21) and Javier Matias completing the top five. . .Bowen and Joe Toye are one of the finest under-the-radar jockey-trainer combinations at Emerald Downs. Since 2012 they are a combined 22-for-99 with a sterling $3.58 ROI. . .Roz Barclay with seven wins continues to lead the owners’ standings while John Parker and Muddy Waters Stables are tied for second with six wins apiece. . .Blaine Wright remains atop the trainers’ leader board with a 16-for-49 record. . .Wright, however, will be at Santa Anita to saddle Alert Bay in Saturday’s $100,000 Crystal Water for California-breds at one mile on turf…Golden Gate Fields concludes its 96-day winter-spring meet Sunday with a mandatory payout in the Pick 6 Jackpot, which began the week with over $1.2 million in the pot. . .Oak Tree at Pleasanton begins June 16 and runs thru Monday, July 4.