GOTTSTEIN FUTURITY HIGHLIGHTS CLOSING WEEKEND
The $65,000 Gottstein Futurity—the 27th and final stakes of the meet—tops Sunday’s 11-race closing day card at Emerald Downs.
A field of eight 2-year-olds race 1 1/16 miles in the season’s top event for 2-year-olds. Coal Creek Farm’s My Heart Awakens is the 5-2 morning line favorite, followed by Rising Star Stable’s Elliott Bay at 3-1, while a pair of fillies—George Todaro’s Diamonds R and Sabers Drawn Racing’s and Frank Lucarelli’s Frisky Bear—are 7/2 and 9/2 respectively.
Trump Itz, attempting to give trainer Blaine Wright his 11th stakes win of the meet, is next at 6-1, while Hey Sequoia is listed at 8-1. Winning Bluff at 15-1 and Aceinthehole at 20-1 are considered outsiders.
Interestingly, two of the top three choices are by the freshman sire Alternation. My Heart Awakens (Alternation-My Untamed Heart) is 2-for-2 and overcame trouble to capture an allowance race three weeks ago. And the filly Diamonds R (Alternation-Epitome of a Lady) comes off an 11 ½-length maiden victory in 1:10.54 for six furlongs, and picks up leading rider Rocco Bowen on Sunday.
Speaking of hot sires, Harbor the Gold has a record 55 stakes wins at Emerald Downs including eight more this season. Elliott Bay (Harbor the Gold-Melba Jewel) could up that total to 56 and nine with a victory Sunday. The bay gelding pulled off a $16.80 upset over Sippin Fire in the WTBOA Lads Stakes, and then finished runner-up as Sippin Fire prevailed in the Washington Cup Juvenile.
Howard Belvoir, trainer of Elliott Bay, has won 15 juvenile stakes at Emerald Downs but is still looking for his first victory in the Gottstein.
The Gottstein marks the first route test for all eight horses, and although 2-year-old races often favor speed horses, only 1-of-21 previous Gottstein winners at Emerald Downs led gate-to-wire.
The field for the 80th running of the Joe Gottstein Futurity: 1-Aceinthehole, Erick Lopez, 120 lbs, 20-1; 2-Trump Itz, Julien Couton, 120, 6-1; 3-Winning Bluff, Lorenzo Lopez, 120, 15-1; 4-My Heart Awakens, Javier Matias, 120, 5-2; 5-Hey Sequoia, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 120, 8-1; 6-Elliott Bay, Jennifer Whitaker, 120, 7-2; 7-Diamonds R (f), Rocco Bowen, 117, 7/2; 8-Frisky Bear (f), Kevin Orozco, 117, 9/2. (f) filly
- The Gottstein Futurity goes as Race 9 at 5:41 p.m.
- Trainer Frank Lucarelli, whose Blazinbeauty upset 2-5 favorite So Lucky last year. goes for his second straight Gottstein victory with a filly. Frisky Bear comes off a second to Bella Mia in Washington Cup Juvenile Filly.
- Average field size in stakes races this season is 7.7 horses with a $10.40 average $2 win pay. Including the $55,000 Bank of America for Quarter Horses, the average win pay balloons to $14.40.
- Betting favorites are 8-26 in stakes this season; favorites are 5-for-21 in the Gottstein at Emerald Downs.
SPECIAL 5 PM POST ON SATURDAY
Reminder that Saturday’s 9-race card features a special 5 p.m. post time while Sunday’s closing day 11-race program begins at the normal 2 p.m.
It’s also Fan Appreciation weekend, including $1 preferred parking, $1 programs, $1 sodas & coffee, $1 popcorn, $1 ice cream, $2.50 hot dogs, $3.75 domestic (16 oz) draft beer, and $4.25 (16 oz) micro/import draft beer.
2017 DURKAN & LINDY WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Trainer Joe Toye and jockey Javier Matias will both be honored with special awards after the fourth race Saturday night at Emerald Downs.
Toye is the 2017 recipient of the Martin Durkan Award, signifying leadership, cooperation, sportsmanship and excellence on and off the track. Toye is the 43rd winner of the prestigious award, chosen annually by racing secretary Bret Anderson and staff.
Matias is the 2017 Lindy Award winner for accomplishment and sportsmanship throughout the meeting. Named in honor of longtime clerk of scales Lindy Aliment, the Lindy Award is voted on by the Emerald Downs’ jockey colony.
Toye, who has trained at Emerald Downs since the track opened in 1996, is enjoying his finest season in 2017. He enters closing week No. 2 in the trainers’ standings with a career-high 34 wins and an excellent 30.9 win percentage. Toye, who spends winters at Turf Paradise, is just two wins shy of 1,000 for his career.
Matias enters closing week No. 7 in the standings with 35 wins.
Saturday, September 23
5 p.m. (9 races)
$0.50 Pick 5 carryover $8,536 (R5-9)
$0.20 Pick 7 carryover 3,013 (R3-9)
Fan Appreciation Weekend
Sunday, September 24
2 p.m. (11 races)
$65,000 Joe Gottstein Futurity
Fan Appreciation Weekend
BEYERS & FAST TIMES
Saturday, September 16
Race 1: Kodianne-46
Race 2: Minersingstheblues-35*
Race 3: Carr Creek-62
Race 4: Dynamo Dixie-72
Race 5: My Endless Love-38
Race 6: Unbridled Candy-61
Race 7: Wine At Nine-80
Race 8: Gazing-63
Race 9: Galeforce Nine-52*
Sunday, September 17
Race 1: Mykx Bull-48*
Race 2: K K’s Wonderwoman-55
Race 3: Camano Comet-59
Race 4: Say Neigh-76*
Race 5: Brilliant Bird-55+#
Race 6: Sierra Romance-54*
Race 7: Inawar-52
Race 8: Zoombadaboom-43
Race 9: Winninginfashion-60
Race 10: Candy for Three-68
Race 11: Cruiser Blue (dh)-48*
Executive Decree (dh) –48
# First-time starter
4 ½ Furlongs :51.45 Rosie’s Reward (2g) June 24
5 Furlongs :56.38 All for Me (4g) April 9
5 ½ Furlongs 1:01.10 Prime Engine (5g) April 22
6 Furlongs 1:07.65 Luz Atticus (7g) Sept 1
6 ½ Furlongs 1:13.94 Mach One Rules (4g) June 18
1 Mile 1:33.85 Gold Rush Dancer (4c) Aug 13
1 1/16 Mile 1:42.55 Mach One Rules (4g) July 16
1 1/8 Mile 1:47.88 Citizen Kitty (5m) Aug 13
1 1/4 Mile 2:02.73 Commander Lute (6g) Sept 9
300 Yards :15.787 Augie Meyer (5g) June 10
350 Yards tie-:17.958 Cm Boom Shakalaka (2g) Aug 20 &
Silvies (5m) Sept 2
440 Yards :22.167 Secretly Fast (4g) Aug 20
870 Yards :45.826 Rare Ed (6g) Aug 20
Wine At Nine (5g) 9-6-1-1-$35,765
Rockport Birdie (6m) 7-6-0-1-$24,995
Exit Sixty Slew (4f) 6-5-0-1-$58,535
Image of Truth (4g) 12-4-2-0-$21,620
Pat’s Inheritance (4c) 8-4-1-2-$18,585
Say Neigh (4g) 8-4-1-0-$23,245
Mr. Takahashi (5g) 6-4-1-0-$18,900
Mike Man’s Gold (7g) 6-4-0-2-$44,975
Oh Marvelous Me (5g) 6-4-0-2-$39,840
Jerre to Carrie (4f) 6-4-0-1-$39,840
Party Pooper (5h) 7-4-0-0-$30,025
Bella Mia (2f) 5-4-0-0-$91,523
Maurice Code (3g) 5-4-0-0-$27,150
Emmett Park (6g) 4-4-0-0-$47,575
$135,250-Mach One Rules (4g)
$114,510-Citizen Kitty (5m)
$110,000-Gold Rush Dancer (4c)
$91,523-Bella Mia (2f)
$71,725-Little Dancer (3f)
$58,535-Exit Sixty Slew (4f)
$56,250-Aqua Frio (3g)
$47,888-Sippin Fire (2g)
Jockeys Stakes Wins
Trainers Stakes Wins
19-John E. Parker
13-Conley, Conley & Terra Firma Farm
8-Peter Redekop BC Ltd
7-Elwin Gibson & Arturo Arboleda
6-Muddy Waters Stables
6-John & Janene Maryanski
6-Two Putts for the Win #7
6-Two Putts for the Win #19
$313,217-John E. Parker
$168,760-Peter Redekop BC Ltd
$121,915-John & Janene Maryanski
$116,422-Highlander Racing Stables
$99,225-Conley, Conley & Terra Firma Farm
$91,645-Chappell Alpine Farms
$77,113-Darrin L. Paul
Leading QH Jockeys
Leading QH Trainers
Last Week: 3-20 (15.0%)
Season: 204-573 (35.6%)
QH Favorites: 3-10 (30.0%)
Largest $2 Win: Tbred-$103.80 Betting On Dr Bow (June 18)
QH-$123.00 Secretly Fast (Aug 20)
$2 Place: $42.80 Cruiser Blue (Sept 17)
$2 Show: $16.20 Dedicated to You (Aug 13)
WEEKLY HONORS #24 (Sept 16-17): Valpak Jockey-David Martin; Las Margaritas Trainer-Steve Bullock; EmD Owners-Two Putts for the Win #19; Quarter Chute Café Groom of the Year-Darrell LaFrance (Charles Essex); WTBOA Washington-bred-Brilliant Bird (Bret Christopherson breeder); Exercise Rider of the Year-Abbie Johnson.
FINISH LINES: Rocco Bowen enters the final two days with a 60-win lead over Kevin Orozco atop the riders’ standings, and Blaine Wright owns a 19-win lead on Joe Toye in the trainers’ standings. . .With 122 wins in 70 days, Bowen is averaging 1.74 wins per day and has a 25.0 win percentage. Wright has 53 wins in 144 starts for a sparkling 36.8 win percentage. . .Rockport Birdie bids for her seventh win of the meet in Sunday’s first race, a $5,000 claimer for older fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs. She enters the race tied with Wine At Nine for most wins at the meet with six apiece. . . Portland Meadows’ opening day is October 2 and features the $10,000 Inaugural Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 5 ½ furlongs. The $25,000 Portland Mile is Sunday, January 28. . .Irving Orozco, older brother of Kevin¸ captured the Golden Gate Fields fair meet title with 22 wins, and Tim McCanna and Jerry Hollendorfer tied for the training title with nine wins each. . .The Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton began Thursday and runs through October 1. . .Emerald Downs’ track announcer Matt Dinerman is headed back to the Bay Area where he will be paddock analyst at the Golden Gate fall meet that begins October 18. Jockeys headed to Golden Gate include Bowen, Kevin Orozco and Julien Couton.