Emerald Downs News & Notes-Thursday, July 19

Diamonds R (right) scores a $28.20 upset over Bella Mia in the Irish Day Stakes


A bargain buy at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Diamonds R appears a top threat in Sunday’s $50,000 Washington Oaks at 1 1/8 miles.

The 39th edition of the Oaks is likely to determine the track’s Top 3-Year-Old Filly of 2018. It marks the last of four open events for sophomore gals, a series that has already produced three different winners—Ima Happy Cat and Bella Mia each capturing a sprint, and Diamonds R coming to life in the two-turn Irish Day Stakes two weeks ago.

The field of seven includes the top four finishers from the Irish Day, in which Diamonds R rallied from slightly off the pace to edge a resilient Bella Mia in 1:42.96 for 1 1/16 miles. Diamonds R received a 70 Beyer, exactly the same as Ima Happy Cat earned in the Seattle and Bella Mia in the Kent.

A Kentucky-bred by Alternation-Epitome of a Lady, Diamonds R sold for $15,000 to George Todaro and has already earned $62,228. She is 3-0-0 in eight starts overall.

Diamonds R is from Alternation’s first crop while Epitome of a Lady spent the majority of her race career with racing for Todaro and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in California. A son of Distorted Humor, Alternation was a stone router, winning three times at nine furlongs, and had a pedigree that intrigued Todaro race manager Bob Cappelletti.

“Her half-sister (Chaybaby) sold for $975,000 to Bob Baffert, and I thought it was a good family,” Cappelletti said. “I thought Alternation had a chance to be a good sire.”

Diamonds R has a stalking style that suits the Oaks, a race that has produced eight gate-to-wire winners in 22 runnings at Emerald Downs. Bella Mia, Ca Dreamer and Spot On all figure to show speed, a scenario that bodes well for Diamonds R and hot-riding Leonel Camacho-Flores.

  • A Diamonds R victory would give Tom Wenzel a record fourth victory in the Oaks. He currently is tied with Larry Ross and Grant Forster with three wins apiece. Wenzel previously won with Rivoltella (2007), Stopshoppingdebbie (2013) and Princess Kennedy.
  • Owner George Todaro (Diamonds R) also has enjoyed good success in the Oaks, winning with Rivoltella and co-owning 2014 champion Lady Fifty Two.
  • Rocco Bowen (Ima Happy Dancer) bids for his third straight Oaks victory, and is tied with Ricky Frazier, Gary Baze and Leslie Mawing for most Oaks wins overall at three apiece.
  • Trainer Blaine Wright (Bella Mia, Downwind) already has seven stakes wins this season and is on pace to break the single-season record of 12 stakes wins set twice by Doris Harwood (2007 & 2009). Wright tied his own single-day track record Sunday with three stakes wins (Riser, Mt. Rainier; Baja Sur, King County Express; Top Quality, Boeing).
  • Washington-breds have won 6 of 14 stakes this season: Sippin Fire (2), Invested Prospect (1), Bella Mia (1), Dedicated to You (1) and Baja Sur (1).
  • Average field size is 7.1 runners in stakes races, average win payoff $9.60, and betting favorites 7 for 14.

The field for Sunday’s 39th running of the $50,000 Washington Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/8 miles, Race 7, 5:07 p.m.: 1-Ima Happy Cat, Rocco Bowen, 121 lbs; 2-Princessof the Nyl, Kevin Orozco, 121; 3-Spot On, Austin Solis, 121; 4-Diamonds R, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 121; 5-Bella Mia, Julien Couton, 121; 6-Ca Dreamer, Javier Matias, 121; 7-Downwind, Gary Wales, 121.


Friday, July 20
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
Fab Friday

Saturday, July 21
5 p.m. (8 races)
Twilight Saturday (thru Sept. 22)
Breakfast at the Wire (thru Aug. 25)
Dollar Night

Sunday, July 22
2 p.m. (10 races)
$50,000 Washington Oaks
Fiesta Premio Esmeralda
T-Shirts for first 5,000 fans


Friday, July 13
Race 1: Copy Begone-63
Race 2: L’s Choice-68
Race 3: Winning Bluff-58
Race 4: Deputy’s Command-61
Race 5: Archie Graham-73
Race 6: Cody’s Choice-71*
Race 7: Fluidity-38

Saturday, July 14
Race 1: Cruzin in Style-56
Race 2: Dontkissntell-70
Race 3: Bootlegger Trail-45
Race 4: Rainrebel-47
Race 5: Sweet Swindler-53
Race 6: Bullet Drill-61*
Race 7: Sea Basket-62
Race 8: A Little Romance-31

Sunday, July 15
Race 1: Hart Mountain-51*
Race 2: Cats Gulch-55
Race 3: She Will-59
Race 4: Party for One-53
Race 5: Riser-97*
Race 6: Northwest Factor-50+
Race 7: Baja Sur-70+*
Race 8: Top Quality-84*
Race 9: Fortunate Cookie-41
Race 10: Fortune’s Freude-54
* Career-high
# First-time starter

Fastest Times
4 ½ Furlongs :51.87 Sunshine Emily (2yof) June 16
5 Furlongs :56.52 Das Bear (3yog) May 5
5 ½ Furlongs 1:02.94 Barkley (5yoh) May 13
6 Furlongs 1:08.09 Daytona Beach (6yog) June 17
6 ½ Furlongs 1:14.31 Kaabraaj (6yog) July 8
1 Mile 1:34.60 Huya (5yog) June 16
1 1/16 Mile 1:40.08 Riser (4yoc) July 15

Betting Favorites
Last Week: 12-25 (48.0%)
Season: 108-307 (35.1%)
Largest $2 Win: $66 Pretty Miss Vanna (May 26)
$2 Place: $31 Colour of Money (May 11)
$2 Show: $16.20 Vintastic (May 13)
Largest Payout: $57,865 ($0.20 Jackpot 7, July 14)

Leading Jockeys
63-Rocco Bowen
41-Kevin Orozco
41-Julien Couton
28-Gary Wales
26-Eswan Flores
15-Anne Sanguinetti
13-Austin Solis
13-Erick Lopez
13-Leonel Camacho-Flores
12-Jose Zunino
11-Javier Matias

Leading Trainers
30-Jeff Metz
25-Blaine Wright
23-Frank Lucarelli
14-Vince Gibson
14-Joe Toye
12-Manny Ortiz
9-Howard Belvoir
9-Candi Tollett
8-Robbie Baze
8-Chris Stenslie
8-Mike Puhich
8-Tom Wenzel

Leading Owners
12-Saratoga West
7-Rick Kessler or Terra Firma Farm
6-John E. Parker
6-Kenneth Elison or Vicky Jo Elison
6-Tawnja Elison
6-Tim Bankers
5-Randall and Rossi or Lucarelli Racing
5-Luigi DiPietro or Diana DiPietro
4-Todd & Shawn Hansen
4-Billy Speed Racing Stable
4-Allaire Farms
4-Brett Brophy
4-Aaron Bresko
4-John & Janene Maryanski & Riverbend Farm

King County Express winner Baja Sur

Horses Wins
3-Daytona Beach
3-Rojo Bou Peep
3-Curious Rumor
3-Will Not
3-Guardian One
3-Party for One
2-Sippin Fire*
2-Hill Croome
2-Golden Cowboy
2-Wine At Nine
2-Dudley Studley
2-Ryan Walt
2-Mitch and John E
2-No Talking Back
2-Bet the Harbor
2-Grand Palais
2-Fernet Me Not
2-Please Be Me
2-Awesome Return
2-She Got Away
2-Briana Jean
2-Regazze Cat
2-Iron Rob
2-Double A. Prospect
2-Blame It On Royce
2-Cold Hard Luck
2-Ask Not
2-Outa Here
2-Bye Bye Sal
2-Mister Breeze
2-Oldtimers Vision
2-Diamonds R*
2-Tizzy Dean
2-Serbian Syclone
2-Papa Mambo
2-Josie Treasure
2-Meet At Jakes
2-Que Chistoso
2-Party for One
2-Bell of Rainier
2-Ever Special
2-Jake’s a Poppin
2-Fly Far Away
2-Cats Gulch
2-Cody’s Choice
2-Bullet Drill
2-Sea Basket
2-Cruzin in Style
2-Baja Sur*
2-Copy Begone
*Stakes Winner

Jared & Amy Chappell

WEEKLY HONORS #12 (July 13-15): Valpak Jockey-Leonel Camacho-Flores; Las Margaritas Trainer-Blaine Wright; EmD Owner-Chappell Alpine Farms LLC; Quarter Chute Café Groom-Victor Chavez (Charles Essex); WTBOA WA-Bred-Baja Sur (John Roche breeder); Exercise Rider-Faustino Lopez.

NOTES: The current horse population at Emerald Downs is 911, up 40 horses from the same date in 2017. . .According to trainer Jeff Metz , Kaabraaj will run Sunday, August 12—in either the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) or the $22,500 Pete Pedersen Memorial at one mile. Track record-holder at six furlongs, Kaabraaj ran the meet’s fastest 6 ½ furlongs, 1:14.31, while wiring allowance foes here on July 8. The 6-year-old Abraaj gelding has raced around two turns twice, finishing third in an allowance race in 2015 and eighth in the Budweiser Stakes in 2016. . .In addition to Riser earning a career-high 97 Beyer in the Mt. Rainier, runner-up Barkley checked in with a career-high 94. . .Alliford Bay attempts to defend her title in Saturday’s $50,000 California Governor’s Cup Handicap for fillies and mares at Sacramento. The 4-year-old City Zip filly won the Washington State Legislators Stakes here last month. . .Saturday’s eight-race card drew 74 entries or 9.25 per race. . .Dave Heerensperger’s Majestic Eagle improved to 2-4-0 in six starts this year with a powerful victory in a $62,000 allowance on the turf Thursday at Del Mar. The 3-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt is trained by Neil Drysdale.