Emerald Downs News & Notes-Thursday, June 20

Ima Happy Cat (gray with black shadow roll) wins the $50,000 Hastings Stakes


There appears to be no shortage of older fillies and mares this season at Emerald Downs.

Last month’s Hastings Stakes drew a field of nine older fillies and mares and Sunday’s $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes went one better, drawing a field of 10 including seven stakes winners. At 6 1/2 furlongs, the Washington State Legislators is the final sprint of the four-race series.

Sue and Tim Spooner’s Ima Happy Cat, gate to wire winner of the Hastings, drew the No. 4 post and carries high weight of 123 lbs Sunday. Trained by Dan Markle, the 4-year-old Smiling Tiger filly has raced in sharp form all year, compiling a 3-2-0 record from six starts and earning $101,816.

Exploding from the gate in the Hastings, Ima Happy Cat quickly opened a 3 1/2-length lead while running fractions of :21.48 and :43.63. Although she tired slightly late, Ima Happy Cat held sway by one length in 1:08.73. She now has wins this year on dirt and synthetic surfaces, and also is stakes-placed on turf.

Bella Mia, Dontkissntell, Paddy’s Secret, Best of Me, Always Enuff and No Talking Back–second through seventh in the Hastings–are all back for another crack in the Washington State Legislators Stakes.

The consistent Bella Mia came from slightly off the pace to finish second in the Hastings, but was disqualified for drifting out and causing interference past mid stretch. Nevertheless, she’s 5-3-1 in 11 lifetime starts with earnings of $151,323.

Dontkissntell, promoted from third to second in the Hastings, is 3-3-0 in six starts at Emerald Downs, including a victory and two seconds in stakes races. A 4-year-old Rosberg filly, she performs well in sprints and routes.

Paddy’s Secret finished fourth and was placed third in the Hastings, and another who is capable sprinting and routing. She’s a double stakes winner at Turf Paradise including an 89 Beyer in the six-furlong Princess Of Palms Stakes.

Best of Me, fourth as the favorite in the Hastings, lost her best chance in the Bella Mia mishap in the stretch. Her previous out, an allowance win over Bella Mia, was impressive.

Summer Storm ships in from Churchill Downs and was a steady sprinter this year in Kentucky and Arkansas. A 4-year-old Majesticperfection filly Summer Storm finished first, second or third in four of five starts while earning over $63,000.

Always Enuff was competitive against allowance types at Oaklawn this spring, but broke a step slow and finished sixth in her return to Emerald Downs in the Hastings. Diamonds R, upset winner of the 2018 Irish Days Stakes, adds blinkers after finishing ninth in the Hastings, while No Talking Back tries to rediscover her good form of a year ago which included a victory in the Fan Appreciation Day Overnight Stakes.

Foggia is a $1,500 supplemental nomination for owner Tim Bankers and trainer Manny Ortiz. A 4-year-old Rocky Bar filly, Foggia defeated $10,000 claimers by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:09.09 for six furlongs on May 31.

  • Blaine Wright, who leads all trainers with three stakes wins, saddles Bella Mia, Always Enuff and Best of Me. Alliford Bay, trained by Wright, won the 2018 Washington State Legislators in 1:14.86.
  • Trainer Tom Wenzel has a record three wins in the Washington State Legislators including a stakes record 1:14.20 by Stopshoppingdebbie in 2014. He sends out Dontkissntell and Diamonds R in this year’s race.
  • Sire Smiling Tiger already has three stakes wins at the meet: Baja Sur (2), Ima Happy Cat (1).

The field for the 24th running of the $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes: 1-Bella Mia, Juan Gutierrez, 119 lbs; 2-Best of Me, Franklin Ceballos, 119; 3-Diamonds R, Patrick Henry Jr., 119; 4-Ima Happy Cat, Gary Wales, 123; 5-Always Enuff, Kevin Orozco, 119; 6-Paddy’s Secret, Javier Matias, 117; 7-Summer Storm, Jorge Carreno, 117; 8-Foggia (s), Heribert Martinez, 119; 9-Dontkissntell, Ryan Barber, 119; 10-No Talking Back, Jose Zunino, 117. (s) supplemental nomination

2019 Older Fillies & Mares @ Emerald Downs
May 27: $50,000 Hastings Stakes, Ima Happy Cat ($10.80) 6F/1:08.73 79 Beyer
June 23: $50,000 WA State Legislators S, 6 ½ Furlongs
July 21: $50,000 Boeing Stakes, 1 1/16 Mile
Aug 11: $50,000 Emerald Distaff, 1 1/8 Mile

2019 Stakes @ Emerald Downs (thru 6 stakes)
Stakes: 6 Total Horses 46 Average Field Size 7.7
Average $2 Win: $8.00
Favorite: 4 for 6
2nd Favorite: 0 for 6
3rd Favorite: 1 for 6
Largest $2 Win: $24.80 Alittlelesstalk (Kent Stakes)
Smallest $2 Win: $2.40 Anyportinastorm (Governor’s Stakes)
Winner Bred: Washington 3, Kentucky 1, California 1, Florida 1
Winning Sire: Smiling Tiger 3, Mucho Macho Man 1, City Zip 1, Demon Warlock 1


Friday, June 21 (25/67)
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
Fab Friday

Saturday, June 22 (26/67)
5 p.m. (8 races)
Food Truck Festival

Sunday, June 23 (27/67)
2 p.m. (10 races)
$50,000 Wash State Legislators S (3&UP F&M 6 ½ F)
Food Truck Festival


Twirling Cinnamon

Friday, June 14
Race 1: Scout Patrol-67*
Race 2: Jaded Tiger-29+#
Race 3: Dancing Debbi-36#
Race 4: Mojave-49*
Race 5: Deputy’s Command-59
Race 6: Twirling Cinnamon-65
Race 7: Lady in Green-28

Trump Itz

Saturday, June 15
Race 1: Tesla-65*
Race 2: M and M Girl-57
Race 3: Pacific War-43
Race 4: Ridgefield Rocket-67*
Race 5: He’s Not Grey-84*
Race 6: Lasting Light-64
Race 7: Trump Itz-73
Race 8: Mike Man’s Bro-57

Blame It On Royce

Sunday, June 16
Race 1: Eagle Ease-50*
Race 2: Cook Up a Storm-52
Race 3: Cats Champ-56
Race 4: Compelling Smile-49+#
Race 5: Iknowyourface-66*
Race 6: Pre Mo Diamond-47
Race 7: Mystical Image-74*
Race 8: Baja Sur-86
Race 9: Blame It On Royce-74
Race 10: Colt Fifty Seven-40
* Career-high
+ 2-year-old
# First-time starter

Fastest Times
4 ½ Furlongs :52.47 Lovefliesonwings (2f) June 7
5 Furlongs :56.54 Beau Rocket (4f) May 5
5 ½ Furlongs 1:02.04 Best of Me (4f) May 5
6 Furlongs 1:07.54 Anyportinastorm (5h) June 2
6 ½ Furlongs 1:15.19 Cross Creek (6g) May 31
1 Mile 1:35.48 Calex (7g) June 2

Betting Favorites
Last Week: 10-25 (40.0%)
Season: 77-194 (39.6%)
Largest $2 Win: $69.80, Stay in Grace (April 27)
$2 Place: $38, Sassafrass (June 16)
$2 Show: $15.40, Excessive Belief (May 10)
Largest Payouts: $29,739.60 ($0.50 Pick 5, April 28); $13,736.12 ($0.20 Jackpot Pick 7, June 15); $12,038.25 ($0.50 Pick 4, April 27); $10,995.60 ($0.20 Jackpot Pick 7, May 19)

2019 Leaders

Patrick Henry Jr.

34-Gary Wales
20-Javier Matias*
20-Kevin Orozco
17-Franklin Ceballos
17-Juan Gutierrez
16-Heribert Martinez
13-Lorenzo Lopez
12-Jorge Carreno
12-Jose Zunino
10-Ryan Barber
  7-Patrick Henry Jr.
  6-Jose Leon*
  4-Jennifer Whitaker
  3-Alex Anaya
**Thoroughbred only

Mike Puhich

26-Frank Lucarelli
16-Blaine Wright
10-Candi Cryderman
10-Vince Gibson
  8-Chris Stenslie
  8-Pablo De Jesus
  7-Alan Bozell
  7-Jorge Rosales
  6-Howard Belvoir
  6-Sharon Ross
  5-Kay Cooper
  5-Charles Essex
  4-Valentin P. Garcia
  4-Howie Gibson
  4-Mike Puhich
  4-Joe Toye

Maryanski & Riverbend Farm

  9-John Parker
  8-Chad Christensen
  5-One Horse Will Do Corp. & Chris Stenslie
  4-Marjorie Avery
  3-Mark Dedomenico LLC
  3-Two Putts for the Win #4, David Lechmanik and Alliance Stable LLC
  3-Peter Redekop BC Ltd.
  3-Wayne Williams or Linda Northam
  3-John & Janene Maryanski and Riverbend Farm

He’s Not Grey

Horse Wins
3-He’s Not Grey
2-All Star Allie
2-Baja Sur**
2-Brahms Forest
2-Das Bear
2-Emily’s Gold
2-E Z Star Maker
2-Flatter Cat
2-Lasting Light
2-Mystical Image
2-Pure Pursuit
2-Roamin Effort
2-Rosies Baby
2-Rosso’s Gatto
2-Smoothee Lee
2-Stay in Grace
2-Twirling Cinnamon
2-Wild Wilko
*Stakes Win

Baja Sur

Horse Earnings
Baja Sur $52,800
Alittlelesstalk $47,975
Mucho Amor $34,900
Anyportinastorm $26,400
Lasting Light $25,438
Ima Happy Cat $25,300
Perfect Dude $24,575
He’s Not Grey $20,160
Dontkissntell $19,375
Runningwscissors $19,200

Pedro Vera

WEEKLY HONORS #9 (June 14-16): Valpak Jockey: Gary Wales; Trainer: Alan Bozell; EmD Owner: John & Janene Maryanski and Riverbend Farm; Quarter Chute Café Groom: Les Shannon (Alan Bozell); WTBOA WA Bred: Baja Sur (John Roche breeder); Exercise Rider: Pedro Vera.

Free Coffee Sunday! Drawing by Sally Steiner

NOTES: E Z Star Maker and Stay in Grace both seek their thirds win this season in Friday’s feature race for older fillies and mares at six furlongs. . .Washington Hall of Fame trainer Larry Ross celebrates his 67th birthday Friday. . .Speaking of birthdays, Emerald Downs celebrated its 23rd birthday Thursday. In the track’s first ever race Strawberry Morn led gate to wire for a 10-length victory in the $35,000 U.S. Bank Stakes on June 20, 1996.To date, 17,677 races have been run at Emerald Downs. . .15 trucks are expected to partake in the Food Truck Festival this Saturday and Sunday at Emerald Downs.