Emerald Downs News & Notes-Thursday, June 28

Bella Mia (1) and Ima Happy Cat (4)


It’s route time at Emerald Downs, as 3-year-old fillies square off in Sunday’s $50,000 Irish Day Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

The Irish Day is the first route test for 3-year-old fillies, and also the first of 14 two-turn stakes to be run this season at Emerald Downs.

Sunday’s race is round three between Ima Happy Cat and Bella Mia–the dominant sophomore fillies thus far in 2018. Sue and Tim Spooner’s Ima Happy Cat scored by 2 ½ lengths over Bella Mia in the six-furlong Seattle Stakes, and John and Janene Maryanskis Bella Mia turned the tables by 2 ¼ lengths over Ima Happy Cat in the 6 ½-furlong Kent Stakes.

Bella Mia (7-5-1-0-$128,548) has four stakes wins at Emerald Downs, but the Harbor the Gold filly has never raced farther than 6 ½ furlongs. Same goes for Ima Happy Cat (5-2-2-1-$63,305), a daughter of Smiling Tiger, who has progressed rapidly this spring at Golden Gate and Emerald Downs.

Trainer Blaine Wright, who won the 2017 Irish Day with Top Quality, has Bella Mia, Downwind and Assemble entered in the 2018 Irish Day.

The two probable favorites, Bella Mia and Ima Happy Cat, drew the No. 4 and No. 5 posts in the seven-horse field.

Newcomer Princessof the Nyl broke her maiden at a mile distance in a $78,000 maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park in March. Sunday’s race is her first with trainer Mike Puhich.

Ca Dreamer, a Canadian-bred by Tale of the Cat, scored by seven lengths in a $28,000 maiden special weight earlier this month on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate.

  • The Irish Day has been lengthened to 1 1/16 miles for 2018; the previous distance was one mile.
  • Ed Moger (Ca Dreamer) only previous start at Emerald Downs was during the 1997 season.
  • Washington-breds have won four of the first eight stakes this season; Bella Mia is the lone Washington-bred in this year’s Irish Day.

The field for Sundays 23rd running of the $50,000 Irish Day Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles, Race 6, 4:36 p.m.: 1-Ca Dreamer, Javier Matias, 117 lbs; 2-Downwind, Jose Zunino, 117; 3-Princessof the Nyl, Kevin Orozco, 117; 4-Ima Happy Cat, Rocco Bowen, 123; 5-Bella Mia, Julien Couton, 123; 6-Diamonds R, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 117; 7-Assemble, Austin Solis, 117.


Friday, June 29
6:30 p.m. (7 races)

Saturday, June 30
5 p.m. (8 races)
Twilight Saturday (thru Sept. 22)
Scottish Night

Sunday, July 1
2 p.m. (9 races)
Irish Day
$50,000 Irish Day Stakes

Fireworks Spectacular

Tuesday, July 3
5 p.m. (8 or 9 races)
Fireworks Spectacular


Friday, June 22
Race 1: Ask Not-60
Race 2: Cold Hard Luck-63*
Race 3: Shot Gun Gary-63
Race 4: Solar Heat-54
Race 5: Alley Boss-75
Race 6: Guardian One-70*
Race 7: Gio Star-47

Saturday, June 23
Race 1: Im Insatiable Too-58*
Race 2: Pavelski-61
Race 3: Legitimate Cause-45
Race 4: Zanab-59
Race 5: Bella Colomba-51
Race 6: Atta Boy Dougie-63
Race 7: Choreography-59
Race 8: Golden Dynamo-71

Sunday, June 24
Race 1: Bonita Rapids-38
Race 2: Oopper Wallah-74
Race 3: Classic Leah-40#+
Race 4: Riser (dq)-91
Race 5: Rally the Wind-38
Race 6: Copy Begone-58
Race 7: Tesla-65*
Race 8: Endangered-50
Race 9: Curious Rumor-59
Race 10: Beefcake-52
* 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 1:14.86 Alliford Bay (4yof) June 16
1 Mile 1:34.60 Huya (5yog) June 16
1 1/16 Mile 1:42.81 Oldtimers Vision (7yog) May 28

Betting Favorites
Last Week: 7-25 (28.0%)
Season: 76-225 (33.7%)
Largest $2 Win: $66 Pretty Miss Vanna (May 26)
$2 Place: $31 Colour of Money (May 11)
$2 Show: $16.20 Vintastic (May 13)

Leading Jockeys

44-Rocco Bowen
31-Kevin Orozco
27-Julien Couton
21-Eswan Flores
17-Gary Wales
14-Anne Sanguinetti
12-Austin Solis
10-Jose Zunino
9-Erick Lopez
8-Javier Matias
7-Leonel Camacho-Flores

Leading Trainers
23-Jeff Metz
20-Frank Lucarelli
17-Blaine Wright
10-Vince Gibson
7-Howard Belvoir
7-Chris Stenslie
7-Robbie Baze
7-Joe Toye
6-Mike Puhich
6-Neil Knapp
6-David Martinez
6-Bob Meeking
6-Jack McCartney
6-Manny Ortiz
6-Kenneth Elison

Leading Owners
10-Saratoga West
6-Kenneth Elison or Vicky Jo Elison
6-Tawnja Elison
5-Randall and Rossi or Lucarelli Racing
4-Rick Kessler or Terra Firma Farm
3-Muddy Waters Stables LLC
3-Brett Brophy
3-Billy Speed Racing Stable
3-Allaire Farms
3-John & Janene Maryanski
3-Peter Redekop BC Ltd.
3-Two Putts for the Win #19
3-John & Janene Maryanski & Riverbend Farm
3-Tim Bankers
3-Howard Belvoir or Rhonda or Randi Ackerman
3-Luigi DiPietro or Diana DiPietro
3-North American Thoroughbred Racing Co.
3-Aaron Bresko

Horses Wins
3-Daytona Beach
3-Rojo Bou Peep
3-Curious Rumor
2-Hill Croome
2-Guardian One
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-Will Not
2-Cold Hard Luck
2-Ask Not

WEEKLY HONORS #9 (June 22-24): Valpak Jockey-Gary Wales; Las Margaritas Trainer-Roddina Barrett; EmD Owner-Brenna & Tony Loften; Quarter Chute Café Groom-Sergio Velasquez (David Martinez); WTBOA Washington-bred-Dedicated to You (Coal Creek Farm breeder); Exercise Rider-Juan Madrigal.

Little Dancer

NOTES: Entries for Tuesday’s races will be drawn Friday. . .2017 British Columbia Horse of the Year Daz Lin Dawn makes her Emerald Downs’ debut in Sunday’s $20,500 sub-feature for older fillies and mares at one mile. The seven-horse field includes 2017 Emerald Downs’ Top Older Filly or Mare Citizen Kitty and 2017 Emerald Downs’ Top 3-Year-Old Filly Little Dancer. . .Saturday’s eight-race card includes an $18,500 maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies at five furlongs. The eight-horse field includes three first-time starters out of stakes winning dams—Suddenly Awesome (Daaher-Sudden Departure), Julia’s Rose (Music of My Soul-Winning View) and Mayz’s Music (Music of My Soul-Hit a Star). . .In Saturday’s fifth race for maiden special weight 3-year-olds and up, Lobaness is the first starter out of 2012 Belle Roberts winner Cielator. . . Blaine Wright has stakes action Monday at Hastings Racecourses with Peter Redekop’s Argosy Fleet in the $50,000 Chris Loseth Handicap for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth. Wright and Redekop also debut Arcadia Calls, a $215,000 City Zip colt, in Saturday’s fifth race at Pleasanton for maiden special weight 2-year-olds. . .Speaking of Wright, he has now been involved in the last two stakes disqualifications at Emerald Downs. Sunday, of course, Riser finished first but was placed fifth for interfering with Barkley out of the starting gate in the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes. The previous stakes DQ was June 26, 2011, when the Wright-trained Zayda was promoted from second to first in the $50,000 Coca-Cola Stakes. In that one, Rainier Ice prevailed by a neck but was placed fourth for interference in deep stretch. . .The Emerald Downs’ tote board will be sporting a new look Friday, having been painted a shade of light black over the off days. . .A couple of familiar faces are entered in a $26,400 allowance race for mixed breeds Monday at Albuquerque. The 870-yard event includes Rare Ed, winner of last year’s $15,000 Distance Challenge at Emerald Downs, and Washington-bred Keller’s Gold, runner-up in last year’s Washington Cup Sophomore Stakes. . .