STAR-STUDDED CAST IN SUNDAY FEATURE AT EMERALD DOWNS
A terrific field of older fillies and mares meet in Sunday’s $21,500 allowance/optional claiming feature at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Trainer Blaine Wright sends out a powerful pair of 4-year-old fillies–Bella Mia and Best of Me–in Sunday’s feature, designed as a prep for the $50,000 Hastings Stakes on Monday, May 27.
Bella Mia is a two-time state champion and four-time stakes winner at Emerald Downs, where her overall mark is 5-2-1 from nine starts with earnings of $145,873 for owners John and Janene Maryanski. Todd and Shawn Hansen’s Best of Me compiled a 2-0-1 in six California starts with trainer Peter Miller including a fourth in the Grade 3 Great Lady M and a third in the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes.
Emerald Downs’ stakes winners No Talking Back, Little Dancer and Diamonds R add depth to the lineup. No Talking Back was among the best older fillies and mares here last year, compiling a 3-1-2 record and nearly $60,000 in purses for trainer Chris Stenslie and owners One Horse Will Do Corp. and Steve Shimizu. Little Dancer captured the 2017 Washington Oaks for Doris Harwood and owner Ron Schmid, while George Todaro’s Diamonds R upset Bella Mia in the 2018 Irish Day Stakes.
Tom Wenzel, trainer of Diamonds R, also has Karl and Darlyne Krieg’s Dontkissntell aiming for the Hastings Stakes. A 4-year-old B.C.-bred, Dontkissntell earned a meet-high 85 Beyer while romping vs. allowance/claiming foes last weekend.
Stenslie also sends out Racy Rascal, a speedy 5-year-old daughter of Into Mischief who scored in a six-furlong allowance/optional claimer last June for Griffin Place.
The field from the rail out for Sunday’s feature race (Race 8, 5:39 p.m.): Bella Mia, Juan Gutierrez, 119 lbs; Best of Me, Franklin Ceballos, 119; No Talking Back, Jose Zunino, 119; Racy Rascal, Jorge Carreno, 119; Little Dancer, Heribert Martinez, 119; Diamonds R, Patrick Henry Jr., 119.
KENTUCKY DERBY DAY SATURDAY AT EMERALD DOWNS
The 145th Kentucky Derby will be simulcast between races 3 and 4 Saturday at Emerald Downs, with post time 3:50 p.m. for the 145th Run for the Roses.
Advance wagering on Saturday’s entire 14-race card at Churchill Downs will be offered all day Friday at Emerald Downs. And a special $1 daily double will be offered on the Kentucky Oaks (Friday Race 11) and Kentucky Derby (Saturday Race 12), along with a special $0.50 Pick 3 on the Kentucky Oaks, Old Forester Turf Classic (Saturday Race 11) and Kentucky Derby.
Emerald Downs’ gates open 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday while most state OTB locations open at 9 a.m. both days.
The live eight-race card is headlined by a $25,000 claimer for 3-year-olds which have never won two races. Carded as Race 7 with a $15,000 purse, the seven-horse lineup includes This Great Nation, a Nationhood gelding that scored a $98.80 upset in the 2018 WTBOA Lads Stakes.
RACING THIS WEEK
Saturday, May 4
2 p.m. (8 races)
Kentucky Derby Day presented by Woodford Reserve
Fabulous Hat Contest
Sunday, May 5
2 p.m. (9 races)
Cinco de Mayo/Fiesta Latina
BEYERS & FAST TIMES
Saturday, April 27
Race 1: Brahms Forest-50
Race 2: Ziggy Car Dust-59*
Race 3: Stay in Grace-58
Race 4: Rox the Fox-55
Race 5: Perfect Dude-76*
Race 6: Roamin Effort-53
Race 7: Dontkissntell-85*
Race 8: Early Morn-35
Sunday, April 28
Race 1: Bobby Magic-59
Race 2: Timberlake Gage-58#
Race 3: Mr. Jay D-46
Race 4: E Z Star Maker-59
Race 5: Lansky-74
Race 6: Fortune’s Freude-69*
Race 7: Getting Joellenned-68*
Race 8: Awhitesportscoat-79
Race 9: Docktarri-52*
# First-time starter
5 Furlongs :57.17 Lulu’s Lightening (3f) April 20; Perfect Dude (3yoc) April 27
5 ½ Furlongs 1:02.52 Dontkissntell (4f) April 27
6 Furlongs 1:11.22 Rox the Fox (7g) April 27
6 ½ Furlongs 1:18 Roamin Effort (4g) April 27
5 Furlongs 76 Perferct Dude (3c)
5 ½ Furlongs 85 Dontkissntell (4f)
6 Furlongs 55 Rox the Fox (7g)
6 ½ Furlongs 53 Roamin Effort (4g)
Last Week: 5-17 (29.4%)
Season: 7-26 (26.9%)
Largest $2 Win: $69.80, Stay in Grace (April 27)
$2 Place: $30, Stay in Grace (April 27)
$2 Show: $12.60, Stay in Grace (April 27)
Largest Payout: $29,739.60 ($0.50 Pick 5 April 28)
3-Patrick Henry Jr.
WEEKLY HONORS #1 & 2 (April 20-28): Valpak Jockey: Juan Gutierrez; Trainer: Frank Lucarelli; EmD Owner: John Parker; Quarter Chute Café Groom: William Diaz (Vince Gibson); WTBOA WA-Bred: Lansky (Rick & Debbie Pabst breeders); Exercise Rider: Juan Madrigal (Tom Wenzel).
NOTES: Jose Leon, the top apprentice at Turf Paradise with 30 wins, plans to begin riding full-time at Emerald Downs on Friday, May 10. Keith Drebin, who also books mounts for Juan Gutierrez and Patrick Henry Jr., will represent Leon at Emerald Downs. . .Frank Lucarelli needs 52 wins to become the first trainer in Emerald Downs’ history with 1,000 wins. . .Jockeys Javier Matias and Jennifer Whitaker are also nearing milestones. Matias needs nine wins to become the ninth rider with 500 wins at Emerald Downs while Whitaker is 20 wins away from 500 at Emerald Downs. . .Longacres Mile champ Barkley worked five furlongs in company in a bullet :57 1/5 Thursday under Matias and could make his season debut in the $50,000 Governor’s Stakes on Sunday, June 2. . .Good luck to Dr. Mark Dedomenico and Motion Emotion in Friday’s $1,250,000 Kentucky Oaks. Listed at 15-1 on the morning lie, Motion Emotion began her career with trainer Mike Puhich at Emerald Downs last September. . .The weekend forecast is for partly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday with temperatures in the 68 to 70-degree range. . .Nominations close Saturday for the $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. To be run Sunday, May 12, the Seattle is the first of 29 stakes at the 2019 meeting. . .Turf Paradise caps its 2018-19 meet Sunday with its traditional $30,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap at 1 7/8 miles on turf. Stratton, a 7-year-old Colorado-bred, is the 3-1 morning line favorite. . .Hastings Racecourse begins its 2019 season Saturday with an eight-race program. The 51-day meet runs through October 27.