Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, May 13

Aloha Breeze


AUBURN, Wash. (May 13, 2023) – Aloha Breeze delivered a dominant return to action Saturday with an impressive 8 ¼-length romp in the $25,000 Cancer Cartel Purse for 3-year-old fillies at Emerald Downs.

The track’s champion 2-year-old filly last year, Aloha Breeze covered 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.63 and returned $3.20 as the heavy betting choice in a field of six sophomore fillies. Riding his first winner at Emerald Downs, Carlos Montalvo was aboard Aloha Breeze for trainer Tom Wenzel and owner Dr. George Todaro of Seattle.

Breaking sharply from the No. 4 post, Aloha Breeze quickly opened five lengths on the field while setting fractions of :21.83 and :44.52, and then drew six lengths clear into the stretch and was the easiest of winners.

A Kentucky-bred by The Factor, Aloha Breeze improved to 3-2-0 in five starts with earnings of $81,710 including $14,500 for Saturday’s triumph. Winner of last year’s Barbara Shinpoch Stakes, Aloha Breeze had been off since a second to Beyond Awesome (7-for-11/$215,368) in the Arizona Juvenile Filly last December and Saturday’s victory could be the perfect lead-in to the $50,000 Seattle Stakes on June 18.

Stepup, ridden by Francisco Diaz-Lopez, chased Alpha Breeze from starting gate to wire and held second while Shelby Gold, ridden by Isaias Enriquez, finished third.
Driveway, Annette Marie, and Stickinittotheman rounded out the order of finish; Ms Flashy Harbor and Drinkup Buttercup were scratched earlier in the day.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,372,007 on a 10-race card. . .Newcomer Alex Valdes rode three winners Saturday and is a combined three-for-three this season with trainer Jorge Rosales. Both Rosales winners Saturday—Miss Aggie Bling ($6.40) and Danielle’s Secret ($17.80)—are owned by 102-year-old Howard Hammer of Stanwood. . .The seventh race—Vern Gibson Memorial Purse—honored the long-time jockeys’ valet who passed earlier this year. Former jockeys Ricky Frazier and Debbie Hoonan were on hand for the race. . .Lucky Lad ($6.80) gave owner/trainer Luciano Medina his first career Emerald Downs win, holding off Tax Code in a $24,000 allowance while running 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.74 under Alex Cruz. . .Trainer Justin Evans and jockey Luis Negron combined for two more wins and already have three wins in the first two days. . .Second-time starter Secret Saga ($11.20) delivered a powerful victory in a $25,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-old colts and geldings, covering five furlongs n :57.30 under Silvio Amador for Blaine Wright and owner/breeder Margaret Root. . .Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2 p.m.