BIG HAT CHARLIE BEATS STABLEMATE SATURDAY IN NATIONAL GUARD PURSE
Big Hat Charlie made it two-for-two at Emerald Downs with a come-from-behind victory Saturday in the $12,300 National Guard Purse at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Leslie Mawing, Big Hat Charlie splashed home in 1:09.13 for six furlongs and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20. Frank Lucarelli—who also saddled runner-up Swingshift Deputy—is the winning trainer for owners Scott Centers of Anchorage, Alaska and Andy Evans of Tacoma.
Angled outside for the stretch run, Big Hat Charlie swept past Advancement and War Wizard in the lane and drew off for a 5 ¾-length victory.
Swingshift Deputy, ridden by Joe Steiner, chased his stable mate home and was clearly second best. The runner-up returned $5 and $3.20.
Advancement, ridden by Javier Matias, held third after an early duel with War Wizard, in which the veteran geldings clicked off fractions of :21.35, :44.10 and :56.65. Advancement paid $3 to show, and was followed by War Wizard and Illumination Road. Whiskey Prince was scratched earlier in the day.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred by Indian Charlie-Macoumba, Big Hat Charlie sold for $100,000 as a 2-year-old at the May 2014 Barretts Sale, but was claimed by his current connections for $16,000 last summer at Del Mar.Big Hat Charlie has an overall record of 3-0-1 in 13 starts with earnings of $41,675 including $6,765 for Saturday’s victory.
Centers (Center Point Racing Stables) and Evans (Sabers Drawn Racing) could enjoy a big weekend at Emerald Downs. They also own Arrom Bear, a 4-year-old Nationhood gelding, listed at 8-1 on the morning line in Sunday’s $50,000 Governor’s Stakes for 3-year-olds and up.
The track was listed “sloppy” throughout the nine-race card, the first off-track of the 18-day-old meeting and the first sloppy track since September 25, 2015.
NOTES: Jennifer Whitaker launched her comeback Saturday with a fifth on My Mom for trainer Howard Belvoir in the second race. No. 8 all-time with 457 wins at Emerald Downs, Whitaker missed the first six weeks while recovering from broken ribs and a liver laceration. . . Ain’t Tellin ($5.80), a five-time winner here last year, scored his first win of 2016 with a gate-to-wire triumph in race seven. A 5-year-old Lewis Michael gelding, Ain’t Tellin ran one mile in 1:36.50 and was claimed by trainer Alan Bozell for $5,000. . .Rocco Bowen had his second straight three-win day and his fifth of the season to open a 26-22 lead over Mawing in the jockeys’ race. . .Juan Gutierrez, fourth in the jockeys’ standings with 13 wins, resumes riding Sunday after serving a two-day suspension Friday and Saturday. . .As part of a Military Day celebration at Emerald Downs, the Seattle Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit performed on the track between races one and two. . .Live racing continues Sunday with the $50,000 Governor’s Stakes for 3-year-olds and up and $50,000 Hastings Stakes for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up. First post is 2 p.m. There also is a $9,082 carryover in the $0.20 Pick 7, which are races fourth thru 10 on Sunday’s card.