EXECUTIVE CHEF CHALKS UP ANOTHER AUBURN STAKES FOR CONNECTIONS
AUBURN, Wash. (June 19, 2022) – The $50,000 Auburn Stakes had a familiar theme Sunday as Executive Chef powered home for a four-length victory in the season’s first stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
With Kevin Orozco riding at 119 lbs., Executive Chef zipped six furlongs in 1:08.84 and paid $10.20, $4.80, and $3.60 as third choice in the wagering.
Blaine Wright is the winning trainer for owners Gerald and Gail Schneider and John and Janene Maryanski, marking the third straight Auburn Stakes triumph for the winning connections. They captured the 2019 Auburn with Washington Horse of the Year Baja Sur and the 2021 running with Emerald Downs’ Horse of the Meeting Top Executive.
The victory capped a smashing day for Wright, who also won the $50,000 Seattle Stakes with Ten Broeck Farms’ Slack Tide and moved into a fourth-place tie with Howard Belvoir on the track’s all-time stakes victory list at 48 apiece.
“It’s a great credit to my owners and barn crew,” Wright said. “It’s been a tremendous Father’s Day.”
Executive Chef was superlative Sunday, rallying from off the pace to win going away. In fifth place as Smiling Goodbye and A View From Above dueled through splits of :21.55 and :44.17, Top Executive gathered momentum on the turn, split horses into the lane, collared Smiling Goodbye in mid-stretch and drew off to win with total authority.
A Virginia-bred gelding by Cairo Prince, Executive Chef earned $27,500 to boost his career total to $61,300. His overall mark is 2-2-1 from five starts.
Itsallabouttheride finished strongly to take second, a head in front of Midnight Mojo, and paid $7.40 and $5.80. Juan Gutierrez was aboard the runner-up at 120 lbs.
Midnight Mojo, last year’s Gottstein Futurity champion, rallied from last to finish third and paid $8.40, while Smiling Goodbye, Little Casino, Saint Pieus, and A View From Above rounded out the order of finish. Mr. Mischief was a late scratch.
The $50,000 Irish Day Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs is next for 3-year-old colts and geldings on Sunday, July 17.
SLACK TIDE IMPRESSIVE IN IN SEATTLE STAKES
Slack Tide turned in an exceptional performance in the $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, repelling bids from 2021 track and state champion 2-year-old filly Koron and California invader Unsolved Mystery for a four-length victory in 1:09.39 for six furlongs.
Ridden by Evin Roman at 120 lbs. for trainer Blaine Wright and owner Ten Broeck Farm (Dave Mowat), Slack Tide paid $3.80, $2.80, and $2.10 as the betting favorite.
A Kentucky-bred by Shaman Ghost-Impeached, Slack Tide earned $27,500, pushing her bankroll to $84,350. Her overall record, including a win in the 2021 Angie C Stakes, is 3-2-0 from six starts.
Slack Tide was coming off three straight races on the Tapeta synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields including a 3 ¼-length allowance victory April 22.
The transition back to dirt was a smooth one. Breaking smartly from the No. 4 post-position, Slack Tide set fractions of :22.13, :44.50, and :56.68, took inside pressure from Koron and outside heat from Unsolved Mystery, before shaking clear past mid-stretch for the victory.
“She’s a very professional horse,” Roman said in the winner’s circle. “When I asked her for her move, she really responded.”
Wright also has enjoyed tremendous success in the Seattle Stakes, saddling a record four winners in the race: Invested Prospect (2016); Alliford Bay (2017), Mucho Amor (2019), and Slack Tide.
Roman, based in the Bay Area, scored his second career Emerald Downs’ stakes triumph. He rode Gold Rush Dancer to victory in the 2017 Longacres Mile.
Ropers N Wranglers, longest shot on the board at 28 to 1, rallied between horses to snatch second and paid $14.60 and $5.80 for place and show. Juan Gutierrez rode the runner-up at 120 lbs.
Unsolved Mystery, 3 to 1 second choice ridden by Kevin Radke at 122 lbs, nosed out Koron for third and paid $3.20.
Making her first start since a win in the 2021 Washington Cup Juvenile Fillies, Koron challenged Slack Tide into the stretch but weakened slightly in the final furlong and finished fourth, while Ms Parkside, Cielo Diamante, and Wegottodrinking completed the order of finish.
The $50,000 Kent Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs is next for 3-year-old fillies on Sunday, July 17.
NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,662,613 on an eight-race card. . .In the $0.50 Pick 5 which included a carryover of $11,240, $55,291 new money was bet into the pool and winning tickets paid $1,011.25. . .Wright and Frank Lucarelli top the trainers’ standings with nine wins each. . .Alex Cruz leads Kevin Radke 24-22 in the jockeys race. . .El Alto Hombre ($5) edged Defense Wins in the $25,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up, running six furlongs in 1:09.02 with Cruz aboard for trainer Liz Kowalski and owner Anthony Hoover. A 7-year-old gelding, El Alto Hombre is 17 for 41 lifetime including six stakes wins in Oregon last year. . .Kassie Guglielmino has wins on four straight cards including a triumph aboard Smoken Shadow ($9.60) in Sunday’s $24,000 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up. . . Trainer Bonnie Jenne also had a great day Sunday, scoring wins with Unsinkable Molly B ($16.20) and Command Sgt Major ($18.20), and a second with Itsallabouttheride in the Auburn Stakes. . .Longtime Emerald Downs security officer Ron Bohlman served as honorary steward for the Seattle Stakes. Bohlman’s filly, Ms Lynn, authored a $37 upset in the 2021 Seattle Stakes. . .Terry and Mary Lou Griffin, breeders of Slack Tide, also were in the winner’s circle. . . Monday marks the 26th anniversary of Emerald Downs’ grand opening, June 20, 1996. . .The $0.20 Jackpot Pick 6 carryover is $21,573. . .Live racing resumes Friday with first post 7 p.m.