YULONG WARRIOR SPRINGS UPSET IN $100,000 GETAWAY DAY
AUBURN, Wash. (Sept. 23, 2018) – Yulong Warrior invaded Emerald Downs and rolled from behind for a 1 ¼-length victory over Weekend Wizard in the $100,000 Getaway Day Stakes for 3-year-olds on Sunday, closing day of the 2018 season.
Boundary Bay finished third while Sippin Fire, bidding for a fifth consecutive stakes victory, finished fourth as the 6-to-5 favorite.
With Evin Roman riding at 124 lbs, Yulong Warrior ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.61 and paid $14.80, $5.60 and $5.20. Doug O’Neill is the winning trainer for owner Zhang Yueshang of Shuozhou, China.
A Florida-bred by Street Cry, Yulong Warrior earned $53,350 to boost his life total to $247,931. His overall record is 3-3-1 in 10 starts.
A stakes winner in Dubai, Yulong Warrior had raced only once previously in North America, finishing fourth in the $100,000 Shared Belief last month at Del Mar. O’Neill said via text that Niall Daulton and Michael Donohoe, representatives of the owner, made the decision to run at Emerald Downs.
Assistant trainer Leandro Mora, who handled saddling duties Sunday, said the connections hold the winner in high regard.
“I was in Dubai when this horse raced, we’ve always liked him,” Mora said.
Yulong Warrior saved ground while racing off a fairly fast pace, as Boundary Bay led through six furlongs in 1:10.50. Angled out into the stretch, Yulong Warrior swept past Boundary Bay and Weekend Wizard and won going away. The winning time was second fastest of the meet for 1 1/16 miles; Riser won the Mt. Rainier Stakes in 1:40.08.
“We broke a little slow, but he’s a smart horse and was very relaxed,” said Roman, the Eclipse Award-winning Apprentice of 2017. “When I asked him, he really ran a big one today.”
Weekend Wizard overtook Boundary Bay into the lane but was unable to withstand the winner and finished second. Ridden by Rico Walcott at 124 lbs, the runner-up paid $3.60 and $2.80.
Weekend Wizard earned $19,400 for finishing second and an additional $10,000 for finishing in the top three in all three legs of the Northwest Triple (Muckleshoot Derby, B.C. Derby, Getaway Day Stakes). Weekend Wizard finished second to Sippin Fire in the Muckleshoot Derby, second to Sky promise in the B.C. Derby, and second to Yulong Warrior in the Getaway Day.
Boundary Bay, ridden by Javier Matias at 122 lbs, held third and paid $8.20. Younger brother of 2016 Emerald Downs Horse of the Meeting O B Harbor, Boundary Bay placed in five stakes this season at Emerald Downs.
Sippin Fire raced in striking position to the head of the lane but lacked his customary punch under Rocco Bowen and finished fourth. Nevertheless, the Harbor the Gold gelding was voted 2018 Horse of the Meeting, Top 3-Year-Old and Top Washington-bred.
Hey Sequoia, Canadian Game, Elliott Bay and Not Yet completed the order of finish.
O’Neill now has two wins at Emerald Downs—Sky Jack in the 2003 Longacres Mile and Yulong Warrior in the Getaway Stakes. And Roman also has two wins at Emerald Downs—Gold Rush Dancer in the 2017 Longacres Mile and Yulong Warrior in the Getaway Stakes.
NORTHWEST FACTOR SPRINGS GOTTSTEIN UPSET
Although Sippin Fire didn’t get the top prize in the Getaway, the ownership group How We Roll #4 still had plenty to cheer about Sunday.
Northwest Factor, owned by How We Roll #4 and trained by Steve Bullock, wore down Time ’n Time Again for a head victory in the $89,500 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds.
With Gary Wales riding his first stakes winner at Emerald Downs, Northwest Factor covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.99 and paid $50.80, $18.40 and $8.40. She became the 14th filly to win the Gottstein in the 81-year history of the race, and the fourth at Emerald Downs.
With the victory, Northwest Factor became a double stakes winner at the meet and clinched honors as Top 2-Year-Old Filly. A Kentucky-bred by The Factor, Northwest Factor is 2-2-2 in six starts with earnings of $95,700, including a hefty $47,850 for the Gottstein.
Northwest Factor earned the victory Sunday. Prominent throughout, she gutted it out through the stretch and finally pushed past Time ’n Time Again in the last few jumps.
“I hadn’t won a stakes all meet, so this is really nice,” Wales said. “I’ve been watching this filly and I knew she wanted to run long.”
Time ’n Time Again, ridden by Julien Couton, finished second but was disqualified and placed last for interfering with Frolic and Detour past mid-stretch. Frolic and Detour and jockey Eswan Flores were attempting to rally inside and went down hard in the mishap, but both the jockey and rider appeared to escape the incident uninjured.
Palladium, ridden by Evin Roman, was promoted from third to second place and paid $4.20 and $3.80. The outcome gave O’Neill a win and a second with his two Southern California shippers.
Fuzzy Dolphin, with Kevin Orozco riding, finished fourth but was moved up to third and paid $6.80 to show. Winner of the Washington Cup Juvenile Colts & Geldings three weeks ago, Fuzzy Dolphin set fractions of :22.84, :46.08 and 1:10.79 before yielding to Time ’n Time Again into the stretch. Mr. Frank, Forty Six Carats, Ally On Fire, Emily’s Gold, Reno Roy and Hardy Chisel completed the order of finish.
For Bullock, the victory was his sixth stakes wins this season; four with Sippin Fire and two with Northwest Factor.
HIT THE BEACH PREVAILS IN PETE PEDERSEN
Hit the Beach continued his late-season assault with a powerful 1 ¾-length victory in Sunday’s $25,000 Pete Pedersen Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up.
Ridden by Eswan Flores at 122 lbs, Hit the Beach ran 6-½ furlongs in a meet-best 1:13.99 and paid $28, $11.20 and $5.60. H.R. Pat Mullens—the oldest trainer ever to win an Emerald Downs’ stakes at age 91—is the conditioner and co-owner with Ed Zenker of Tacoma and R.A. Swede Larson of Snohomish.
Hit the Beach finished the season with three wins in his last four starts, including the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic and the Pete Pedersen, and had four wins overall. A 5-year-old Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold, Hit the Beach earned over $64,000 this season.
Saving ground throughout, Hit the Beach sat behind sizzling fractions of :21.75, :43.48 and 1:07.73, reeled in Oh Marvelous Me past-mid-stretch and won going away.
Mixo, with Kevin Orozco riding at 118 lbs, edged Oh Marvelous Me for second and paid $12.20 and $6.60. A 4-year-old Washington-bred by Abraaj, Mixo compiled a 1-3-1 record in five starts at the meet.
Oh Marvelous Me, the 8 to 5 favorite ridden by Julien Couton at 120 lbs, finished third while rallying into a hot pace and paid $2.60 to show. A 6-year-old Bluegrass Cat gelding, Oh Marvelous Me was coming off a third in the Longacres Mile and is now 6-3-4 in 14 career starts at Emerald Downs.
Mike Man’s Gold, bidding for his 20th Emerald Downs’ victory, finished fourth and was followed by Strate Remark, Conquest Cobra, Royal Privacy, Bistraya, Cross Creek and Kaabraaj.
Kaabraaj held the previous mark for fastest 6 ½ furlongs of the meeting with a 1:14.31 clocking on July 8.
NO TALKING BACK DOMINATES FAN APPRECIATION DAY
No Talking Back capped a strong season with a 2 ¼-length victory in the $25,000 Fan Appreciation Day Stakes for older fillies and mares.
Beginning the season a maiden, No Talking Back compiled a 3-1-2 record in seven starts and earned $59,350 for owners Jody Peetz of Issaquah and Steve Shimizu of Bellevue.
Ridden by Jose Zunino at 119 lbs, No Talking Back ran one mile in 1:35.98 and paid $10.80, $5.60 and $3.20. Chris Stenslie is the winning trainer.
A 4-year-old Washington-bred by Flatter-Talk to My Lawyer, No Talking Back was stakes-placed three times this season but was coming off an uncharacteristic sixth in the Washington Cup Filly and Mare two weeks ago. Sunday, she got a perfect and notched her first stakes win, sitting behind a hot and contested pace before bounding to the lead into the lane.
No Talking Back has an overall record of 3-5-3 in 16 starts with earnings of $86,742.
Blazinbeauty, ridden by Javier Matias at 117 lbs, closed strong to finish second and paid $9.80 and $5.20, and Fly Far Away, the 5 to 2 favorite ridden by Austin Solis, finished third and paid $3.40 to show.
Camano Comet, the leader through six furlongs in 1:10.23, finished fourth and was followed by Brilliant Bird, Little Dancer, Jerre to Carrie, Gazing, Retreat Yourself, McDove and Guardian One.
Talk to My Lawyer, dam of No Talking Back, won the 2011 Gottstein Futurity while Blazinbeauty won the 2016 Gottstein.
NOTES: The $0.50 All Stakes Pick Four paid $5,487.10. . .The $0.50 Pick 5 paid a season-high $28,317. . .Rocco Bowen became the first jockey to win three straight Emerald Downs’ riding title, finishing with 109 wins including two Sunday. . .Jeff Metz edged Blaine Wright 43-41 for the training title, his fourth Emerald Downs’ crown and first since 2015. . .John Parker and Saratoga West tied for leading owner with 17 wins apiece. It’s Parker’s third straight owners’ title. . .2017 Longacres Mile winner Gold Rush Dancer paraded on the track between Sunday’s first and second races. Parker recently retired the 5-year-old Private Gold horse. . .Eswan Flores rode three winners Sunday. . .That’s a wrap for live racing in 2018. We’ll see you in 2019 for our 24th season!