O B HARBOR HEADS MT. RAINIER STAKES STRYKER PHD BIDS FOR FIRST 2016 VICTORY
Anticipation is building for the Longacres Mile, as two-time defending champion Stryker Phd faces upstart O B Harbor in Sunday’s $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
The Mt. Rainier—final stop en route to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, August 14—headlines a sensational Sunday card that co-features the $50,000 Boeing Stakes for older fillies and mares, $50,000 Emerald Express for 2-year-old colts or geldings and $50,000 Angie C Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
In addition to becoming the first horse to win consecutive Longacres Miles at Emerald Downs, Stryker Phd also has reeled off back-to-back wins in the Mt. Rainier including last year’s sparkling six-length victory in 1:42.89.
O B Harbor is not to be taken lightly, however, as the 4-year-old Oregon-bred is 3-for-3 at the meet, snapping Stryker Phd’s local eight-race winning streak with a half-length victory over Betrbegone in the one-mile Budweiser Stakes last month.
Trainer Chris Stenslie said O B Harbor has battled body soreness the last two seasons but, knock on wood, is doing great so far in 2016. She said her and owner Jody Peetz believe a key will be their horse’s ability to relax and not get too speed crazy early.
“Betrbegone, he’s been so underrated, and I’m hoping O B Harbor isn’t too sharp and will be able to lay off of him early,” Stenslie said. “Stryker’s gonna be much better this time. He got his prep race and is going be double tough.
“I really hope that OB can relax and save some for the competition at the very end.”
Stryker Phd rallied for third in the 11-horse Budweiser while spotting his rivals a degree of fitness. With two brisk five-furlong workouts since the race, the 7-year-old seems set to move forward Sunday for trainer Larry Ross and owners Jim and Mona Hour.
· Under allowance stakes conditions, new to Emerald Downs in 2016, O B Harbor carries four more lbs. than Stryker Phd. The weights are based mainly on what has transpired this year.
· Seven of the last 10 Mt. Rainier winners went on to capture the Longacres Mile, including Stryker Phd in 2014 and 2015.
· Stryker Phd has been the betting favorite his last seven starts at Emerald Downs, however, that streak could end Sunday. Stryker Phd was 3-2 in the Budweiser with O B Harbor second choice at 2-1.
· The Mt. Rainier Stakes is Race 8 at 5:15 p.m.
The field for the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes, 3-Year-Olds & Up, 1 1/16 Miles: O B Harbor, Jose Zunino, 124 lbs; Stryker Phd, Leslie Mawing, 120; Betrbegone, Javier Matias, 120; Its Allabout Jerry, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 118; Dedicated to You, Eswan Flores, 118; The Sandman, Isaias Enriquez, 124; Coach Royal, Rocco Bowen, 118.
B C Z MIDDLETON FACES ELDERS IN BOEING
A full field of 12 older fillies or mares—the largest field in the 21-year history of the race—is entered in the $50,000 Boeing Stakes at one mile.
The final steppingstone to the $65,000 Emerald Distaff on Sunday, August 14, the Boeing has been a key event with three of its last four winners also taking the Emerald Distaff, including Lady Rosberg in 2015.
The older filly and mare division has yielded two different winners to date, with Estellara prevailing by a head over Ethan’s Baby in the six-furlong Hastings Stakes and 3-year-old B C Z Middleton reeling in Ethan’s Baby for a three-quarter-length triumph in the 6 ½-furlong Washington State Legislators Stakes.
Trainer Jeff Metz entered B C Z Middleton vs. older runners in the Washington State Legislators mainly to keep the Nobiz Like Shobiz racing around one turn. The plan worked perfectly as B C Z Middleton settled nicely for Jose Zunino and gradually caught the hard-luck Ethan’s Baby in 1:15.33, earning a career-high 81 Beyer in the process.
This time the choices were either the $75,000 Washington Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on July 24 or to again face older fillies and mares in the Boeing at one mile.
“Even though the Legislators Stakes was against older fillies and mares it was about not having to stretch out,” Metz said. “Luckily the division is pretty wide open, and I’m just thinking that since she settled so well in the Legislators that she could run that same kind of race going two turns.
“Once you get going 1-1/16 miles or 1-1/8 miles you need to be a little more of a long-striding filly and (B C Z Middleton) is built more like a sprinter. I think she’s training well and that last win was a real confidence booster. Now it’s just a case of how we break and get into that first turn. Then we’ll just take it from there.”
Jose Zunino, who also rides O B Harbor in the Mt. Rainier Stakes, will be challenged early as B C Z Middleton drew the No. 12 post-position and risks losing ground with a short run to the first turn.
· B C Z Middleton would become the first 3-year-old to win the Boeing.
· Anne Sanguinetti, third aboard E Z Kitty in the 2013 Boeing, makes her 2016 EmD debut aboard Chronologic’sghost for trainer Manuel Badilla.
· The Boeing Stakes is Race 7 at 4:45 p.m.
The field for the $50,000 Boeing Stakes, Fillies & Mares 3-Year-Olds & Up, One Mile: Estellara, Eswan Flores, 123; Alli Leigh, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 119; Curly Girly, Leslie Mawing, 119; She’s Reddy, Ronald Richard, 117; Chronologic’sghost, Anne Sanguinetti, 117; Guinevere’s Finale, Javier Matias, 117; Peppy Miller, Juan Gutierrez, 121; Chocolatier, Rocco Bowen, 119; Ethan’s Baby, Joe Steiner, 119; Locket, Isaias Enriquez, 119; Morning Coffee, Erick Lopez, 119; B C Z Middleton, Jose Zunino, 118.
THE CHILLI MAN GOES IN EMERALD EXPRESS
It’s been three weeks since The Chilli Man was unveiled to considerable fanfare at Emerald Downs.
Amazingly, he was even better than hyped while smoking a promising field of 2-year-olds by 11 ½ lengths, running 4 ½ furlongs in a near record :50.22 and earning a lofty 81 Beyer.
Sunday, all eyes will be on the Kentucky-bred son of Trappe Shot-Triumphantly as he heads a field of six in the $50,000 Emerald Express at 5 ½ furlongs. Safe to say, The Chilli Man and jockey Joe Steiner will be heavily favored in start No. 2.
Since his scintillating debut, owner Heidi Nelson and trainer Monique Snowden have fielded several phone calls from interested suitors nationwide. Word of a hot 2-year-old travels fast, particularly in an age when race replays are so easily accessed.
According to Nelson, a sale could be imminent. An east coast client along with his trainer and veterinarian will attend Sunday’s race, and if everything checks out the deal would be completed Monday. Although no figures have been announced, an offer in the $300,000 wouldn’t be out of line.
Meanwhile, The Chilli Man is a go for the Emerald Express and will be flying Nelson’s black and gold silks in the race.
For Snowden, it’s been an exciting—and perhaps a bit stressful—to train an exceptional prospect like The Chilli Man.
“From the beginning it has been quite the ride,” Snowden said. “There was just so much pressure on me and on him (in the debut). That was a big field but fortunately everything went right.
“I always thought he was a nice horse, but the moment that I saw he was an exceptional was when I went to get him gate approved. I broke him out of the gate and I have never felt that much power underneath me. It was like being in a hot sports car going from zero to 60 in two seconds. Then seeing him work :57 and change out of the gate and watching his gallop out was amazing to watch.”
· The Emerald Express is Race 5 at 3:48 p.m.
The field for the $50,000 Emerald Express, 2-Year-Old Colts or Geldings, 5 ½ Furlongs: SUM Candy, Jorge Rosales, 118; Mitch and John E, Ronald Richard, 118; Mixo, Javier Matias, 118; So Lucky, Rocco Bowen, 120; The Chilli Man, Joe Steiner, 120; Don’tbeshywillie, Jennifer Whitaker, 118.
CROWDED FIELD SET FOR ANGIE C STAKES
Eleven 2-year-old fillies—the biggest field in the 21-year history of the event—are entered in Sunday’s $50,000 Angie C Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs.
Assuming no late scratches, the 11-horse field breaks the previous Angie C record of 10 horses set in 2002, 2006 and 2009, and equals the last two years combined: My Heart Goes On prevailed by a head in a five-horse field last year, and Ethan’s Baby romped by 6 ¼ lengths in a six-horse field in 2014.
Either Getting Joellenned or Paddy’s Secret figures to go favored Sunday.
A Kentucky-bred by Trappe Shot—also the sire of The Chilli Man—comes off a 4 ¼-length victory in a June 25 maiden special weight, running 4 ½ furlongs in :51.27 and earning a 67 Beyer. Her trainer, Tom Wenzel, has two wins and a second in the last five runnings of the Angie C.
A Kentucky-bred by Paddy O’Prado, Paddy’s Secret romped by 6 ¼ lengths in her June 11 debut, running 4 ½ panels in :51.48 and earning a 62 Beyer.
Karula is the lone first-time starter in the race and bids to become the first debutante winner of the Angie C. Trained by David Martinez for owner/breeder Oak Crest Farm (Jack Hodge), the daughter of Colonel John-Desert Liaison is a half-sister to Sutra, winner of the 2006 Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park.
· The Angie C Stakes is Race 6 at 4:18 p.m.
The field for the $50,000 Angie C Stakes, 2-Year-Old Fillies, 5 ½ Furlongs: Camano Comet, Ronald Richard, 119; Grace Bay, Joe Steiner, 117; Let’s Mambo, Juan Gutierrez, 117; Constant Craving, Eswan Flores, 119; Blazinbeauty, Isaias Enriquez, 117; No Talking Back, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 117; Getting Joellenned, Rocco Bowen, 119; Karula, Javier Matias, 117; Paddy’s Secret (s), Leslie Mawing, 119; Myladysabitshady, Eric Lopez, 117; It’s a Girl Thing, Jorge Rosales, 117.
BIG CARRYOVERS SET FOR FRIDAY
The $0.50 Pick 5 and $0.20 Pick 7 will feature big pots for Friday’s handicappers at Emerald Downs.
The Pick 5, which kicks off in race three, has $9,119 carryover and includes five races with an average field size of nine per race. Meanwhile, the Pick 7 includes the card’s entire seven races and will have $1,765 already carried into the pool.
Friday’s first post is at approximately 6:30 p.m.
FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
With its popularity soaring to new heights, the Emerald Downs’ annual Food Truck Festival is now a two-day event!
This Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. and Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. fans can enjoy the Northwest’s best food trucks all while watching live Thoroughbred action.
With 16 different food trucks—13 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday—scattered across the North Park, race fans will have an ample selection of cuisines to choose from. Some of the food trucks include, Crisp Creperie, Gobble2Go, P&J’s Waffle Delight, Ben & Jerry’s, Seattle Chicken and Rice, LLC, Hot Revolution Donuts, Athena’s and much more. Alaskan Brewing Company will also be on track serving tasty beverages and offering prize drawings that include gift baskets of several featured items.
On Sunday, Emerald Downs race fans can vote their favorite food truck for 2016 People’s Choice Award. The winner receives a trophy and recognition in the Winner’s Circle during the day’s ninth race. Voting boxes will be available in the North Park until 4 p.m. when the ballot closes.
July 16 Breakfast at the Wire (8-10 a.m.)
July 16 Food Truck Night Fest (Night Racing)
July 17 Longacres Mile Preview Day/Food Truck Festival
July 23 Breakfast at the Wire (8-10 a.m.)
July 23 College Night (Night Racing)
July 24 Premio Esmeralda
THE PRESS BOX PODCAST: MILE PREVIEW DAY
The 45-minute program will showcase every stakes race this season including Sunday’s quadruple-header–Mt. Rainier Stakes, Boeing Stakes, Emerald Express and Angie C Stakes.
Hosted by Jacob Pollowitz (Professor Pollowitz) and Vince Bruun (Mr. Media), The Press Box Podcast will be a special preview edition that can be found on Friday evening at emeralddowns.com under the “News & Barn Notes” section. The podcast includes horsemen interviews, handicapping and a comprehensive look at the race’s history.
You can listen to the show live or recorded by visiting the track website at emeralddowns.com or at mixlr.com/emerald-downs.
BEYERS & FAST TIMES
Friday, July 8
Race 1: Love the Lion-45
Race 2: (dh) Possible Spider-53* & Thermal Wave-53
Race 3: Analysis Paralysis-56
Race 4: Endless Cruise-74
Race 5: Southern Solution-68
Race 6: Diamonds Dena-71
Race 7: Buds a Flyin-59
Saturday, July 9
Race 1: Justitia-50*
Race 2: Mike Man’s Gold-79
Race 3: Hot Gem-46*
Race 4: Blame It On Royce-73*
Race 5: Golden Dynamo-73
Race 6: Invested Prospect-74
Race 7: Trinni-63*
Race 8: Say Neigh-61*
Sunday, July 10
Race 1: Huckleberry Ridge-61*
Race 2: Close the Show Lo-70*
Race 3: Temptatious-34
Race 4: Cinematic Cat-65
Race 5: Seeking a Mystery-64*
Race 6: Gotta Be Diet C-56*
Race 7: Myrna Lou-64
Race 8: Winninginfashion-68
Race 9: Life Is a Joy-77
Race 10: For Pitys Sake-38*
# First-time starter
4 ½ Furlongs :50.22 The Chilli Man (2yo), June 26
5 Furlongs :56.45 Swiss Script (3yof), May 14
5 ½ Furlongs 1:00.97 O B Harbor (4yo), April 10
6 Furlongs 1:06.86* Kaabraaj (4yo), April 23
6 ½ Furlongs 1:13.59 O B Harbor (4yo), May 22
1 Mile: 1:34.73 O B Harbor (4yo), June 19
1 1/16 Mile: 1:41.94 He’s Cagey (7yo), June 26
EmD TWO-MINUTE CLIP: JEFF BROWN
Jockeys’ agent Jeff Brown joins track announcer Matt Dinerman in this week’s edition of the “Two-Minute Clip!”
WORKOUT CENTRAL: STRYKER PHD GALLOPS THURSDAY
Two-time Horse of the Yeah Stryker Phd galloped Thursday morning ahead of his title defense in Sunday’s $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes. The 7-year-old Bertrando gelding has won the past two Mt. Rainier Stakes before capturing the Longacres Mile(G3).
WEEKLY HONORS #14 (July 8-10): Jockey-Rocco Bowen; Trainer-Dan Markle; Owner-Valentin Picho Garcia; Quarter Chute Café Groom-Ricky Garcia (trainer Robbie Baze); WTBOA Washington-bred-Huckleberry Ridge (bred by Stormy Hull); Exercise Rider of the Week-Brad Balcom.
FINISH LINES: In addition to four stakes races, Sunday’s 9th race is a $21,500 allowance/optional claimer at one mile with Westley, Trick Or Retreat, Awesome Indian, Papa Frank, Botch, Thetrailerguy and Scat Daddybaby. The latter, with Beyers of 98 and 88 in his last two starts at a mile, is the likely favorite. . .Francisco Duran, who rode four long shot winners here Sunday including 42-1 Life Is a Joy-1, has packed his tack and returned to California and begins riding Saturday at Sacramento. Currently tied for 11th with 14 wins, Duran was on a 9-for-45 roll including eight winners the last two weeks . .Life Is a Joy began his career with three straight wins for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer including a six-length victory in the 2013 Charlie Palmer Futurity at Fresno, and he also finished runner-up to California Chrome in the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes at Hollywood Park. . .Dave Heerenspeger of Bellevue has a runner in Friday’s $100,000 Oceanside Stakes on opening day at Del Mar. Irish-bred Ebadan is 8-1 on the morning line with Santiago Gonzalez riding for trainer Neil Drysdale. . .Arrom Bear is 5-2 second choice in a $28,000 allowance race at six furlongs Saturday at Sacramento. Julien Couton has the mount for trainer Frank Lucarelli. Allaboutaction, the 8-5 morning line favorite, was nominated to last month’s Seattle Slew Stakes at Emerald Downs. . .Happy Birthday to EmD Track Announcer Matt Dinerman, who turned a ripe old 24 Wednesday. . .And finally, condolences to trainer Roy Lumm on the passing of long-time spouse Zola Newman who died last week of dementia at age 92. A fixture for decades at Longacres and Emerald Downs, Zola was a beloved figure in Northwest racing.