Emerald Downs offers our sincerest condolences to family and friends of Monique Snowden, a marvelous trainer and wonderful human being. You will be missed, Monique.
“As you comprehend this profound loss, let yourself cry knowing each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens.” Author Unknown
JOE STEINER RETIRES FROM RIDING
Jockey Joe Steiner, one of the top riders at Emerald Downs the last two years, said Thursday he has retired from race riding effective immediately.
Although named on five mounts this weekend at Emerald Downs, Steiner said he informed agent Vito Lucarelli of his decision to call it a career, and begin planning the next stage of his life.
“I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching for awhile now,” Steiner said. “I’m healthy, I feel like a million dollars and it feels like the right time (to retire).”
Steiner, 51, rode 1,061 winners and over $17 million in purses in a career that began in the early 1980s. He returned home to Washington last year and finished seventh with 41 wins and was a finalist for the 2016 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. He has 19 wins at the current meet.
Steiner was aboard the ill-fated The Chilli Man in Sunday’s Emerald Express, as the 2-year-old gelding suffered a catastrophic injury as the 2-5 favorite. Steiner, however, said the incident isn’t what caused his retirement, but it may have hastened it.
“Like I said, I’ve been soul-searching for a while,” he said. “I want to be able to give back to the people in this game who have been so helpful top me over the years.
“I would like to be some kind of sports psychologist. I want to help others, I know I can help jockeys, both mentally and with diets and those kinds of things. I have 35 years of experience.”
Steiner, wife Dagamar, and one-year-old son Jonah will relocate to California next month, but he said they would return frequently to visit family and friends. They’ll all be at Del Mar in three weeks where Dagmar’s painting of champion Beholder will be featured on Pacific Classic Day.
$75,000 WASHINGTON OAKS APPEARS WIDE OPEN
Sunday’s $75,000 Washington Oaks—the meet’s richest race to date—figures to decide the track’s 2016 champion 3-year-old filly.
A field of seven evenly matched fillies race 1 1/8 miles with the winner earning $35,750.
The first three races have produced three different winners: Invested Prospect in the 6 ½ furlong Seattle Stakes, Princess Katie in the one-mile Irish Day, and Find Joy in the 1 1/16-mile Kent Stakes. Of those, only Find Joy is entered in the Oaks.
A Kentucky-bred by Drosselmeyer, Find Joy came alive in the Kent, posting a 1 ¼ length victory at 14-1 odds for owner David Taylor and trainer Frank Lucarelli. Although her winning Beyer was a modest 71, Find Joy acts like a filly that should relish the nine-furlong distance
“I can’t really say what the difference was last time,” assistant trainer Dennis Snowden said. “It’s just, after the (Irish Day) when she got beat 18 lengths, all of a sudden she made a full 360 and started training like a monster and she was really, really into the bridle and galloping and breezing wonderfully.”
With Isaias Enriquez riding, Find Joy drew the outside No. 7 post-position.
My Heart Goes On, beaten a head in the Irish Day, comes off a fourth in the Kent Stakes, while Brookys Star has improved steadily for trainer Tim McCanna and comes off a third in the Kent.
Princess Kennedy, Emerald Downs’ champion 2-year-old filly of 2015, has finished fifth, third and second while running in all three stakes at the meet. Her trainer, Tom Wenzel, won this race with Stopshoppingdebbie in 2013.
· James and Mary Beth Holt-Perkins (Aithon Stable) of Issaquah are the honorary stewards for the 2016 Washington Oaks. The Perkins’ Belle Hill raced to a five-length victory in last year’s Oaks.
· The Washington Oaks is Race 8 at 5:15 p.m.
The field for the 37th running of the $75,000 Washington Oaks, 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles: My Heart Goes On, Juan Gutierrez, 121 lbs; Find Joy, Isaias Enriquez, 121; Brookys Star, Leslie Mawing, 121; Say It Slow, Joe Steiner, 121; Princess Kennedy, Rocco Bowen, 121; Sunrise Glow, Javier Matias, 121; Mara’s Warlock, Jose Zunino, 121.
FRIDAY’S PICK 7 CARRYOVER: $11,760
The $0.20 Pick 7 continues to be an attractive wagering option for handicappers and will have an added incentive on Friday with $11,760 carried over from Sunday’s pool.
With seven races on the Friday lineup, the Pick 7 will cover the entire day’s racing. Handicap
pers will have a tough test, however, as the card presents seven races with an average field size of more than 8.5 per race.
Friday’s first post is at approximately 6:30 p.m.
COLLEGE NIGHT & PREMIO ESMERALDA THIS WEEKEND
With graduations recently completed, it’s time to celebrate College Night this Saturday at Emerald Downs!
With a college or alumni ID, all current and future college students will get free admission for the night’s festivities. The track will offer several prize drawings to college students and alumni while DJ Otto entertains fans between races . Students and alumni are eligible for barbecue and beer specials above the Winner’s Circle.
First post for the eight-race program is at 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Emerald Downs hosts its annual Fiesta Premio Esmeralda.
Premio Esmeralda features performances from dancing horses and traditional Mexican dancers with Banda music and Mariachi. Food vendors will also be on site offering delicious cuisines.
In the North Park, the track will have a bounce house, pony rides and face painting courtesy of Tangerine Tales for kids, and there is also a video arcade on Track Level.
First post for the 10-race program is at 2 p.m.
Don’t forget, race fans can start off Saturday mornings from 8 to 10 a.m. at Emerald Downs interacting with local horsemen while enjoying breakfast during morning training at “Breakfast At the Wire.” This week’s guests include Track Superintendent Vern Baze, and owner/breeder Sue and Dwayne Hopp of Castlegate Farm.
July 23 Breakfast at the Wire (8-10 a.m.)
July 23 College Night (Night Racing)
July 24 Premio Esmeralda
July 30 Breakfast at the Wire (8-10a a.m.)
July 30 Dollar Day/Ride For Racehorses (Night Racing)
THE PRESS BOX PODCAST: WASHINGTON OAKS
The 45-minute program will showcase every stakes race this season including Sunday’s $65,000 Washington Oaks–the championship event for 3-year-old fillies.
Hosted by Jacob Pollowitz (Professor Pollowitz) and Vince Bruun (Mr. Media), The Press Box Podcast includes Matt Dinerman’s live race call, Joe Withee’s Winner’s Circle interview, 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 15
Race 1: Six S Street-52*
Race 2: dh-Knight Club-52 &
Race 3: Dreamer S.-50
Race 4: Gold Locket-52
Race 5: Outdidya-63
Race 6: Raspberry Road-77*
Race 7: Calex-67
Saturday, July 16
Race 1: Stormin’ Promise-47#
Race 2: Deputy’s Command-70
Race 3: Aguacita-54
Race 4: Bellali-58
Race 5: Buddy Dave-52
Race 6: Briana Jean-53
Race 7: Huya-84*
Race 8: Only the High Road-59*
Sunday, July 17
Race 1: Web of Demons-53*
Race 2: Mokhandoit-54
Race 3: Fire the Trainer-75*
Race 4: West Coast Wheelie-54
Race 5: So Lucky-71*
Race 6: Karula-79#
Race 7: Guinevere’s Finale-79*
Race 8: O B Harbor-94
Race 9: Trick Or Retreat-79
Race 10: Happy Hattie-43
# 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: 1:41.05 O B Harbor (4yo), July 17
EmD TWO-MINUTE CLIP: ERICK LOPEZ
Jockey Erick Lopez gets grilled by fellow rider Jose Barnes in this week’s edition of the “Two-Minute Clip!”
WORKOUT CENTRAL: BARKLEY STEPS OUT THURSDAY
Undefeated colt Barkley joined the Thursday training circuit for trainer Howard Belvoir just 10 days before the 3-year-old makes his next start in the $65,000 Emerald Downs Derby on July 31.
WEEKLY HONORS #15 (July 15-17): Jockey-Javier Matias; Trainer-David Martinez; Owner-Oak Crest Farm; Quarter Chute Café Groom-Eddie Carcalean (Jeff Metz trainer); WTBOA Washington-bred-Huya (bred by Iron Horse Racing & Candi Tollett).
FINISH LINES: Jack Hodge (Oak Crest Farm) has received several offers for 2-year-old filly Karula, sensational 11-length winner of Sunday’s Angie C Stakes in 1:02.72 for 5 ½ furlongs. By Colonel John–Desert Liaison, Karula is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sutra and earned a 79 Beyer while making her career debut in Sunday’s 11-horse field. . .With two stakes wins Sunday, Javier Matias leapfrogged Jose Zunino into a 5-4 lead for most stakes wins at the meet and also passed Gary Baze into fifth place all-time with 27 stakes wins at EmD. . .Rocco Bowen begins the week with a 65-47 lead on Leslie Mawing in the riders’ standings and has wins on 11 straight cards, posting a 21-for-83 record during the streak. . .Tim McCanna-trained Atomic Rule—co-owned by Gordy Jarning and Dunn Bar Ranch—is entered in a $68,000 allowance race on the turf Saturday at Del Mar. . .Also Saturday at Del Mar, California Chrome and Dortmund headline a field of seven older runners in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) at 1 1/16 miles. . .Ain’t Tellin, a five-time winner at Emerald Downs last year, won two stakes in four days last week at Prineville—the Ben Woodward Memorial Stakes at seven furlongs on Wednesday and the Prineville HBPA Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday. Jorge Rosales rode Ain’t Tellin’ for trainer Nick Lowe