The Horses Are Back!

Slew’s Tiz Whiz and jockey Jose Zunino


AUBURN, Wash. (Feb. 26, 2024) – With two-time Washington Horse of the Year Slew’s Tiz Whiz performing the honors, training began Monday for the 2024 season at Emerald Downs.

Slew’s Tiz Whiz took the track at 8:15 a.m., jogging a mile with regular jockey Jose Zunino in the saddle. A 6-year-old Washington-bred by Slew’s Tiznow, Slew’s Tiz Whiz has been a standout the last two seasons, winning four stakes including the 2022 Longacres Mile. Last year, Slew’s Tiz Whiz took the Governor’s Stakes and Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, and finished third to Five Star General in the Mile.

Director of Racing Bret Anderson counted 162 horses on the grounds, with more arriving daily in advance of a 55-day meet spanning May 4 to Sept. 15. In addition to Wenzel, trainers spotted included Washington Hall of Famers Frank Lucarelli and Howard Belvoir, two-time leading trainer Blaine Wright, Steve Bullock, Candi Cryderman, Bonnie Jenne, Jose Navarro, and Rosie Simkins.

Slew’s Tiz Whiz wintered on Whidbey Island with part owner Jodee Snyder, arriving back at Emerald Downs on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night, Slew’s Tiz Whiz was the big winner at the annual WTBOA Banquet, taking honors as Champion Sprinter, Champion Older Horse or Gelding, and a second straight title as Washington Horse of the Year. Not bad for a horse whose career began Oct. 24, 2020, with a ninth in a $15,000 maiden claimer. Bred by the late Karl Krieg and now owned by Slew’s Crew Racing, Slew’s Tiz Whiz has improved a bunch since then, compiling a career mark of 8-3-3 in 19 starts with earnings of $268,357.

“He shipped in fine,” trainer Tom Wenzel said of Slew’s Tiz Whiz. “Jodee does a great job with him.”

Trainer Tom Wenzel, Slew’s Tiz Whiz, groom Victor Vazquez and jockey Jose Zunino

While Slew’s Tiz Whiz cooled out at the barn, Wenzel’s second set of workers Monday featured the last two Gottstein Futurity winners, Lloyds Logic and Miner League, both owned by George Todaro. Also back in action following a year’s layoff is Papa’s Golden Boy, runner-up to Slew’s Tiz Whiz in the 2022 Mile and a four-time stakes winner for owner Lusk Racing and trainer Vince Gibson.

The $50,000 Budweiser Stakes on Sunday, June 23 is the first stakes of the season for older horses, while the $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies kicks off a 21-race stakes schedule on Saturday, June 15. The 89th running of the $150,000 Longacres Mile, Sunday, Aug. 11, headlines a four-stakes extravaganza on Championship Sunday.

Training hours are 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily. The Quarter Chute Café is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.