(Auburn, WA) Sunday wrapped up week #15 and we’re now 3/4’s of the way through the 2021 racing season. There were 4 Stakes races on Sunday beginning with the annual quarter horse $40,000 Bank of America Championship Challenge at 440 yards and the 30-k John Deere Stakes at 350 yards. Those races were the 1st and 3rd races.
Up next was the Weiner dog races and other breeds. The Weiner’s were the ones that kick-started and created the dogs at Emerald Downs way back in 1997 when Star 101.5 and the famous Kent and Alan show were the brain trust behind the dogs at Emerald Downs. We have seen the explosion of interest and fun since with the huge Corgi following and on Sunday it was a return to the old guard.
This power packed Sunday finished up with 2 Stakes races for the 2-year-olds. Boys went first in the 7th race in the WTBOA Lads Stakes followed by the fillies in the Barbara Shinpoch in the 8th race. Both races had $50,000 up for grabs.
Our Sunday coverage is up first and below that are re-caps from both Thursday and Saturday of week 15.
John Deere Stakes
The Quarter horses were in town for their twin stakes races beginning with the John Deere for 2-year-olds in the 1st race and the favorite to beat in this field of 8 was Apolinaria Prize. Apolinaria Prize was coming off a win at Emerald on August 1st with regular rider Cesar Moreno aboard. The filly came in with a 2-0-2 career mark and was looking for her first back-to-back wins.
The public was confident she could rise to the challenge and bet her down to 6-5 favoritism and they were not let down. Moreno got Apolinaria Prize out of the gates with a flurry jumping to the lead in the 350 yard dash and quickly pulled away to a length lead. Moreno kept her to her task and pulled away for the 2-length win.
The next two favorites finished in order as Leaving Angelz with Jaime Lopez broke 2nd by a head to Empowered to Prosper with Nakia Ramierez 3rd, both at 5-2 and that’s how they would finish. The 4th betting choice Eagle Assault was 10-1 and finished 4th more than 3 lengths behind and the other 4 were all 34-1 or higher and were well out of it.
Apolinaria Prize is trained by Jose Rosales Gomez and owned by Juan Manuel Marquez and earned $24,000 to push her career earnings to more than $38,000.
Interview with Winning Rider Cesar Moreno
Bank of America Challenge
The 2nd sprint stake of the day was in the 3rd going 440 yards and this time the betting public was dead wrong. The odds-on choice was the defending champion CM Boom Shakalaka with Luis Gonsalez riding and trained by Nick Lowe. Lowe also had CM Once ina Bluemoon with James Wooten aboard but was being dismissed at 22-1.
CM Once in a Bluemoon broke with Shakalaka and then powered away in mid-stretch stunning the field and fans with a 1 1/2 length victory. CM Boom Shakalaka just didn’t have that finishing kick to go with his stablemate but hung on for 2nd place by a head over 13-1 Arizona Favorite with Jaime Lopez and 34-1 L Bar D Genuine Red with Cesar Moreno took 3rd.
CM Once ina Bluemoon and CM Boom Shakalaka are both owned by Chris Sutton and both trained by Lowe. Bluemoon collected nearly $24,000 for the win while Sutton and Lowe walked away with a combined total of nearly $33,000. CM Once ina Bluemoon is now 15-6-4 from 38 starts pushing his lifetime earnings to nearly $135,000.
Winner’s Circle Interviews with Joe Withee
WTBOA Lads Stakes
The 7 horse field of the Lads had plenty of speed signed on in this one with Cobra Jet, Decimate, Check the Gear and Thunder Music but it was A View From Above that was quickest of all. Cobra Jet was bet down to the 8-5 favorite, Decimate was 2-1, Check the Gear 5-2 and A View From Above 4-1. As they broke from the gate jockey Julien Couton jumped to a 2 1/2 length lead over Cobra Jet with Juan Gutierrez. Decimate with Jennifer Whitaker broke 3rd and instead of steamrolling to the front looked to be sitting just off the pace. Check the Gear with Alex Cruz was 4th followed by Firing Pin, Thunder Music and Sargent Kline trailed.
A View From Above continued to blaze away down the backstretch of the 6 1/2 furlong run setting fractions of 21.54 and 43.81 for the half and held a 3 length lead over Cobra Jet. Decimate and Check the Gear began to flounder and began fading while Sargent Kline with Javier Matias at 53-1 began to unwind from the back of the pack.
Gutierrez pressed go on Cobra Jet and took dead aim at A View From Above and began to close and was within a head at about the 1/8th pole poised to glide on by and indeed took the lead approaching the 1/16th pole but surprisingly the 2-year-old Abraaj gelding came right back at the big favorite. Couton kept A View From Above on his toes and he dug in to retake the lead and pull away for a 1 1/4 length win in an impressive come back victory.
Couton said in the post race interview that he knew he still had a lot of horse but A View From Above had not had an opponent in sight until the 1/16th pole and felt he may have been a little intimidated or surprised by the presence of Cobra Jet and quickly rallied for the win. Couton leads the jockey standings in stakes races with 4.
Cobra Jet had to settle for 2nd and Sargent Kline closed well to nab 3rd by a neck over Check the Gear but the duo was 10 lengths behind Cobra Jet and nearly 12 behind the winner. A View From Above stopped the clock in a time of 1:17.33.
A View From Above comes from the red hot barn of Kay Cooper and is owned by the Grasshopper Stable and William Stenberg. A View From Above is a Washington bred of course by Abraaj out of Deja Views by Forest Camp and was bred by Rick and Debbie Pabst. A View From Above collected $27,255 and now has a $38,000 bank account and remains undefeated through 2 career starts.
A View From Above paid $10 on the $2 win and combined with the favorite and the 53-1 Sargent Kline for a $61 50-cent trifecta.
Winner’s Circle Interviews with Joe Withee
Barbara Shinpoch Stakes
We mentioned the Kay Cooper barn is hot and she became only the 9th trainer to win 2 stakes races on the same card when Koron wired the field in the 6 1/2 furlong Barbara Shinpoch stakes. This race was set to go with a field of 9 and the gates were filled when #5 Tyche Awaits You reared up and hit the ground tossing rider Leslie Mawing and was scratched creating a delay at the gate while they ponied Tyche Awaits You back to the Paddock.
The 2nd time the now field of 8 was about set to go #1 Akasi got riled up in the gate and threw her rider Alex Cruz. The state veterinarian scratched Akasi after it appeared she may have banged the metal gates and another delay ensued for the lightly raced or 1st time starter as Akasi was led back to the paddock.
This type of delay could really mess with young horses but jockey Kevin Orozco had Koron settled and ready to run right from the starting bell. Koron was overlooked by the betting public going off at 14-1 despite here 5-1 morning line. The public was sold on Gold N Glitter from the powerful barn of Frank Lucarelli and owners Chad and Josh. Gold N Glitter was bet down to 2-5.
Jockey Javier Matias may be questioning himself but you could hardly blame him in choosing to ride Gold N Glitter over Koron. Matias won on both in their 1st career starts winning with Koron by a length in a Maiden Special Weight allowance and won with Gold N Glitter in a maiden claiming $25,000 by nearly 10 lengths.
Koron popped out in full stride and between Gold N Glitter and 50-1 outsider Pontiffany with Joree Scriver up. The 3 squared off down the backstretch running the quarter in 22.98. Orozco says he was a little concerned sandwiched between horses but began to pull into the lead by the half mile pole in a time of 45.93.
About halfway around the turn Koron was about 2 lengths in front and it was clear Gold N Glitter was struggling to keep up. Orozco says Koron had more in the tank and stretched the lead to 3 1/2 at the top of the stretch. There was no getting to Koron as she rolled to a 5 1/2 length lead.
Gold N Glitter despite not being able to keep pace with Koron but was clearly was 2nd best out by 3 1/2 lengths. 5-1 Wegottodrinking with Alex Anaya closed from last to be 3rd while Pontiffany completed the superfecta. Koron ran the 6 1/2 in 1:19.04.
Orozco picked up his 3rd stakes win and is just 1 behind Couton. Koron is owned by Blue Ribbon Racing Ladies and breeders Rick and Debbie Pabst also swept the stakes races with the Washington bred by Nationhood out of Muchas Coronas by Macho Uno.
Koron paid $30 on the $2 win and a total of $40.80 for the $2 across the board combo ticket. The 10-cent superfecta with 50-1 Pontiffany sneaking in 4th place paid a handsome $151.97.
Winner’s Circle Interviews with Joe Withee
The rest of Sunday’s Thoroughbred Card
After the 2 Thoroughbred and 2 Quarter Horse Stakes there were 6 other races on the Sunday card that attracted the 2nd 2-million dollar handle day of the year with the other being Mile day. The other 6 races were filled with betting favorites, upsets and streaks. In the 2nd race, the 1st thoroughbred race sandwiched between the 2 Quarter stakes went to Christine’s Jack with Leslie Mawing up for Frank Lucarelli and owner Aaron Bresko. Christine’s Jack put on a dazzling performance drawing away to win by 20 3/4 lengths which was the 2nd largest margin in track history only being topped by Fantastic Day in 2020 who won by 22 1/2 lengths. Christine Jack was odds on at 2-5 and was also claimed by owner/trainer Jorge Rosales for $2,500.
Juan Gutierrez would win 4th as the 5-1 3rd choice on Brilliant Bird going nearly wire-to-wire and posting a 5+ length win for owner/trainer Robert Bean. Julien Couton would then be part of 6 streaks by winning the 5th race on El Maestro at 6-5 for trainer Rigoberto Velasquez and owners Rancho Viejo, Lisa Baze and John Sneesby. Couton would then win the 6th race on Turnaround again for Rigoberto Velasquez and owner Ranch Viejo for the Couton-Velasquez-Rancho Viejo Daily Double. This doesn’t happen often but it didn’t fool the public either as the $1 DD pay-out was just 9-bucks.
Couton would finish off his own personal pick-3 winning the Lads Stakes on A View From Above (story above) trained by Kay Cooper. The 4th of 6 streaks on the day was Couton’s pick-3 which also didn’t fool to many paying $16.90. The final 2 streaks was the Kay Cooper trained and Rick and Debbie Pabst breeding Stakes Daily Double of A View From Above to Koron, a 4-1 to a 14-1 which paid $49.70. The pay-off was hampered with 2 late scratches that resulted in 2 consolation pay-outs being pulled from the pool.
The final 2 races saw one trainer get his 2nd win of the season and another not only his 1st win but in his 1st start. Jockey Leslie Mawing won his 2nd on the card with a front running win on Iknowyourface at boxcar odds of 19-1. Trainer Michael Bullene got his 2nd win of the year from just 9 starts for owner Richard Degraw. Iknowyourface paid a healthy $40.80 and was the longest shot on the board in the 6 horse field.
In the finale Juan Gutierrez got his 2nd win of the day on Sherm who hadn’t raced since last October. Sherm is trained and owned by Kenneth Mathews who was entering his first horse of the meet and in fact his first start in his career. The public thought Sherm had a chance off the long lay-off as well making him the 7-2 2nd favorite.
Saturday Re-Cap: Coastal Jazz pulls away
Juan Gutierrez took Thursday off after not feeling well but bounced back on Saturday with 2 wins including taking the feature on 6-1 Coastal Jazz. Breaking from the 8 hole in the 6-furlong sprint Gutierrez allowed Coastal Jazz to get into stride and settle sitting in 5th place about 4 lengths off the pace being set by My Father Footstep with Edgar Velasco at 9-1. 5-2 2nd favorite Candied Lute followed by L D’Rado Goldrush, Whenducksfly, the 2-1 favorite Brother Louie sat in 6th and R B Eye could see them all.
My Father Footstep led to the quarter pole setting fractions of 21.66 and 44.77 then had to contend with Coastal Jazz as Gutierrez made his move. Coastal Jazz would surge past a pesky My Father Footstep and win by 1 1/4 lengths while My Father Footstep ran hard and held 2nd. 9-1 R B Eye closed from far back to grab 3rd place and Candied Lute had no closing kick and finished an even 4th.
Out of the top 3 favorites only Candied Lute had their number on the board when it was posted official in 4th place. The 6-1 to 9-1 to 9-1 50-cent trifecta paid a solid $150 and the 10-cent super even with the 2nd fav at 5-2 still paid $83. Coastal Jazz also paid a nice $28 for the old $6 combo ticket.
Coastal Jazz is a Washington bred by Coast Guard out of Jasmine’s Melody by Artax and bred by Ron and Nina Hagen. Coastal Jazz picked up $7,260 to push his career earnings to $36,140 for owners Gold Coast Racing and is trained by Steve Bullock. Coastal Jazz is now 3-1-1 from 11 starts and stopped the clock in a time of 1:11.27.
7 other races on the Saturday night card
Gutierrez got his 1st win of the day in the 5th aboard Freiburg for trainer Rigoberto Velasquez and owner Rancho Viejo.
Julien Couton also scored twice on Saturday night winning the 3rd race on Don’t Rub It In for trainer Jorge Rosales. Couton went to the front for a wire-to-wire win for owner Hillary Durham. Couton knows how to win on the front end and did so again in the 8th and final race aboard Proudtobesicillian as the 2nd favorite. Robert Bean owned and trained ProudtobeSicillian for his 5th win of the meet. The win also completed the 2nd highest pay-out of the year as a single ticket holder of a 20-cent Jackpot pick 6 took the whole pot of more than $66,000. More on this later.
Javier Matias got the twilight card started winning the 1st on Love on the Fly holding off Pulpit Lane for a head victory as the 2-1 betting choice for trainer Robbie Baze and owners Three Trees Thoroughbreds. Leslie Mawing won on 8-year old The Press for owner/trainer Howard Belvoir. The Press who is most famous for running in races with Belvoir’s Barkley during his heyday and was his “Robin” to Barkley’s “Batman. Still The Press has put up a career record of 7-6-7 from 44 starts and has racked up nearly $150,000 in career earnings.
Eddie Martinez got into the Winner’s Circle on Saturday in the 4th race winning impressively with Fire Escape from the Blaine Wright barn and for owner Finger Gun Stable. Fire Escape took the lead early and rolled to a 5 1/4 length win. And leading rider Alex Cruz has only missed 3 days in the meet of not getting in the Winner’s Circle and got a win in the 6th aboard Finished My P H D as the 8-5 favorite for trainer Tim McCanna and owner Grandkids Racing.
Thursday Re-Cap: Vicente’s Shadow stuns in the Feature
5 horses would break from the gate under the watchful eye of starter Mark Gibson and the longest shot on the board, 12-1 Vicente’s Shadow broke last and quickly found himself trailing by 5 lengths. 2nd favorite at 2-1 Forever Gold with Jennifer Whitaker up took the lead in the 5 1/2 furlong dash followed by 7-2 Orcadian Storm with Alex Cruz. 8-5 favorite Float On with Julien Couton was in a patient 3rd place while Atta Boy Billy at 7-2 sat 4th.
Forever Gold would set all the fractions going 21.71 for the quarter and 44.55 for the half and denied bids from Float On and Orcadian Storm while Atta Boy Billy didn’t have it in this one and faded to last. Meantime, Vicente’s Shadow with Alex Anaya on was getting revved up to take a run at the tiring pace. Down the stretch it looked like he would be a clear 2nd but probably not be able to catch Forever Gold who had opened up 3 lengths at the top of the stretch. But Anaya kept asking and Shadow kept giving combined with Forever Gold hitting the wall inside the 16th pole and Vicente’s Shadow would blast on by for a 1/2 length win on a perfectly timed ride from Anaya.
Anaya was coming off another fall from the previous Sunday on Mile day when his horse darted away from another horse in the run out surprising Anaya and he hit the ground. He was just coming off a shoulder injury and took the rest of Sunday off to be sure everything was ok and was ready to fire on Thursday.
Forever Gold held on to 2nd while favorite Float On took 3rd and Orcadian Storm completed the superfecta.
Vicente’s Shadow stopped the clock in 1:04.15 and is owned and trained by Satchell Stevens. He’s Kentucky bred by Liaison out of Bronxgirl by Corinthian. This was his 1st start of the 2021 season and pushed his bankroll to $74,490 and has a career record of 4-5-5 from 23 starts.
Vicente’s Shadow paid $27.80 for the $2 win and more than $38 on the $2 across the board combo bet. The 50-cent trifecta with the 12-1 on top to the 2-1 2nd favorite to the favorite on a 5 horse field paid a handsome $124 and the 10-cent super $77.
Thursday’s other winners
Two riders doubled on Thursday night, apprentice McKenna Anderson is turning around a slow start to red hot. You can literally see her confidence grow with each ride and she picked up wins for two trainers who also got their first wins of the season. In the 2nd race Anderson was aboard Cards N Coffee for trainer Scott Freeman. Anderson broke 1st and never looked back winning by 2 at 7-1, Cards N Coffee is owned by VP’s Dream Stable.
She got her 2nd win of the night and 1st of the year for trainer Billy Christian in the 5th race on Lolly Express at 5-1. This time she came from dead last and stormed on by a pack of 4 separated by a neck to win by 3/4 of a length. Lynda Williams and Tony Delp own Lolly Express.
Leading rider Alex Cruz also won a pair taking the 1st race on 1-1 favorite Coastal Buzz. It was a start to finish win for Buzz and Cruz for owner Henry Leong and trainer Chris Stenslie. Cruz would win the 3rd as well on odds-on choice Pin Up Lady for trainer Charles Essex and owner Sarah Gott.
Julien Couton would get a victory in the 4th another from last to first run this time for In the Wind. The 9-5 favorite surged on the turn and drew away for a 3 1/2 length win for owner/trainer David Martinez. Shark Harbor would finish the card as an overwhelming 3-5 choice wiring the 5 1/2 furloing dash with Kevin Orozco in the irons. Shark Harbor was trained by leading trainer Joe Toye and owner Rusty George Warwick. Shark Harbor was claimed by Gary, Deborah, Jeff and Peyton Lusk for $5,000 and heads to the Vince Gibson barn.
Sunday Horse Picture Gallery
The Betting Windows
Week 15 snapped a series of favorite dominated weeks with lower than average pay-offs for most bets. The top pay-off was the 2nd highest return of the year and once again it was the 20-cent Jackpot Pick 6 which pays off the whole pool if there is only one winning ticket. If there is more than a single winning ticket then a consolation is paid to the winners and a carry-over goes to the next day.
The largest pay-off of the season so far was a 20-cent Pick 6 on June 23rd that paid $81,409.82. That was a combination of stringing an 8-1 to a 2-1 to 5-1 to 3-5 to 6-5 and finishing with a 4-1 shot. Not even a double digit odd in the 6 winners. On Saturday the winning ticket numbers were 2-3-5-4-8-1 and were a combination of a 3-1 to a 3-2 to 2-1 to 3-2 to 6-1 and finished with a 6-5 winner had just one correct ticket that paid $66,403.50. Then on Sunday the Pick 6 paid huge again with a $30,384.30 but this one was much tougher than the top as the winning ticket had the numbers 2-3-3-4-4-3 and began with an 6-5 shot to a 7-5 then a 4-1 to a 14-1 to a 19-1 finishing with a 7-2 winner.
We’ll have more on the wagering side and the leader board coming up in another story later this week.
Weiner Dogs and Other Breeds races
The Weiner Dogs and other breeds under 20 pounds took to the track on Sunday as well drawing a large viewing audience. Slinky rebounded in the Wiener Dog Championship to take top honors for the second time, also won the race in 2019. Slinky, who is owned by Denise Avery and Greg Rovetta of Olympia was a narrow winner in the championship after finishing second in his heat race. The Wiener Wannabe victor was Benny from Woodinville. Benny is owned by Nicole Dimak.
Dogs Picture Gallery