BAJA SUR ULTRA SHARP IN 2019 DEBUT
AUBURN, Wash. (May 19, 2019) – State champion as a 2-year-old, Baja Sur showed Sunday that he might be the dominant 3-year-old at Emerald Downs in 2019.
Returning from a 10-month break, Baja Sur stormed to a five-length victory over Runningwscissors in the $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts or geldings.
The winning time—a sterling 1:07.98—broke the stakes record and is the fastest six-furlong clocking of the meet. Blaine Wright is the winning trainer for owners John and Janene Maryanski and Gerald and Gail Schneider.
Ridden by Franklin Ceballos at 119 lbs, Baja Sur paid $3.80, $2.40 and $2.20.
A Washington-bred gelding by Smiling Tiger-Premo Copy, Baja Sur is now undefeated and virtually untested—winning his three career starts by a combined 20 ¾ lengths. In his two starts at age 2, Baja Sur broke his maiden by 5 ¼ lengths before rolling by 10 ½ lengths in the King County Express.
Sunday’s victory, worth $25,300, boosted Baja Sur’s earnings to $59,950.
Baja Sur broke alertly and took command early, setting fractions of :21.90 for the quarter-mile and :44.50 for the half. Shaking off Fuzzy Dolphin into the lane, Baja Sur opened a three-length advantage past mid-stretch, running five furlongs in a blistering :56.13, and widened his lead to the wire.
Runningwscissors emerged from the pack to finish second and paid $3 and $2.40. Gary Wales rode the runner-up at 117 lbs.
Perfect Dude and Rally Cap, also trained by Wright, finished third and fourth, while My Grandpa, Lansky, Emily’s Gold, Todo Es Toro and Fuzzy Dolphin completed the order of finish.
Barring something unforeseen, Baja Sur figures to be a prohibitive favorite when 3-year-olds reconvene for the $50,000 Coca-Colas Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on Sunday, June 16.
NOTES: Wright has won the first two stakes of the meet and has 22 Emerald Downs’ stakes wins since the beginning of the 2017 season. Wright is No. 7 all-time with 33 stakes wins. . .Wright missed Sunday’s race due to travel, after saddling Anothertwistafate to a 10th in the Preakness Stakes. Coco Lopez and Steve Menne handled saddling duties with Baja Sur, Perfect Dude and Rally Cat. . . Franklin Ceballos was the lone rider with two wins Sunday. . .Through 11 days of racing, Gary Wales tops the riders’ standings with 13 wins while Frank Lucarelli leads the trainers’ standings with 13 wins. . .Ima Happy Cat blazed five furlongs in a bullet :58 flat Sunday in advance of the $50,000 Hastings Stakes for older fillies and mares on Memorial Day. . .Congratulations to Connie Doll (Camel), Cody Gibson (Zebra) and Megan Canady (Ostrich) for victories Sunday in the third annual Exotic Animal Races. . .Cody’s father, trainer Vince Gibson, also had a big day with a pair of wins: Hold That Smile ($3.80) in race two and Meanee ($15.60) in race six. . .Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m.
E Z STAR MAKER CONTINUES HER WINNING WAYS
AUBURN, Wash. (May 18, 2019) – E Z Star Maker sprinted early and held off Beau Rocks late for a neck victory Saturday in the $11,200 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for older fillies and mares.
With Gary Wales riding his fourth winner on the card, E Z Star Maker ran six furlongs in 1:09.67 and paid $5.60, $2.60 and $2.20. Howie Gibson is the trainer for owners Homer and Nancy Gibson of Kent, WA.
Hustled to the lead from the No. 1 post, E Z Star Maker set fractions of :21.85, :44.45 and :56.66, opened a three-length lead past mid-stretch, and had just enough gas to prevail over Beau Rocks.
A 6-year-old Washington-bred mare by He’s Tops, E Z Star Maker is 2 for 2 at the meet and 4-1-0 in six lifetime starts with $23,690 in earnings, including $6,160 for Saturday’s victory.
Beau Rocks, last on the backstretch, kicked into high gear in the stretch and just missed tagging the winner. Ridden by Franklin Ceballos, the runner-up paid $3.40 and $2.40.
Sugarseeker, ridden by Kevin Orozco, finished well for third and paid $3.20, while Glitter and Gold, Spot On and Tesla rounded out the order of finish. Hold That Smile was scratched and is reentered in the second race Sunday.
Spot On was favored by a mere $43 over E Z Star Maker in the win pool: $9,513 to $9,470.
NOTES: Wales also scored Saturday wins aboard Athleisure ($5.20), Fool Proof ($4.20) and Tiz Manny ($14.20), and tops the riders’ standings with 13 wins. In addition to four wins, Wales also had two seconds and two thirds on the eight-race card. A 33-year-old native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Wales rode 54 winners winners while finishing fourth overall in 2018. . .After three wins Friday, owner Chad Christensen and trainer Frank Lucarelli clicked with Samurai Jack ($3.80) in the Saturday finale and are a combined four for four this week. . .With a victory on Samurai Jack, Javier Matias moved within three wins of the 500 win mark at Emerald Downs. . .Live racing continues Sunday with the $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings. First post is 2 p.m.
|Saturday, May 18|
$50,000 AUBURN STAKES
SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2019
3-YEAR-OLD COLTS & GELDINGS
24th RUNNING, 6 FURLONGS
Track Record: 1:06.86, Kaabraaj (4), April 23, 2016
Stakes Record: 1:08.00, Call On Carson (2007)
Trainer: 4, Bud Klokstad (Ropersandwranglers, 1997 & 1998; Jumron Won, 2001; Beau Maggie, 2005)
Jockey: 4, Juan Gutierrez (Crimson Design, 2004; Noosa Beach, 2009; Finallygotabentley, 2013; Fooled Again, 2015)
Owner: 2, Billie Klokstad (Ropersandwranglers 1997 & 1998)
Largest Winning Margin: 5 lengths, Noosito (2014)
Smallest Winning Margin: nose-tie, Cantil (2000), Whatwasithinking (2018)
Track Condition: Fast 22, Sloppy 1
Betting Favorite: 7 for 23
Largest $2 Win: $102.40, Showme Yourfriends (2011)
Smallest $2 Win: $2.60, D’honorable One (dead-heat, 2012)
Winner bred: Washington 12, Kentucky 6, California 3, Florida 3
Gate-to- wire: 5 for 23
1: Perfect Dude (9/2) Todd & Shawn Hansen, Tenino, WA
2: Emily’s Gold (10) R.E.V. Racing LLC (Roy Schaefer, Port Orchard, WA)
3: Rally Cat (5) Fleur De Lis Stables (Raymond Keik, Spokane, WA; Paul Goldberg, Westport, CT)
4: Runningwscissors (8) Tim Bankers, Rancho Mirage, CA
5: Baja Sur (8/5) John & Janene Maryanski, Auburn, WA; Riverbend Stable (Gail & Gerald Schneider, Auburn, WA)
6: My Grandpa (12) Ron Crockett, Seattle, WA
7: Fuzzy Dolphin (10) Michael Pollowitz, Shoreline, WA; Vince Bruun, Federal Way, WA
8: Lansky (8) Casa Loma Stable (Richard & Sandra Caswell, Lakewood, WA)
9: Todo Es Toro (20) Tawnja Elison, Boise, ID
2019 EmD 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS SERIES
May 19: $50,000 Auburn Stakes, 6 Furlongs
June 16: $50,000 Coca-Cola Stakes, 6 ½ Furlongs
July 14: $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes, 1 1/16 Mile
Aug 11: $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, 1 1/8 Mile
Sept 1: $50,000 WA Cup Soph C & G Stakes (s), 1 Mile
2018 EmD 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS STAKES
$50,000 Auburn Stakes, 6 Furlongs: Whatwasithinking ($6.40) 1:09.63 70 Beyer
$50,000 Coca-Cola Stakes, 6 ½ Furlongs: Sippin Fire ($7.60) 1:15.41 74 Beyer
$50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes, 1 1/16 Mile: Sippin Fire ($4.60) 1:41.78 76 Beyer
$50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, 1 1/8 Mile: Sippin Fire ($4.00) 1:48.54 80 Beyer
$50,000 WA Cup Soph C & G Stakes, 1M: Sippin Fire ($2.60) 1:35.89 79 Beyer
$100,000 Getaway Stakes, 1 1/16 M: Yulong Warrior ($14.80) 1:40.81 92 Beyer
CALEX BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
AUBURN, Wash. (May 17, 2019) – Calex took command early and was never headed and rolled to a 4 ½-length victory Friday in the $11,200 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up.
Notching his 16th career victory, Calex ran one mile in 1:35.93 and paid $37.40, $15.40 and $9.80. Lorenzo Lopez rode the winner for owner/trainer Valentin Picho Garcia.
Hustled to the lead from the No. 1 post, Calex opened a clear lead while running fractions of :22.54, :46.11, 1:09.90 and 1:22.53. Shaking off Botch into the lane, Calex led by five lengths past mid-stretch and coasted home unchallenged.
Archie Graham, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Franklin Ceballos, finished strongly outside and edged Remembertobreathe for the place, returning $4.80 and $3.80.
Remembertobreathe, ridden by Kevin Orozco, was a nose back in third and paid $4 to show, while Oldtimers Vision, Botch and Uzta Have Money completed the order of finish.
Pulpits Power reared and unseated jockey Heribert Martinez at the break. The stewards conducted an inquiry into the incident, but determined Pulpits Power had a fair start.
A 7-year-old Ontario-bred, Calex is 16 for 52 lifetime and 9 for 26 at Emerald Downs. He earned $6,160 to boost his bankroll to $91,793.
NOTES: Frank Lucarelli and Chad Christensen enjoyed a perfect Friday evening, winning races two, three and five with I Came to Play ($3.60), Irish Terrier ($7.20) and Bullet Express ($6.20). Lucarelli tops the trainers’ standings with 11 wins and is up to 955 lifetime at Emerald Downs, while Christensen moved atop the 2019 owners’ standings with five wins. . .Javier Matias was aboard Bullet Express and needs four wins to become the ninth jockey with 500 wins at Emerald Downs. . .Battle Point Red ($7.20) led gate to wire in Friday’s $25,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-olds and up, running six furlongs in 1:09.94 under Juan Gutierrez for Badrock Racing and trainer Bonnie Jenne. Jenne has at least one win all 24 seasons in track history, and 209 wins overall at Emerald Downs. . .Live racing continues Saturday with an eight-race program at 2 p.m. The $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes will be simulcast between races four and five at Emerald Downs, post time 3:48 p.m. (PDT).
SOPHOMORES CENTER STAGE IN $50,000 AUBURN STAKES
A promising field of nine 3-year-olds square off Sunday in the $50,000 Auburn Stakes at six furlongs.
The Auburn is the first of four open stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings, culminating Sunday, August 11, with the $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby at 1 1/8 miles.
Baja Sur drew the No. 5 post-position and is expected to go favored Sunday. Owned by John and Janene Maryanski and Riverbend Stable and trained by Blaine Wright, Baja Sur was undefeated in two starts as a juvenile and earned honors as track and state champion 2-year-old male. A bay gelding by Smiling Tiger, Baja Sur was last seen scoring by 10 1/2 lengths in the King County Express, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.13 and earning a 70 Beyer. Baja Sur’s had a long series of drills into his season debut, capped by a bullet six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 last Sunday.
Wright also sends out Todd and Shawn Hansen’s Perfect Dude and Fleur De Lis Stables’ Rally Cat. A son of Majesticperfection Perfect Dude beat a strong field of maiden allowance runners here April 27, running five furlongs in :57.17 while earning a 76 Beyer. Rally Cat capped a promising 2018 campaign with a sixth in the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes last December at Golden Gate Fields.
Since the start of 2017, Wright has 21 stakes wins at Emerald Downs–the next closest trainers have six apiece–including a victory by Mucho Amor in last week’s Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Fuzzy Dolphin makes his 2019 debut in a new barn, with G.D. Khlasa recently taking over training duties. Owned by Michael Pollowitz and Vince Bruun, the Harbor the Gold gelding led gate to wire in the 2018 Washington Cup Juvenile Colts and Geldings, and was promoted to third while tackling two turns in the Gottstein Futurity.
Lansky, kin to four Emerald Downs’ stakes winners, comes off a sensational season debut for Casa Loma Stable and trainer Kay Cooper. The Atta Boy Roy gelding took a strong field of maiden allowance runners coast to coast and earned a solid 74 Beyer.
Runningwscissors leads the field with over $55,000 in earnings and ships up from Turf Paradise, where the Congaree colt covered six panels in 1:09.30 and earned a 75 Beyer while beating allowance foes April 14. Todo Es Toro also ship in from Phoenix and enters off a 2 3/4-length victory vs. Arizona-breds in the $48,000 Gene Fleming Breeders’ Derby.
Emily’s Gold steps up in class after defeating $25,000 claimers here May 4, while My Grandpa showed promise as a juvenile, defeating Fuzzy Dolphin in a maiden race last July.
The Seattle goes as the eighth of nine live races with post time 6:30 p.m.
- Average field size in stakes increased from 7.7 horses in 2017 to 8.0 in 2018, and the two stakes of 2019—Seattle and Auburn—each drew nine entries.
- Recent Horse of the Meetings Sippin Fire and O B Harbor both misfired in the Auburn Stakes. 2016 Horse of the Meeting O B Harbor finished fifth to Fooled Again in his 3-year-old season of 2015, and Sippin Fire finished fifth to Whatwasithinking last year before stringing together wins in the Coca-Cola, Seattle Slew, Muckleshoot Derby and Washington Cup.
The field for the $50,000 Auburn Stakes: 1-Perfect Dude, Jose Zunino, 117 lbs; 2-Emily’s Gold, Ryan Barber, 117; 3-Rally Cat, Heribert Martinez, 117; 4-Runningwscissors, Gary Wales, 117; 5-Baja Sur, Franklin Ceballos, 119; 6-My Grandpa, Jorge Carreno, 117; 7-Fuzzy Dolphin, Kevin Orozco, 119; 8-Lansky, Juan Gutierrez, 117; 9-Todo Es Toro, Jose Leon, 121.
RACING THIS WEEK
Friday, May 17
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
Saturday, May 18
2 p.m. (8 races)
Sunday, May 19
2 p.m. (9 races)
$50,000 Auburn Stakes (3YO/6F)
Exotic Animal Racing (between Races 4, 5 & 6)
BARKLEY CLIMBING THE EARNINGS LADDER
Sunday’s sharp comeback victory by Barkley–5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.98, 90 Beyer–places the 6-year-old on a perfect course for the $50,000 Governor’s Stakes on Sunday, June 2.
Owned by Rising Star Stable III, Barkley earned $11,825 and boosted his career ledger to 10-4-1 in 18 starts with earnings of $363,625. A six-time stakes winner including the 2018 Longacres Mile, Barkley leapfrogged Flamethrowintexan into fifth place on the track’s all-time earnings list. Incidentally, Howard Belvoir trains or trained three of the top five earners in Emerald Downs’ history–Wasserman, Assessment and Barkley.
All-Time Emerald Downs’ Earnings
1: Wasserman $575,024
2: Stryker Phd $512,486
3: Assessment $472,744
4: Noosa Beach $465,305
5: Barkley $363,625
ELLIOTT BAY CLAIMED FOR $50,000, TIES RECORD
When Elliott Bay was claimed for $50,000 by Chad Christensen and Frank Lucarelli last Sunday, the 4-year-old gelding became the fourth horse ever claimed for that price at Emerald Downs.
Winner of the 2017 Gottstein Futurity, Elliott Bay and Cody’s Choice both were entered for $50,000 tags in the optional claimer which also featured Barkley, Sippin Fire, Oh Marvelous Me and Hit the Beach. Barkley, stable mate of Elliott Bay, won the race in 1:02.98 for 5 ½ furlongs.
$50,000 Claims At Emerald Downs
June 15, 2003: Whatdidshesay
June 16, 2007: Roanaway Bride
Aug. 2. 2014: Jebrica
May 12, 2019: Elliott Bay
Through eight days, 22 horses have been claimed for an aggregate $233,750. Christensen has made seven claims for a total of $118,500.