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Outstanding racing this weekend in the Intermountain West


April 22, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

("Road Trip" design by Brandon Maxwell)
Full fields, big purses, and the TRJ “road show” greet racing fans at two venues this weekend.

Saturday is opening day at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington, and horsemen stuffed the entry box to greet the return of racing. Sun Downs has a 10-horse gate, but they limit the number of horses in races that go around a turn to eight. Generally, the Thoroughbred gate holds eight and the Quarter Horse gate 10.

Nine races are scheduled for opening day. The five Thoroughbred races will go to post with eight horses each, and 37 horses are entered in the four Quarter Horse races.

The feature race is the Boekenoogen Memorial for Quarter Horses going 250 yards. The 5-to-2 favorite on the morning line is Vodka Soda No Fruit, who went 2-for-2 on the Sun Downs strip last year, including a win in the $17,400 AQHA Maiden Challenge. Vodka Soda No Fruit is trained by Kurt Calton for owners Bob and Scott Giltner. Jesse Chavis gets the mount.

Sunday’s races are equally impressive, featuring five trials for the May 8 Pot O’ Gold Futurity. Thirty-six 2-year-old Quarter Horses will take the test in five trials—races 2 through 6.

Over in Idaho, three races for Quarter Horses carry combined purses of $28,149 at Gem County racing in Emmett. The $14,301 Gem County Futurity goes off as the 5th race on the card. Brook Black’s Imalrightmick was the fastest qualifier from four trials conducted last weekend.

Later on 3-year-olds take center stage in the $9,848 Gem County Derby, followed by older horses in the $4,000 AQHA John Deere Bonus Challenge.