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Trio of $50K stakes this weekend at Emerald Downs


July 14, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

Zenovit totes high weight on Saturday in $50K Boeing Handicap

Zenovit, the 2010 Washington Oaks and British Columbia Oaks winner, carries starting high-weight of 119 lbs. Saturday in the $50,000 Boeing Handicap at one mile. A field of nine is entered in the division’s first two-turn test and final steppingstone to the $65,000 Emerald Distaff on August 21.

Coming off a sixth in the Washington Sate Legislators Stakes at 6½ furlongs, Zenovit figures to improve while making her second start of the season in the Boeing. Even though she didn’t threaten, trainer Larry Ross said he was pleased with Zenovit’s effort in her 2011 debut.

“She really got a lot out of last start,” Ross said. “I think she’ll be much more competitive this weekend, especially with the added distance.”

The pace scenario, on paper, looks balanced with an assortment of front-runners, stalkers and closers. While handicappers might classify Zenovit as a closer, the numbers in her two-turn races say otherwise. In fact, in her four career routes Zenovit has given away only 3½ lengths to the early leaders while never farther back than fifth place. Ross said he sees Zenovit staying close to the front end on Saturday.

“It’s hard to tell how exactly how much speed is in the race,” Ross said. “I don’t think (Zenovit) will be that far off the pace. I hope that she’ll get the first jump on the leaders.”

• The Boeing Handicap is race seven on Saturday, at approximately 5:09 p.m.
• The first two races in the older fillies and mares division have been wide-open affairs: You Me and Ema B won the 10-horse Hastings Handicap at odds of more than 10-to1, while Summers Peace won the 11-horse Washington State Legislators Stakes at odds of more than 10-to-1.
• Summers Peace was nominated to the Boeing, but instead will run Saturday in the $75,000 California State Fair Sprint Handicap at Sacramento.

The field from the rail out for the 16th running of the Boeing Handicap: You Me and Ema B, Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo, 117 lbs; Fifie’s Fantasy, Joe Crispin, 114; Sis’s Sis, Juan Gutierrez, 117; Hard Way Ten, Gallyn Mitchell, 113; Rewritten, Leslie Mawing, 117; Sweet Nellie Brown, Pedro Terrero, 116; Zenovit, Javier Matias, 119; Eyes On the Prize, Robert Skelly, 118; Dream Sweeper, Jose Zunino, 117.

Couldabenthewhisky looks to rebound vs. large field in $50K Seattle Slew Handicap

For the second straight season, 3-year-old colts and geldings are producing one of Emerald Downs’ most competitive stakes divisions.

Couldabenthewhisky—dominant as a 2-year-old—looks to regain momentum in a 12-horse field on Sunday in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. It’s the last stop for sophomores before the $65,000 Emerald Derby on August 14.

The 2010 Top Juvenile Male, Couldabenthewhisky was surprisingly flat as the 4-to-5 betting favorite in the May 30 Auburn Handicap. Afterward, trainer Bonnie Jenne said she felt there was something amiss with her Harbor the Gold gelding.

“He washed out pretty bad in the paddock that day, and didn’t run at all like I know he can,” Jenne said. “I had some blood work done, and he basically just tied up. I think he bounced after he ran so well in Canada.”

The veteran conditioner said she believes that Couldabenthewhisky will bounce back after watching him train the past few weeks. The Washington-bred has made regular rider Gallyn Mitchell a believer. The track’s all-time winningest jockey elected to ride Couldabenthewhisky instead of Rainier Ice, whom Mitchell finished first aboard in the Pepsi Cola Handicap. However, the pair were disqualified and placed fourth for interference in the stretch.

Jenne said her main concern with Couldabenthewhisky is his fitness level, because he didn’t run in the June 26 Pepsi-Cola.

“Hopefully, he’ll be ready,” Jenne said. “If I’ve done my job, I think we’ve got a good chance to win.”

• The Seattle Slew Handicap is race nine on Sunday, at approximately 6:09 p.m.
• The 12-horse field is the largest in a stakes since the 2010 Longacres Mile, which also had a full field of 12.
• 2005 winner Alexandersrun was the last favorite to win the Seattle Slew Handicap. Thus far, longshots have been successful this season as Showmeyourfriends paid $102.40 to win in the Auburn Stakes, and Zayda produced an $18.60 win payout in the Pepsi Cola Handicap.

The field for the 35th running of the Seattle Slew Handicap: Codys a Bobcat, Javier Matias, 114 lbs; Zayda, Leslie Mawing, 119; Northern Indy, Hector Romero, 117; Showme Yourfriends, Deborah-Hoonan-Trujillo, 119; Couldabenthewhisky, Gallyn Mitchell, 121; Big Bad Brown, David G. Lopez, 114; Come Away Home, Pedro Terrero, 116; Dugan Bill, Robert Skelly, 113; El Gran Bebe, Kevin Krigger, 111; Jebrica, Francisco Duran, 117; Rainier Ice, Juan Gutierrez, 117; Winter Warlock, Joe Crispin, 118.

Wenzel continues red-hot, saddles Elusive Noise in $50K Kent ’Cap

The 2011 season reached its halfway point Sunday and trainer Tom Wenzel already had saddled more winners than he had in the entire 2010 meeting.

The 45-year-old Tacoma native is smoking hot with a 16-for-46 mark good for 34.7 percent winners. He was 15-for-85 for 17.6 percent last year.

Wenzel even lost a victory after Rainier Ice was disqualified from first and placed fourth in the June 26 Pepsi-Cola Handicap. The DQ cost Wenzel a sweep of the day’s stakes races, as Elusive Noise had won the Irish Day Handicap earlier on the card.

Wenzel gets another chance for a stakes sweep Sunday as Elusive Noise aims for her fourth win of the season and her second straight stakes score in the $50,000 Kent Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. And Rainier Ice attempts to finish first for the fourth straight time this season in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings, also at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. Of course, Rainer Ice ultimately was denied the win in the Pepsi-Cola as Zayda was promoted to first, but Wenzel had the Forestry colt ready for his first two-turn assignment,

In the Kent, Debbie Paxton and Northwest Farms’ Elusive Noise and Michael and Amy Feuerborns Class Included continue their budding rivalry as sophomore fillies reach the final steppingstone to the August 13 Washington Oaks in the Kent Handicap. They’ve already met three times at the meet with Elusive Noise holding a 2-1 edge including the gate-to-wire triumph in the Irish Day. The addition of Carrabelle Harbor to the Kent lineup, however, figures to favor Class Included, a stalker that could get a perfect trip rating off the two speedsters.

• The Kent Handicap is race seven on Sunday, at approximately 5:09 p.m.

The field for the 15th running of the Kent Handicap: Playful Argument, Pedro Terrero, 115 lbs; Class Included, Leslie Mawing, 119; For You My Heart, Javier Matias, 118; Carrabelle Harbor, Gallyn Mitchell, 118; Elusive Noise, Juan Gutierrez, 119; Judging Mimi, Francisco Duran, 113.