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Shinpoch Saturday; Gottstein, Ashbaugh Beal, fan appreciation Sunday

September 20, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Music Of My Soul is one of the favorites Sunday in the $65,000 Joe Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds on closing day of the 2012 meeting at Emerald Downs
(photo by Reed Palmer/Emerald Downs)

Top juveniles resume rivalry on Sunday as ’Gold meets ’Soul in $65K Gottstein

A talented six-pack of 2-year-old colts and geldings takes center stage on Sunday in the $65,000 Gottstein Futurity at one mile.

Double stakes winner Mike Man’s Gold faces stakes winner Music Of My Soul, and a victory by either colt probably clinches honors as the meet’s Top Juvenile Male.

Mike Man’s Gold is 3-for-4 at the meet including wins in the Premio Esmeralda and WTBOA Lads Stakes, while Music Of My Soul countered two weeks ago with a 3¾-length score in the Dennis Dodge Stakes on Washington Cup Day. Music Of My Soul earned the meet’s highest Beyer for a 2-year-old in the latter, a 72 after running six furlongs in 1:09.25.

Finallygotabentley has never finished worse than third and comes off a 6¾-length maiden victory on September 3, running six furlongs in 1:08.87 and earning a 71 Beyer.

In other words, it’s tough to figure who the fans will favor, especially with the one-mile distance of the Gottstein figuring to confuse matters even more.

Trainer Tom Wenzel said that Finallygotabentley should be tough. The dark bay or brown colt is out of a Preakness winner, Bernardini, while dam Smarty Deb whipped the boys in the 2007 Gottstein Futurity.

“I’ve really liked this horse all along,” Wenzel said. “He’s a May 3 baby, which makes him still a pretty young 2-year-old. Until they go turns, you never know for sure.”

Dontmesswithkitten, runner-up to Finallygotabentley on September 3, was a $7,000 supplemental nomination to the Gottstein.

The field for the 75th Running of the Gottstein Futurity (all at 120 lbs):

3—Mike Man’s Gold
4—Raised A Secret
5—Music Of My Soul
6—More Strawberries

Big fields on Sunday for Ashbaugh Beal Claiming Challenge

In addition to the Gottstein, Sunday’s closing day program also features the Ashbaugh Beal Claiming Challenge, which drew 56 horses in six races—an average of 9.33 horses per event—worth an aggregate $76,000 in purse money.

As usual, the Claiming Challenge could decide which “blue-collar” Thoroughbred is voted the meet’s Top Claimer. In fact, eight horses entered in the Ashbaugh Beal Claiming Challenge—Rocky’s Quest, Majorca Gold, Zippin E, Akina, Grand Baylee, Malibu Rum, Polish Dollar and Rockymystar—are among the 16 horses log-jammed for most wins at the meet with four apiece.

Headed by red-hot gelding Rocky’s Quest, the one-mile “The Itstoughtobegood” starter allowance could be the challenge’s most intriguing match up. A 4-year-old by Rockport Harbor, Rocky’s Quest has compiled a 4-2-1 record in seven starts this season including six straight races with an 83-plus Beyer Speed Figure. The race also includes Malibu Rum and Polish Dollar and the track’s all-time leading money earner, Wasserman. A victory by Rocky’s Quest, Malibu Rum or Polish Dollar would be hard for the voters to overlook.

In celebration of the Ashbaugh Beal Challenge, Emerald Downs will honor five of the track’s top all-time claiming horses: Bob Stories, Halonator, Market Master, Skyrider and West Seattle Boy. Festivities include a winner’s circle ceremony for the horses’ owners and trainers, who all will receive a commemorative banner with each horse’s photo and statistics.

• Ashbaugh Beal is a Seattle law firm founded in 1987.
• To be eligible for the Ashbaugh Beal, each horse must have started for the established claiming tag—$3,500, $7,500 or $15,000—or less in 2012.
• Sunday’s “Paddock Preview Show” features Rick Beal, head sponsor of the Ashbaugh Beal Claiming Challenge, who joins host Jacob Pollowitz from 1:05 to 1:20 p.m. in the paddock area to discuss and handicap the day’s races.

Sunday also is Fan Appreciation Day

Emerald Downs offers its amazing fans special closing day pricing Sunday: $1 admission, $1 preferred parking, $1 reserved seating, $1 programs and $1 concession specials including soft drinks and popcorn. The hottest special Sunday, however, will be 20 percent off on purchases in The Gift Horse (cannot be combined with other discount; does not apply to art).

Located at the entrance, The Gift Horse features an extensive library, merchandise decorated with the Emerald Downs logo, Equestrian gifts and more.

Gates open at 9:00 a.m. with the 11-race card beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Blueberry Smoothie heads $50K Shinpoch

For Blueberry Smoothie, the best thing heading into Saturday’s $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes for 2-year-old fillies might be the absence of stable mate Goin To The Window.

Blueberry Smoothie, a classy daughter of Giant’s Causeway-Shampoo, could be the second best filly on the grounds, and the second best filly in the Tom Wenzel barn.

A victory in the 6½-furlong Shinpoch—the meet’s championship race for 2-year-old fillies—would certainly close the gap between the two.

Coming off a runner-up effort to Goin to the Window in the Angie C Stakes, Blueberry Smoothie appears to have a clear advantage over her rivals in the Shinpoch. She already has beaten three of her four rivals, and her 67 and 65 Beyer Speed Figures tower over her opposition Sunday.

The biggest obstacle for Blueberry Smoothie might be the No. 1 post-position. Before the Angie C, she was reluctant to load and fractious in the gate, and perhaps that cost her a bit as Goin to the Window took over at the halfway point and scored a one-length victory.

Innocent Love, runner-up when Blueberry Smoothie broke her maiden July 21, was a $5,000 supplemental nomination to the Shinpoch.

The field for the 31st Running of the Barbara Shinpoch:
1—Blueberry Smoothie, Juan Gutierrez, 115 lbs.
2—Song Of Seattle, Rocco Bowen, 115
3—Agoodlawyer Willdo, Jennifer Whitaker, 115
4—Madame Pele, William Antongeorgi, 113
5—Innocent Love, Javier Matias, 117