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City By The Bay invades from NoCal, faces Chu And You, six others in $50K Seattle Handicap

May 30, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Chu And You
(photo by Erin Palmer, courtesy of Emerald Downs)
The march to the Washington Oaks begins Sunday when 3-year-old fillies race 6˝ furlongs in the $50,000 Seattle Handicap at Emerald Downs.

A field of eight will battle in the Seattle, but California shipper City By The Bay and 2013 Emerald Downs’ champion 2-Year-Old Filly Chu And You will garner most of the support.

City By The Bay is scheduled to make her first start since an 8˝-length romp in the $100,000 Barretts Debutante Stakes at Fairplex Park last September. The City Zip filly handled the bullring beautifully, running 6˝ furlongs in 1:17.94 to dominate a 10-horse field that included runners trained by Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill, Jeff Bonde and Peter Miller.

Unbeaten in two starts overall for trainer Billy Morey, City By The Bay earned 71 and 75 Beyers last year, excellent numbers for a 2-year-old filly, and better figures than any of her competitors Sunday in the Seattle.

According to Morey, City By The Bay “sored up a bit” after the Fairplex race, but said she has trained well for her comeback, logging several quick drills on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields, capping the series with a half-mile in :48 Saturday. As for why he and owners Martin Bach and Jack Owens chose to come to Emerald Downs, Morey said a lack of sprint races for 3-year-old fillies is the reason.

“This race was good timing, it fits her schedule nicely,” Morey said. “There aren’t any races for 3-year-old fillies in southern or northern California. She’s a talented filly.”

The field for Sunday’s $50,000 Seattle Handicap (from the rail out, with handicap weights): Belladiva, Ronald Richard, 116 lbs; Mylast Sweet Pea, Gallyn Mitchell, 115; Strawberry Dawn, Felipe Valdez, 117; Chu And You, Juan Gutierrez, 120; Just A Love, Leslie Mawing, 115; City By The Bay, Juan Hernandez, 119; Lotta Attitude, Isaias Enriquez, 118; Sunpenny, David G. Lopez, 116.

In other Seattle Handicap developments:

• Chu And You, dominant while winning her first four races by a combined 20 lengths, seeks to rebound after two straight defeats. She finished fourth vs. males in her 2013 finale, and began 2014 with a sixth-place finish in the Ross McLeod at Hastings, although she did show her customary speed before fading. “She’s been doing really good, she worked really nice coming into this race,” trainer Robbie Baze said of Chu And You. “The rider said she couldn’t handle the track very well (at Hastings). She kept fumbling around. She bobbled the break and then bobbled again out on the track. She wasn’t very comfortable, so the rider just took care of her.”

• The Seattle Handicap is race nine on a 10-race program; post time at approximately 6:05 p.m.

• Jockey Juan Hernandez, currently second with 93 wins at Golden Gate Fields, maintains the mount on City By The Bay. Neither Morey nor Hernandez has ever had a starter at Emerald Downs.

• The Press Box Podcast features race analysis and Robert Geller’s live call of the Seattle Handicap. Go to 20 minutes before the race. The podcast also is archived one hour after the race on the track website.