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Sunday is Irish Day at Emerald Downs; champion Chu And You heads Baze tandem in $50K Irish Day Handicap

June 26, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Emerald Downs will be dressed in traditional green, white and orange Sunday for the track’s annual Irish Day celebration. A 10-race card will be accompanied by live music performed by Crumac, and Irish Dancers from Scoil Rince Slieveloughane. A few Irish Wolfhounds might even be on hand for the festivities. Special individual Trackside Tent packages, available at $35 for adults and $15 for children, include admission, program, Parker’s tip sheet, double entrée buffet and Trackside Ten seating.

The question of this Irish Day is: can Chu And You carry her tremendous speed a route of ground?

That figures to be a major storyline Emerald Downs presents the 19th running of the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at one mile. Eight horses are entered, with Chu And You assigned high weight of 119 lbs, followed by Find Your Spot at 118, and five horses at 115.

Voted Emerald Downs’ Top 2-Year-Old Filly last year, Chu And You has never raced beyond 6½ furlongs, but the You And I filly looked her old self while finishing a game second in the June 1 Seattle Handicap. Owned and bred by Mike and Amy Feuerborn and trained by Robbie Baze, Chu And You is 4-1-0 in seven starts with earnings of $97,884.

“I was really happy with Chu And You because she was hooked the whole way, ran the whole way and never gave up,” Baze said of the 6½-furong Seattle. “She’s been doing just as well as she was before the last race. She tried to run off with me aboard her today. I look for her to run a big race.”

Baze also saddles Mylast Sweet Pea, a rapidly developing Grindstone filly that is greatly improved for owners Bill and Betty Stiles and Valerie Maria Johnson. In the Seattle, Mylast Sweet Pea finished third at 50-to-1, and her style suggests added distance won’t be an issue.

“Mylast Sweet Pea got in a little trouble in the turn and she still came running, so I was ecstatic about that,” Baze said. “It looks like she wants more ground so this mile should fit her good. I see her moving forward off that race.”

The trainer said Chu And You*despite her diminutive frame and sub-:45 half-mile speed*also acts like one mile is within reach.

“I don’t have any concern with either one of them running two turns,” he said. “They both are great at switching leads. Chu And You has that natural speed, so I look for her to use her speed and then relax. Mylast Sweet Pea is versatile. She can lie close to the pace or come from off it.”

• The Irish Day Handicap, race eight on a 10-race program, goes at 5:40 p.m.
• Trainer Tom Wenzel has saddled the last three winners of the Irish Day, and sends out Timeless Pleasure and Quiet Wisdom this year.
• Sunpenny and Red Ran Back, both nominated to the Irish Day, instead run in an $18,900 optional claimer carded the race after the Irish Day.

The field for Sunday’s $50,000 Irish Day Handicap (from the rail out, with handicap weights): Timeless Pleasure, Javier Matias, 115 lbs; Cheeky Stone, Leslie Mawing, 115; Chu And You, Juan Gutierrez, 119; Belladiva, Ronald Richard, 115; Find Your Spot, Isaias Enriquez, 118; Mylast Sweet Pea, Gallyn Mitchell, 115; Quiet Wisdom, Rocco Bowen, 115; Papa’s Flashy Girl, Anne Sanguinetti, 114.