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Invested Prospect tops Irish Day Stakes

May 26, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Invested Prospect carries superb credentials into Sunday’s $50,000 Irish Day Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile. Unbeaten in three starts, she came off the bench for a gate-to-wire victory in the 6½-furlong Seattle Stakes on May 8.

The Irish Day, however, marks new territory for Invested Prospect. It’s the first route assignment for the Blaine Wright trainee.

It’s a formidable assignment, perhaps made even more daunting by drawing the outside post in the eight-horse field, meaning jockey Juan Gutierrez will have to gun Invested Prospect to the lead or risk getting hung wide around the first turn. And with several horses in the same boat—Lady Diva, Princess Katie and B C Z Middleton also are routing for the first time—it’s reasonable to assume the early pace will be hot and heavy.

Also, Invested Prospect’s 123 lb impost would be the most weight ever carried by a winner of the Irish Day.

On the other hand, Invested Prospect (3-3-0-0-$63,775) is super talented and most likely the fastest of the speed horses. Her connections are practically peerless: Wright tops the trainer standings with a 12-for-30 mark at the meet while Gutierrez is one of the track’s all-time big-money riders, ranking No. 3 with 59 career stakes wins. So it’s also reasonable to assume Invested Prospect is ready to run a big race, and that she’ll get a fine ride.

But can she do it? In 20 previous runnings, six horses led gate-to-wire to win the Irish Day—Stopshoppingdebbie (2013), Elusive Noise (2011), Ladyledue (2009), Enumclaw Girl (2008), Mishill (1998), and Spite And Malice (1997). Last year, the Wright-trained Seeking The Light—also ridden by Gutierrez—finished second at 10-to-1 odds, and the winner Belle Hill was the real deal, reeling off subsequent victories in the Kent Stakes and Washington Oaks.

Invested Prospect’s breeding—By Kaabraaj out of No Constraints (by Katowice)—could pose a problem. Although crowned state champion 2-year-old filly of 2007, No Constraints finished last in her only two routes including, coincidentally, the 2008 Irish Day.

California shipper Brookys Star and Canadian shipper Princess Katie are the only new faces in the race. The former, trained by Tim McCanna, is winless in four starts this year at Golden Gate including an eighth-place finish in the California Oaks. The latter, trained by Robert Gilker, finished runner-up to Snuggles in the May 8 Ross McLeod at 6½ furlongs at Hastings Racecourse.

Sophie’s Trophy in 2006 is the last shipper to win the Irish Day at Emerald Downs. In fact, Sophie’s Trophy and Langara Lass came down from Canada to finish first and third in the 2006 Irish Day.

Betting favorites are 0-for-4 in stakes this season: Princess Kennedy, 5th at 3-to-1, Seattle Stakes; Mach One Rules, 2nd at 6-to-5, Auburn Stakes; Kikisoblu, 6th at even odds, Hastings Stakes; and Kaabraaj, 3rd at 9-to-5, Governor’s Stakes.

The Irish Day Stakes goes as race #8 on a nine-race card that begins at 2:00 local (Pacific) time. Post time for the Irish Day Stakes is 5:39 p.m.

The full field for the 21st running of the Irish Day Stakes
Post Horse              Jockey
1 My Heart Goes On Francisco Duran
2 Lady Diva Javier Matias
3 Brookys Star Eswan Flores
4 Find Joy Isaias Enriquez
5 Princess Katie Leslie Mawing
6 Princess Kennedy Rocco Bowen
7 B C Z Middleton Jose Zunino
8 Invested Prospect Juan Gutierrez