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So Lucky out to make amends in Auburn Stakes; big fields on tap for Mother’s Day

May 11, 2017     E-mail this page to a friend!

The road to the Emerald Downs Derby begins on Sunday, May 14, with the $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings going six furlongs.

A field of eight is entered in the 22nd running of the Auburn, which goes as the seventh at 5:09 p.m local (Pacific) time.

Washington Hall of Fame trainer Howard Belvoir has a chance to win the Auburn for the third straight year. Fooled Again raced to an 8-1 upset in 2015 and Barkley edged Mach One Rules in the 2016 renewal, beginning a memorable rivalry that is carrying over into their 4-year-old season at Emerald Downs.

Sunday, Belvoir sends out So Lucky, Emerald Downs’ and state champion 2-year-old of 2016 after a campaign that included three dominant gate-to-wire stakes victories. In his 2017 debut, however, So Lucky broke like a rocket but was taken slightly off the pace by Rocco Bowen and finished third in a $20,500 allowance race won by Keller’s Gold at 5 1/2 furlongs.

“They’re going to have to come catch us this time,” Belvoir said. “He has a lot of natural early speed and doesn’t need to be sent hard out of the gate, he does it on his own. Rocco tried to give him a little breather last time and they came to us and challenged us early. It will be different this time.”

Owned by Pegasus Too and Rising Star Stable, So Lucky is 4-1-1 in six starts with earnings of $106,910. By Coast Guard out of Miss Pixie, So Lucky has had the lead after a quarter-mile in each of his starts, and the April 16 race was the first time he failed to lead at the stretch call.

— 2015 Emerald Downs’ riding champion Julien Couton makes his 2017 EmD debut on Aqua Frio for trainer Blaine Wright and owner Peter Redekop.
— Wright is already 1-for-1 in stakes as Alliford Bay captured Sunday’s Seattle Stakes in 1:08.92.
— As part of a $125,000 bonus program between Emerald Downs and Hastings Racecourse, a $25,000 bonus (US) is offered to any horse sweeping the Emerald Downs’ Derby and $150,000 BC Derby.

The field for the $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts & geldings: 1-Keller’s Gold, David Martin, 117 lbs; 2-Sharkzilla, Erick Lopez, 117; 3-Sure Sweet, Lorenzo Lopez, 117; 4-Seau, Isaias Enriquez, 117; 5-Monydontspenitself, Eswan Flores, 117; 6-Shot Gun Gary, Javier Matias, 117; 7-So Lucky, Rocco Bowen, 121; 8-Aqua Frio, Julien Couton, 119.

Big fields on Mother’s Day

In addition to the Auburn Stakes, Mother’s Day Sunday also marks the largest fields of the season at Emerald Downs—80 horses are entered on the 10-race program including 44 runners in the $0.50 Pick 5 encompassing races 6 through 10.