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Marathon series begins at Emerald Downs on Friday


July 12, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo

Auburn, WA, July 12 - The Seattle's Best Joe Memorial Marathon Series will commence with Friday night's feature race from Emerald Downs. The three race series, formerly known as the Harley H. Hoppe Marathon Series, has been renamed this year to commemorate 2004 Captain Condo Stakes hero Seattles Best Joe, owned in part by Hoppe. Friday's race has attracted a field of eight under starter allowance conditions, and will be held at the distance of 1-1/8 miles.

Lord Frederick, a six-time winner at Emerald Downs, headlines Friday's first leg of the marathon series. The William Smith trainee has won three of his last four starts around two-turns, with his lone defeat in that span coming in the $60,000 Seattle Slew Breeders' Cup Handicap where he finished sixth. In his most recent appearance, Lord Frederick won the Joe Withee Marathon Series Prep, finishing 1- lengths ahead of Alcres George, who also returns for the Friday night feature.

Alcres George, a 5-year-old son of Lake George, has won four of nine starts this year, finishing first or second in each of his last six appearances. The Joe Toye trainee scored a trio of victories over the grass course at Turf Paradise this spring, including a win in the Phoenix oval's closing day feature, the $50,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap, held at the marathon distance of 15 furlongs.

Don'twritemeoff, the third-place finisher in the marathon series prep, will also contest the Friday feature. The son of Silver Ghost broke his maiden by six lengths in late May and has since returned to finish fifth, beaten less than three lengths by Confidential Call, in an optional claiming allowance, in addition to his third-place run in the Withee.

The Seattle's Best Joe Memorial Marathon Series is restricted to 3-year-olds and up that have started for a claiming price of $10,000 or less. The series begins with Friday's nine-furlong feature, continues August 4 at the distance of 1- miles, before concluding on August 27 with a 1 -mile contest.

Throughout the marathon series, horses earn six points for a win, four points for second, two points for third and one point for starting in a series event. Point totals for the final event on August 27 will be doubled in value. After the final series event, the horse that has accumulated the most points will be crowned champion.

Fridays at Emerald Downs are Fabulous
Fabulous Fridays at Emerald Downs continue this week and will once again include beer specials from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., along with the $1,000 Horseshoe Toss Challenge. All fans wearing the T-shirt given away at the first Fabulous Friday will receive free admission.

Red Hat Society Day at Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs will host the largest Red Hat gathering in the state on Saturday, July 15. Red Hat Society members receive a full day of entertainment including free admission, prize drawings and more. There will be a commemorative photo taken at 1 p.m. in the paddock in addition to a Red Hat fashion show.

$25,000 guaranteed Pick Four offered Saturday
Emerald Downs will offer a $25,000 guaranteed late pick four pool on Saturday. The guaranteed pick four will cover the final four races on the program.

Emerald Downs is celebrating its 10th anniversary season with a 91-day racing meet from Friday, April 21 through Sunday, October 1. The centerpiece of the 2006 season is the 71st running of the Grade III $250,000 Longacres Mile to be held on Sunday, August 20. For more information please visit www.emeralddowns.com