The Racing Journal Logo

Barbara Shinpoch goes to Irene

September 5, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo
Auburn, WA (September 3, 2006) - Irene's Bonus Baby held off stablemate Cascade Rose to win the premier 2-year-old filly race of the Emerald Downs meet, the $100,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes.

Running from the rail with Ben Russell in the saddle, the daughter of Free At Last, trained by Doris Harwood, made the lead out of the gate while race favorite Judicature, ridden by Ricky Frazier, settled just off the pace.

"We planned on getting the lead out of the gate," Russell said. "After that she just drug me around there."

As the field made its way down the backstretch, Irene's Bonus Baby held a comfortable lead over Judicature while setting tepid fractions of 23 4/5 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 47 3/5 at the half-mile mark.

Judicature began making a run at Irene's Bonus Baby coming off the far turn, but was unable to make up any serious ground on the leader.

"The main thing was that we wanted to avoid going too fast early," Frazier said. "I got her (Judicature) to relax and left the horse on the lead alone thinking I could come catch her, but my filly didn't fire down the lane like she's been doing."

Cascade Rose and jockey Mick Ruis made a move up the rail to challenge Irene's Bonus Baby in mid-stretch, but was deftly cut off by the winner and had to move outside for the final furlong.

"Benny (Russell) rode an excellent race," Ruis said. "He rode so tactical. If he had come off the rail just a little bit I would have won the race. There was just nowhere for me to go. He deserves to win for that kind of ride."

Irene's Bonus Baby prevailed by three-quarters of a length at the wire while stopping the clock in 1:37. The filly returned $11, $6.20 and $3.20. Cascade Rose brought in $15 and $7 for second while Judicature rang up $2.60 for third.

The stakes victory was the fourth of the season for Russell and the second for Harwood. Russell has won the Shinpoch in four of the last six years.