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Makors Finale and Exclusive Diva looking for stakes win | Emerald Downs
Trainer Tom Wenzel and his red-hot 3-year-olds seek to extend winning streaks in a stakes double-header Sunday, July 15.
Three-year-old colt Makors Finale and 3-year-old filly Exclusive Diva, both conditioned by Wenzel, have swept the first two stakes in their respective divisions and aim for hat tricks in the Seattle Slew and Kent Handicaps. Both carded at 1-1/16 miles, the Seattle Slew and Kent serve as final tune-ups for the Emerald Derby and Washington Oaks in mid-August.
Makors Finale and D’honorable One are developing a rivalry in the 3-year-old male division at Emerald Downs. The colts finished with a dead-heat for win in the June 3 Auburn Handicap at 6-½ furlongs, followed by another prolonged stretch run in the June 24 Coca-Cola Handicap at one mile. In the latter event, however, Makors Finale finally shook off D’honorable One and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:35.13.
Brady’s Kat, third in both the Auburn and Coca-Cola, and the speedy Italian Boy, winner of two recent allowance sprints, appear the biggest threats to Makors Finale and D’honorable One.
After an 8-½-length romp in the May 27 Seattle Handicap, Exclusive Diva overcame early pace pressure to win the June 24 Irish Day Handicap, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:35.88 for one mile. The daughter of Bernardini has won four-of-five career starts including three stakes and earned $98,105.
Royal Moses finished second to Exclusive Diva in both the Seattle and Irish Day, and the daughter of Cahill Road has a closing style that suggests extra distance helps her cause.
Regal Betty, winner of the one-mile Arizona Oaks at Turf Paradise, is expected to ship in for the Kent with Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez taking the mount for trainer John Sadler.
Nominations for the 35th Seattle Slew Handicap-Sunday, July 15
Horse Owner Trainer
Brady’s Kat (3-WA) West Coast Racing LLC David Martinez
D’honorable One (3-FLA) Nelson Family Racing Blaine Wright
Edge Forward (3-KY) Ivor & Jack Jones Doris Harwood
Havanna Red (3-WA) C.E. & Ann Richardson Chris Stenslie
Italian Boy (3-WA) Luigi DiPietro & Diana DiPietro Tim McCanna
Makors Finale (3-WA) Karl Krieg Tom Wenzel
Maniacal Passion (3-WA) Chuck & Karla Laird Robbie Baze
Nominations for the 17th Kent Handicap-Sunday, July 15
Horse Owner Trainer
Champagneandcaviar (3-KY) Fleur De Lis Stables Howard Belvoir
Exclusive Diva (3-KY) Northwest Farms& Debbie Paxton Tom Wenzel
Forty Something (3-ORE) Margaret Root Kimberly Wales
Joy’s Jaguar (3-KY) Darrin Paul Frank Lucarelli
Lady Hokulea (3-KY) Kama’aina Thoroughbreds Jim Penney
Regal Betty (3-FL) Michael Talla John W. Sadler
Royal Moses (3-WA) Squatting Dog Stable & RG Warwick Tim Harder
Smokin’ Grey (3-MD) Donnybrook Stable Frank Lucarelli