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Music of My Soul and Stopshoppingdebbie wins stakes | Emerald Downs
Music of My Soul led all the way and scored a half-length victory Sunday in the $50,000 Coca-Cola Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings in the first half of a stakes doubleheader at Emerald Downs.
Two races later, trainer Tom Wenzel and owner Northwest Farms once again swept the top three places as Stopshoppingdebbie rolled to a 6 ¾-length victory over Goin to the Window in the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies. Blueberry Smoothie rallied to finish third, capping off a mirror image finish of the May 26 Seattle Handicap, in which Stopshoppingdebbie, Goin to the Window and Blueberrry Smoothie also finished first, second and third.
Music of My Soul, ridden by Isaias Enriquez at 118 lbs, set fast fractions*:23.22, :45.96 and 1:09.63*and finished off the mile in 1:35.07. Trained by Doris Harwood and owned by Elttaes Stable, Music of My Soul earned $27,500 to increase his bankroll to 3-2-0 in seven starts with $98,832 in purse money.
The victory made amends for a hard-luck development prior to the June 2 Auburn Handicap, in which Music of My Soul acted up and was scratched at the gate.
“We just passed the torch,” Harwood said, alluding to the fact that Music of My Soul, a 3-year-old Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold-Julia Rose, is a full brother to the great Noosa Beach, the track’s all-time leader with 11 stakes wins who will officially retire in a special ceremony here on July 3.
“I was playing cat-and-mouse with (Finallygotabentley) because he kept trying to move up and then I’d give my horse a little tap and he’d take off but then relax right away,” Enriquez said. “In the stretch, my horse started moving side-to-side and was really getting tired.
“I’m just thinking, ‘come on, lets go a little bit more, lets not lose this now, this is when I need you.’ He straightened out and got it done.”
Cariboo Road rallied from 15 lengths back to finish second, but was ruled a non-starter for wagering purposes by the stewards, who ruled the gelding did not have a fair start from the gate. Cariboo Road was considered the second-place finisher in terms of purse money, however, and earned $10,000 for Glyn Kelly and Anne MacLennan.
Worldventurer was promoted from third to second in the mutuels, and paid $4.80 and $3, while Valiant Flame went from fourth to third and paid $5.80 for show.
In improving to three-for-three lifetime, Stopshoppingdebbie appears to just be scratching the surface of her potential. Bred by Northwest Farms and co-owned by Northwest Farms and Debbie Paxton, Stopshoppingdebbie earned $27,500 to increase her bankroll to $64,818.
Ridden by Rocco Bowen at 118 lbs, Stopshoppingdebbie paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10.
After a stakes record-tying victory in the 6 ½-furlong Seattle Handicap, Sunday’s race would prove whether the filly could carry her a speed a distance of ground. It was never in doubt as Stopshoppingdebbie led through fractions of :24.04, :47.49, 1:10.98 and 1:22.74, opening a three-length lead into the stretch and coasting home under a hand ride.
A Kentucky-bred by Curlin-Taste the Passion, Stopshoppingdebbie’s final time of 1:34.74 broke the stakes record of 1:35.88 set by stable mate Exclusive Diva last year.
“I was expecting someone else to go for the lead and push me, but they didn’t and I really enjoyed that,” Bowen said. “At the five-eighths pole I saw that nobody was coming, so I knew they were going to have to use a lot of horse to catch up to me and even more horse to get by me.
“The breeding says it all,” Bowen added. “These kinds of horses are so classy. She’s the kind of horse that runs push button.”
Goin to the Window held second by three-quarters of a length over Blueberry Smoothie, while Sunset Time, Polebound and Strange Luck completed the order of finish.
NOTES: Enriquez rode three winners on the 11-race card while Bowen, Anne Sanguinetti and Juan Gutierrez had two wins each. Through 31 days of the 75-day meet, Enriquez and Gutierrez are tied for first place in the jockeys’ standings at 44 wins apiece, while Bowen and David G. Lopez are tied for third at 25 wins each*Trainer Frank Lucarelli continued his recent surge with back-to-back wins by Zenett ($5.40) and Promiscuous Harbor ($4.80) in races three and four. Lucarelli is eight for his last 27 and has climbed to fourth in the trainers’ standings with 14 wins*Leading trainer Jeff Metz had his third two-win day of the meet, finishing the week with a 21-18 lead over Chris Stenslie in the trainers’ standings. Metz clicked with Max Cooper ($3.60) in the first race and M Two Forty in race five. Sanguinetti rode M Two Forty and has combined with Metz for 15 wins*Harwood and Wenzel also had two wins apiece Sunday* Four of Wenzel’s nine wins this season are stakes*Ugottabcatty ($17) ended a 16-race winless streak with strong rail rally in race eight, surging past Rezar and Saddleranch for the *length victory in 1:15.16 for 6 ½ furlongs. A 7-year-old Washington-bred, Ugottabcatty has finished first, second or third in 22 of 27 starts at Emerald Downs*Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:45 p.m.