We offer no disclaimers, and please use the following information at your own risk! Nevertheless, your intrepid reporters stomped the grounds Downs and compiled selections for Saturday’s 140th Run for the Roses. Post time is 3:24 p.m. (PDT)
Dr. Raymond Kwik (Owner): California Chrome “I’ve watched him run a few times and he’s an amazing horse. He was just cantering down the stretch.”
Jacob Pollowitz (Media Relations/Broadcasting): California Chrome “He’s been a standout for the better part of the 2014 season, and with good racing luck, he should be able to take care of business.”
Janet Elseth (EmD Graphics): Wildcat Red and Dance With Fate “My cat, of course, picked Wildcat Red.”
Chris McKinney (EmD Corporate Sales): Ride On Curlin “His half-mile figures have been on a decline while his final pace figure has improved, which means Borel will bring him down the stretch late.”
Mike Christian (Jockey Agent): Samraat “He’s a versatile horse and he likes to win.”
David “Marbles: Singer (Jockey Agent): California Chrome “He looks almost unbeatable to me.”
Sophia McKee (EmD Director of Marketing): Samraat “He’s consistent and his Beyer Speed Figures are consistent, and even though he was racing against Grade Three company, his Beyers are comparable with Grade One horses. I like his workout pattern, he’s been working a most of his distances at one mile.”
Rene Harris (Assistant Director of Racing): Wicked Strong “I hate my post-position but I love my horse.”
Tom Wenzel (Trainer): General A Rod, Wildcat Red, Samraat: “General A Rod has tactical speed and pedigree-wise, he’s solid. Wildcat Red has enough speed to stay out of trouble. Out of all those horses, I probably like Samraat the best.”
Vicki Potter (EmD Group Sales): Wildcat Red and Samraat. “In February, I placed future bets on Wildcat Red (60:1) and Samraat (70:1), so for selfish reasons, these are my picks.”
Bret Anderson (EmD Director of Racing): Chitu “Big Bob Baffert fan.”
Aldo Zamora (Jockey Agent): Danza “I liked his last race, and he can still improve.”
Vic Cozzetti (Predictorsays.com): California Chrome “I’ve liked him all winter long. I’ve been watching him since his big run in the King Glorious.”
Sally Steiner (Quarter Chute Café): California Chrome “I love the post, and I love the horse.”
Martin Pimentel (Trainer): Wildcat Red “He’s got a really good record. I’ll put Intense Holiday in for the exacta box.”
Jennifer Whitaker (Jockey): California Chrome “I’m rooting for the trainer Art Sherman.”
Vince Bruun (EmD Director of Media Relations): California Chrome “Cal-bred has been winning with energy in reserve, and his jockey has ridden a Kentucky Derby winner.”
Jennifer Rodriguez (Assistant Trainer): California Chrome “How can you not like this horse after how easy he’s run?”
Dennis Snowden (Assistant Trainer): California Chrome “The last time I saw a horse win like that down in Southern California, Snow Chief was running.”
Vince Gibson (Trainer): California Chrome “He’s the only horse I know, and the trainer Art Sherman was my mom’s neighbor growing up.”
Cy Labar (EmD TV Production): California Chrome “Sometime it’s OK to pick the chalk.”
David Alvarado (Former EmD Trainer): Dance With Fate “He blew past California Chrome in the Del Mar Futurity, and his price will be a lot bigger then Chrome’s. And remember the old saying in horse racing is, Never Pick the Favorite!”
Nick Rousso (Daily Racing Form): California Chrome “Every time you look I don’t see how you can find another horse that you are positive can beat California Chrome. The one horse that interests me is Ride On Curlin.”
Howard Belvoir (Trainer): California Chrome “I’ll pick him because of the trainer Art Sherman.”
Gary Dougherty (horseracingandseattlesports.wordpress.com): Vicar’s In Trouble “I picked his dad to win this race and he let me down, so maybe his kid can come though.”
Joe Withee (EmD Director of Publicity): Danza “The Arkansas Derby points him out as a special horse.”
Ron Crockett (EmD President): Wicked Strong and Intense Holiday “Put them on top for the exacta.”
David Yoshino (Handicapper): Candy Boy
KENTUCKY DERBY ADVANCE WAGERING FRIDAY AT EmD
Emerald Downs offers Friday advance wagering on the entire Saturday card from Churchill Downs including a $1 daily double on the Kentucky Oaks & Kentucky Derby (Race 11 Friday & Race 11 Saturday).
There also is a $0.50 Pick 3 on the Kentucky Oaks, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic & Kentucky Derby (Race 11Friday/Race 10 Saturday/Race 11 Saturday).
Post Time for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks is 2:49 p.m. (Pacific).
Post time for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is 3:24 p.m. (Pacific)
Churchill Down’s 's first race is 7:30 a.m. (Pacific) on Friday and Saturday.
Friday wagering will be available starting at 7 a.m. at the Quarter Chute Cafe. Emerald Downs’ gates open at 8:30 a.m. Friday, and 7 a.m. Saturday. Saturday’s
nine-race card begins one hour earlier than normal at 1 p.m.
BIG FIELDS, GOOD WEATHER ENHANCE FRIDAY RACING
Friday racing returns this week with a seven-race card at 6:45 p.m. Ideal weather is forecast, calling for temperatures in the mid 70s and almost no chance of rain.
The first of 21 Friday cards this year also marks the eagerly anticipated Fabulous Friday T-shirt giveaway. The first 5,000 fans receive free I Bet On The 12 T-shirts with paid admission. Fans who wear the T-shirt also get free admission eachFriday through the end of the season.
The $12,700 feature race for older fillies and mares includes four horses that won their most recent start*Clemens Brook, Spot On Babe, A Goodlawyer Willdo and Run Sophia Run. The combined record of the seven horses is 40-for-119.
COMPETITIVE SPRINT HEADLINES SATURDAY CARD
While 3-year-olds battle it out in the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, older horses get the spotlight at Emerald Downs in Saturday’s featured $18,900 allowance/optional claimers at 5 ½ furlongs.
Belt and Prayer for Da Bric, 4-year-old geldings who both earned 66 Beyers while winning their season debuts, are among the six runners entered in the featured dash.
Perfect Night, a 5-year-old gelding and Wasserman’s younger brother, comes off a second to Fist Full of Green at the same condition on opening day, while Country Rules drops into a softer spot after chasing Scat Daddybaby in a potent $21,000 allowance race on April 20.
So Legit, a promising 3-year-old last year for Jim Penney, and Atta Boy Lucky, out of the same dam (Irish Toast) that produced EmD champions The Great Face and Atta Boy Roy, round out the field.
The field from the rail out for Saturday’s $18,900 feature race: Country Rules, Jose Zunino, 121 lbs; Prayer for Da Bric, Isaias Enriquez, 124; Perfect Night, Jennifer Whitaker, 121; Belt, Rocco Bowen, 124; Atta Boy Lucky, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 124; So Legit, Juan Gutierrez, 121.
NOTES: Weekly honors: Trainer-Howard Belvoir (7-2-2-1); Jockey-Leonel Camacho-Flores (9-3-1-0); Owner-Karen Kirshner (2-1-1-0); Groom-Ismael Gutierrez (Jeff Metz); Washington-bred-Stephanie Plum (breeder Dr. & Mrs. Duane Hopp). . .Mike Man’s Gold earned a career-high 80 Beyer for Saturday’s feature race victory in 1:08.01 for six furlongs. A 4-year-old Keith Swagerty homebred by Liberty Gold, Mike Man’s Gold is 6-for-14 with earnings of $128,799. . .Rocco Bowen and Jeff Metz lead the jockey and trainer standings with identical 14-for-34 records. Combined they are a red-hot 11-3-3 in 18 starts. . .When 10-year-old Assessment won Sunday’s eighth race vs. $15,000 claimers, it marked the second straight year that Belvoir won a race with a Longacres Mile winner five years after the Mile victory. In 2013, Belvoir saddled 2008 Mile winner Wasserman to a win over $12,500 claimers for the final victory of the then 11-year-old gelding’s racing career. With $450,680, Assessment ranks No. 3 in EmD earnings, trailing only Wasserman, $575,024, and Noosa Beach, $465,305. . .2013 EmD Top Juvenile Filly Chu and You makes her season debut Saturday for trainer Robbie Baze in the $50,000 Ross McLeod for 3-year-old fillies at Hastings Racecourse. Chu and You drew the No. 2 post-position and will be ridden by Sal Gonzalez Jr. in the 6 ½-furlong race. . .Dallon’s Gold, the only horse to defeat Chu and You last year, competes in a$22,000 allowance race Sunday at Turf Paradise. . .Sunday is closing day at Turf Paradise and trainer Frank Lucarelli entered both Michael the Man and Bobby Handy in the $35,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap at 1 7/8 miles. . .Jockey Joe Steiner rides both Saturday stakes at Hastings, Aspen Getaway in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province for 3-year-olds and Two Pump in the Ross McLeod. . . Nominations close Saturday for the $50,000 Hastings Handicap for older fillies and mares at six furlongs. The 19th running of the Hastings, set for Sunday, May 11, is the first of 29 stakes worth $1.6 million to be run at the 2014 meet. . . Stopshoppingdebbie figures to headline the Hastings Handicap, and trainer Tom Wenzel said the unbeaten 4-year-old filly will have one more work before the race. . .Javier Matias rides Saturday’s opening day card at Les Bois Park including mounts on Spot of Salt in the $12,000 Inaugural for 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs and Kr Streakin Version in a $10,000 allowance race for Quarter Horses at 350 yards. . .Sunday, May 18, is a big day for owner Dr. Raymond Kwik, as siblings Winning Machine runs in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs and Champagneandcaviar runs in the $100,000 Adoration (G3) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita. . .A couple of last year’s Emerald Downs champions had workouts Thursday. Del Rio Harbor, 2013 Top Juvenile Male, worked a half-mile in :48 4/5, and 2013 Top Washington-Bred Stryker Phd breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.