Can Chu and You carry her tremendous speed a route of ground? That figures to be a major storyline Sunday as Emerald Downs presents the 19th running of the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at one mile. Eight horses are entered, with Chu and You assigned high weight of 119 lbs, followed by Find Your Spot at 118, and five horses at 115.
Voted Emerald Downs’ Top 2-Year-Old Filly last year, Chu and you has never raced beyond 6 ½ furlongs, but the You and I filly looked her old self while finishing a game second in the June 1 Seattle Handicap. Owned and bred by Mike and Amy Feuerborn and trained by Robbie Baze, Chu and You is 4-1-0 in seven starts with earnings of $97,884.
“I was really happy with Chu and You because she was hooked the whole way, ran the whole way and never gave up,” Baze said of the 6 ½-furong Seattle. “She’s been doing just as well as she was before the last race. She tried to run off with me aboard her today. I look for her to run a big race.”
Baze also saddles Mylast Sweet Pea, a rapidly developing Grindstone filly that is greatly improved for owners Bill and Betty Stiles and Valerie Maria Johnson. In the Seattle, Mylast Sweet Pea finished third at 50-to-1, and her style suggests added distance won’t be an issue.
“Mylast Sweet Pea got in a little trouble in the turn and she still came running, so I was ecstatic about that,” Baze said. “It looks like she wants more ground so this mile should fit her good. I see her moving forward off that race.”
The trainer said Chu and You*despite her diminutive frame and sub-:45 half-mile speed*also acts like one mile is within reach.
“I don’t have any concern with either one of them running two turns,” he said. “They both are great at switching leads. Chu and You has that natural speed, so I look for her to use her speed and then relax. Mylast Sweet Pea is versatile. She can lie close to the pace or come from off it.”
· The Irish Day Handicap, race eight on a 10-race program, goes at 5:40 p.m.
· Trainer Tom Wenzel has saddled the last three winners of the Irish Day, and sends out Timeless Pleasure and Quiet Wisdom this year.
· Sunpenny and Red Ran Back, both nominated to the Irish Day, instead run in an $18,900 optional claimer carded the race after the Irish Day.
The field for Sunday’s $50,000 Irish Day Handicap (from the rail out, with handicap weights): Timeless Pleasure, Javier Matias, 115 lbs; Cheeky Stone, Leslie Mawing, 115; Chu and You, Juan Gutierrez, 119; Belladiva, Ronald Richard, 115; Find Your Spot, Isaias Enriquez, 118; Mylast Sweet Pea, Gallyn Mitchell, 115; Quiet Wisdom, Rocco Bowen, 115; Papa’s Flashy Girl, Anne Sanguinetti, 114.
MEET ELISKA KUBINOVA, FELIPE VALDEZ SATURDAY AT EMERALD AM
Emerald Downs offers another edition of Emerald AM at 9 a.m. Saturday with a jockey-themed edition, followed by a free tram ride touring the track stable area.
Located on the track apron*the perfect vantage point to watch horses training*the two-hour show includes free admission to the day’s races, free coffee, snacks and Official Program.
Hosted by Track Announcer Robert Geller and Media Relations’ Jacob Pollowitz, Emerald AM features jockeys Eliska Kubinova and Felipe Valdez, followed by an exclusive tour through the jockeys’ quarters, which features a first-class locker room, lounge, silks room and more.
Kubinova, the single-season record holder for an apprentice with 75 Thoroughbred wins in 2012, leads female riders with 19 wins this season and currently is tied for fourth overall in the jockeys’ standings. Valdez, in his first season at Emerald Downs, has won aboard three of his last 11 mounts and is up to nine wins for the season.
Remaining Emerald AM’s are Saturday, July 26 (Owner/Trainer theme) and Saturday, September 13(Horses theme).
SUNDAY IS IRISH DAY AT EMERALD DOWNS
Emerald Downs will be dressed in traditional green, white and orange Sunday for the track’s annual Irish Day celebration.
A 10-race card*highlighted by the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap*will be accompanied by live music performed by Crumac, and Irish Dancers from Scoil Rince Slieveloughane. A few Irish Wolfhounds might even be on hand for the festivities.
Special individual Trackside Tent packages, available at $35 for adults and $15 for children, include admission, program, Parker’s tip sheet, double entrée buffet and Trackside Ten seating.
NOTES: Weekly honors: Jockey-Gallyn Mitchell (12-4-1-1); Trainer-Blaine Wright (4-3-0-1); Owner-Pam Gibson & Maureen Hallett (1-1-0-0); Groom-Elodio Madrigal (trainer Bob Meeking); Washington-bred-Point Da Harbor (breeder Neil Sinnema). . .Del Rio Harbor earned a career-high 85 Beyer in Sunday’s 2 ½-length win over Noosito in the $50,000 Coca-Cola Handicap. He is the 33rd horse in track history with four stakes wins, and the fifth trained by Doris Harwood with at least four stakes wins. . .Harwood, No. 1 all-time with 63 stakes wins at EmD, and Gallyn Mitchell, No. 1 all-time with 77 stakes wins at EmD, combined for the win with Del Rio Harbor and are a combined 10-for-35 in stakes at Emerald Downs. . . Polish Dollar goes for his 15th career Emerald Downs’ win in Saturday’s $18,900 co-feature for $40,000 claimers at 6 ½ furlongs. The race features Memphis Beach, winner of two straight and making his first start for trainer Mary Pirone; Mike Man’s Gold, owner of the meet’s fastest six furlongs, 1:08.01; Country Rules, winner of a May 3 optional claimer at 5 ½ furlongs, and Jebrica, second and fourth this year in the Governor’s and Budweiser Handicaps. . . Speaking of Jebrica, the 6-year-old gelding is now owned by Where We At, who also acquired 3-year-old gelding City Shadows and 4-year-old filly Diner’s Diva in a three-horse package from Ron and Rosalie Warren. . .4-year-old filly Tabled With Gold was given a career-high 77 for a hard-earned victory over Kind of Naughty in Sunday’s $20,475 sub-feature for $40,000 claiming fillies and mares. . .Leslie Mawing has opened a 44-35 lead over Rocco Bowen in the jockeys’ standings, and is on pace to finish with 110 wins. . .Mawing ranks first in sprints (35 wins) and routes (9) and is tied with Bowen for most stakes wins (2 each). . .Among jockeys in the Top 10, Javier Matias ranks No. 1 in average $2 win payoff at $17.00. . .Among trainers in the Top 10, Howard Belvoir leads with an average $2 win payoff of $10.60. . .The Seahawks winning the Super Bowl has spawned several ’Hawks-themed horse names, including Twelfth Fan, a 2-year-old Matty G filly that debuts in Saturday’s second race for trainer Bill Tollett and owners Iron Horse Racing & Candice Tollett. . Sunday’s card begins with a Quarter Horse double-header, the 9th and 10th QH races so far this season. Jose Zunino leads the QH jockey standings with three wins while Robbie Baze and Baxter Andruss are tied for first with two training wins each. . .Sunday’s fourth race, a $17,850 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds at five furlongs, includes several promising prospects. Bakken Gold, a full brother to triple EmD stakes winner Carrabelle Harbor, debuts for Rosie Simkins; Bolshoi’s Bluff, the first foal out of $167,921 earner Bolshoi’s Ballet, is entered by David Martinez; and Daytona Beach is the first foal out of 13-time Emerald Downs’ winner Hit a Star. Doris Harwood, who also conditioned Hit a Star, trains Daytona Beach for Vital Signs Stable & Jeff Harwood. . .Emerald Racing Club is back in action Sunday as Dancing Yodeler runs in race seven for $5,000 claimers at six furlongs. The 6-year-old Swiss Yodeler gelding faces nine opponents with a combined 46 wins at Emerald Downs. . . Quizzical, sixth to Stopshoppingdebbie in the Hastings Handicap, is entered in the $100,000 Oak Tree Distaff for older fillies and mares Saturday at Pleasanton. . .Defending champion Game On Dude headlines Saturday’s $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. The 10-race card features four graded stakes events. . .Santa Anita closes its extended meet Sunday with the 75th running of the $200,000 San Juan Capistrano (G2) at 1 ¾ miles on turf. . .Les Bois Park has a big day Friday with the $20,535 Boise Derby for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds at seven furlongs, and the $150,131 Bitterroot Futurity for 2-year-old Quarter Horses at 350 yards. . .Hastings Racecourse offers four $50,000 stakesMonday on its Canada Day card, including Budweiser Handicap runner-up Mr. Bowling in the $50,000 Lieutenant Governors’ Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.