Jim and Mona Hour’s Stryker Phd was voted Horse of the Meeting, Top Older Horse and Top Washington-bred Sunday as Emerald Downs announced its 2014 season honors on closing day of the track’s 19th season.
A 5-year-old Washington-bred gelding, Stryker Phd was unbeaten in three starts including a smashing last-to-first victory in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3), and also set stakes records while winning the one-mile Budweiser Handicap and 1 1/16-mile Mt. Rainier Handicap. The Larry Ross-trained bay led the meet in earnings, $165,000, and made amends for a runner-up finish in the 2013 Longacres Mile with a stunning five-wide move in the August 24 Mile, rallying from 12th place to win going away in 1:33.67.
Stryker Phd has never been out of the money in 12 starts at Emerald Downs, racking up $272,046 in earnings, and was the first Washington-bred to win The Mile since Noosa Beach in 2010.
Jockey Leslie Mawing, who scored his first Longacres Mile victory with a perfectly-timed ride on Stryker Phd, won his second Emerald Downs riding title with 102 wins, and was voted Top Riding Achievement for his sensational 11-for-24 mark in stakes races.
Horse of the Meeting was hotly contested as Stopshoppingdebbie and Trackattacker also received votes for the track’s top award.
Northwest Farms’ Stopshoppingdebbie was a unanimous choice for Top Older Filly or Mare, after compiling an unprecedented second straight division sweep. The 4-year-old Curlin filly ripped off four straight wins topped by a victory in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff, and improved her career mark to 9-for-9. Tom Wenzel received Top Training Achievement for his work with Stopshoppingdebbie, orchestrating the superstar filly to eight consecutive stakes wins in 2013-14.
Trainer Jeff Metz also continued his amazing success at Emerald Downs. The 47-year-old Californian saddled 49 winners for his second straight training title, joining Tim McCanna and Frank Lucarelli as the only trainers with multiple titles at Emerald Downs. Metz (Saratoga West) also was the meet’s leading owner for the second straight year with 19 wins.
Lucarelli finished second with 41 wins*the 13th time in the last 16 seasons he’s finished either first or second*and also trained Trackattacker to three stakes wins and honors as champion 2-Year-Old Male.
Dare Me Devil, who was racing in $4,000 claiming races two years ago, enjoyed a resurgent campaign and was voted both Top Sprinter and Top Claimer. A 6-year-old Devil On Ice gelding trained by Rigoberto Velasquez for Rancho Viejo and Jerry Carmody, Dare Me Devil finished the season on a 4-1-0 tear including four wins at 6 ½ furlongs and a second in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic
The Emerald Downs Derby, in which Mebossman edged Del Rio Harbor and Noosito in a blanket finish, was voted Race of the Meeting.
Although he was third in the Derby, Last Rose Stable’s Noosito earned honors as Top 3-Year-Old. Trained by Doris Harwood, Noosa Beach’s little brother ripped off three stakes wins and looks to be a major factor next year vs. older horses.
Mike and Amy Feuerborn’s Chu and You was voted Top 3-Year-Old Filly, following a campaign that saw the Robbie Baze trainee net a win and two seconds in stakes company. It was the second straight title for the You and I filly, voted Top 2-Year-Old Filly in 2013.
This year’s 2-Year-old Filly title went to Todd and Shawn Hansen’s Ethan’s Baby, who was 2-for-2 including an explosive 6 ¼-length triumph in the Angie C Stakes.
Emerald Downs 2014 Season Honors
Horse of the Meeting: Stryker Phd (WA)
Top WA-bred: Stryker Phd (WA)
Top Older Horse: Stryker Phd (WA)
Top Sprinter: Dare Me Devil (WA)
Top Older Filly or Mare: Stopshoppingdebbie (KY)
Top 3-year-old Male: Noosito (WA)
Top 3-year-old Filly: Chu and You (WA)
Top Juvenile Male: Trackattacker (WA)
Top Juvenile Filly: Ethan’s Baby (WA)
Top Claimer: Dare Me Devil (WA)
Race of the Meet: Emerald Downs Derby
Leading Jockey: Leslie Mawing (102 wins)
Leading Jockey Stakes Wins: Leslie Mawing (11 wins)
Leading Trainer: Jeff Metz (49 wins)
Leading Trainer Stakes Wins: Doris Harwood (5 wins)
Leading Owner: Saratoga West (19 wins)
Top Riding Achievement: Leslie Mawing (No. 1 in wins & stakes wins)
Top Training Achievement: Tom Wenzel (Stopshoppingdebbie sweeps again)
Durkan Award: Alan Bozell, Doris Harwood
Lindy Award: Eliska Kubinova