STRAWBERRY DAWN TAKES SUNDAY FEATURE,
JOCKEY FELIPE VALDEZ BACK IN WINNER’S CIRCLE
AUBURN, Wash. (April 13, 2014) – The classy 3-year-old filly Strawberry Dawn rallied for an impressive 8 ½-length victory Sunday in the featured $18,900 Muckleshoot Tribal Purse at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Emerald Downs’ newcomer Felipe Valdez at 118 lbs, Strawberry Dawn ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.08 and paid $5.40, $2.20 and $2.20. Dan Markle is the trainer for owners/breeders Sue & Tim Spooner of Olympia, Wash.
For Valdez, a 35-year-old native of Mexico City, the victory was his first since suffering a fractured vertebra December 19, 2010, at Hollywood Park.
“I want to thank Dan Markle, the Spooners, and everybody else who made this possible,” Valdez said. “It means a lot to be able to come back and win a nice race on a good filly like (Strawberry Dawn).”
One of the track’s top 2-year-old fillies last year while placing in two stakes races, Strawberry Dawn appears destined to write headlines again in 2014. A Washington-bred by Tribal Rule-Ruby Dawn, Strawberry Dawn rallied boldly in Sunday’s race, going from last to first around the turn before drawing clear late for the easy victory. Her overall record is 2-2-0 in five starts with earnings of $39,113.
The Spooners perennially rank near the top of the track’s owners’ standings. In fact, they have four straight top-10 finishes and rank No. 2 all-time with 157 wins at Emerald Downs.
Charismata, the 7-to-10 wagering favorite ridden by Isaias Enriquez at 118 lbs, held second place and paid $2.20 and $2.20.
K K’s Wonderwoman, ridden by Juan Gutierrez at 119 lbs, finished third and paid $4.60. See My Tail Lites and Simba’s Sis completed the order of finish.
NOTES: After a record-tying five-win day Saturday, Jeff Metz “only” had two winners Sunday and finished the weekend with a 7-3 lead over Frank Lucarelli in the trainers’ standings. . .Lucarelli also had two wins Sunday. . .Rocco Bowen had a second straight riding triple and owns a 6-4 lead over Eliska Kubinova and defending riding champion Isaias Enriquez in the jockeys’ standings. . .Surprise Sale ($4.60) might not appear in the richest races on the card, but there’s no denying the gelding’s will to win. A 4-year-old California-bred by Don’tsellmeshort, Surprise Sale is 7-1-0 in 10 lifetime starts after a win in the third race for older $5,000 claimers. Surprise Sale was claimed Sunday by trainer Sam Dronen. . .Congrats to trainer Howie Gibson for a one-two finish in race six with Hip Hop City ($12.80) and runner-up One Lucky Hoss. . .Professor Pollowitz, off to a great start again in 2014, selected Hip Hop City as his Play of the Day. . .Stormy Lucy, whose career debut was at Emerald Downs in 2011, won her second straight graded race Sunday with a victory in the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (G3) for older fillies and mares on turf. . .10-time Emerald Downs’ training champion Tim McCanna broke into the 2014 win column as Ron Crockett’s 5-year-old mare Once Upon a Song ($3.20) cruised to victory under Eliska Kubinova in race eight. . .Crockett, No. 1 all-time among owners with 235 wins at Emerald Downs, added a second victory Sunday as 4-year-old filly Spot On Babe ($4.40) prevailed in Race 10. . .Leslie Mawing’s win on Spot On Babe was the 40-year-old rider’s 496th victory at Emerald Downs. He needs four wins to become only the seventh rider to win 500 races here.