Class Included has proven her quality time and again—Emerald Downs’ Top 3-year-old filly in 2011, four stakes wins including a remarkable triumph over nemesis Elusive Noise in the Hastings Handicap, and never worse than second in 11 career starts.
But as the probable favorite Sunday in the $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes, Class Included attempts to buck a trend that has seen the last eight favorites get beat in the 6-½-furlong race, including Cliff’s Secret at 6-to-5 last year. In fact, the favorite has won the race only twice in 16 years, the most recent being the great Chilean mare Ema Bovary in 2003.
Class Included, assigned high weight of 122 lbs for Sunday’s 17th running of the Washington State Legislators Stakes, attempts to become only the third horse to win the race under that impost. Ema Bovary in 2003 and Victorina in 2008 both carried 122 lbs to victory in their respective wins.
Class Included has bloodlines in her favor. Her dam, A Classic Life, prevailed by a nose over Queenledo in the 2006 running of the Washington State Legislators Stakes.
Michael and Amy Feuerborn, breeders and owners of both Class Included and A Classic Life, rank second among owners in all-time Emerald Downs stakes wins with 20.
The field from the rail out for the Washington State Legislators Stakes: Sweet Nellie Brown, Javier Matias, 117 lbs; Playful Argument, Joe Crispin, 116; Class Included, Juan Gutierrez, 122; E Z Kitty, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 117; Rewritten, William Antongeorgi, 116; Special Holiday, Leslie Mawing, 117; Elusive Noise, Gallyn Mitchell, 118; Stephanie Plum, Eliska Kubinova, 112.
New Shooters (Didn’t run in Hastings Handicap): Sweet Nellie Brown, Playful Argument, E Z Kitty, Rewritten, Stephanie Plum.
Jockey Data: Through eight weeks and 25 days of racing, Eliska Kubinova has ridden 25 winners and ranks second to Juan Gutierrez in the Emerald Downs’ rider standings. At her current pace, Kubinova would finish with 81 wins and break the single-season apprentice record of 70 wins set in 2009 by Cassie Papineau. Sunday, however, marks her first stakes appearance at Emerald Downs as the 23-year-old Czech has the mount aboard long shot Stephanie Plum at 112 lbs for trainer H.R. Pat Mullens.
Gutierrez, meanwhile, suffered a rare defeat in an EmD stakes last Sunday, but the 42-year-old jockey has been the winning rider in five of the last eight stakes here, dating to last year, and now ranks third all-time with 40 stakes wins at Emerald Downs. Gutierrez, of course, has the mount aboard Class Included and is 3-1-0 on the filly.
Older Fillies & Mares @ Emerald Downs:
Sunday, May 13: $50,000 Hastings Handicap, Class Included ($3.20), 6F-1:09.17
Sunday, June 10: $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes, 6-½ furlongs
Sunday, July 8, $50,000 Boeing Handicap, 1 mile
Sunday, Aug. 19, $65,000 Emerald Distaff, 1-1/8 miles
Sunday, Sept. 9, $35,000 Belle Roberts ®, 1-1/16 miles