Taylor Said is the latest horse to ship into town for The Mile (Photo: Wayne Nagai)
GLADDING SET TO RUN IN $200,000 LONGACRES MILE (G3)
G2 WINNER BRINGS SPEED TO STELLAR FIELD
Trainer John Sadler confirmed Thursday Gladding would make his next start at Emerald Downs in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) Sunday, August 19.
“He’s running,” Sadler sent via text. “One more work to go and then he’ll travel Sunday.”
A Grade 2 stakes winner by Sarava, Gladding has been training steadily in Southern California since his 6-½-length romp in the 1-1/16-mile Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton on July 1. Sadler added that jockey Juan Hernandez, who rode Gladding in the Alamedan, has the call in The Mile. Hernandez, currently stationed at Del Mar, has never ridden at Emerald Downs.
With a career record of 4-4-1-$254,160 in 17 starts, Gladding should be considered one of the Mile favorites. His front-end speed combined with his experience against first-rate competition makes him a serious contender. His biggest victory was in the 2011 San Antonio Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita.
Sadler hopes to pick up his first Emerald Downs’ stakes win before then, as the conditioner has Regal Betty entered in Saturday’s $65,000 Washington Oaks. The Kentucky-bred filly by Congrats looks to improve off her third-place finish to Champagneandcaviar in the July 15 Kent Handicap.
Other Longacres Mile Developments:
· Trainer Craig Dollase said “all is good” with defending Mile champion Awesome Gem but shipping plans haven’t been finalized for the 9-year-old Awesome Again gelding. Awesome Gem worked six furlongs on turf in 1:17-2/5 last Saturday at Del Mar.
· Trainer Keith Nations said Bailouttheminister was scheduled to arrive Thursday and will be stabled with Tom Wenzel at Emerald Downs. That’s a good place to call home since Wenzel is No. 1 with five stakes wins at the meet. Incidentally, Nations was an assistant for Wenzel when The Great Face won the Longacres Mile in 2007.
· Assistant trainer Jim Barnes said no decision has been made on whether to ship Hoorayforhollywood from Del Mar. The 4-year-old Storm Cat colt worked five furlongs in 1:01-1/5 Tuesday at the Seaside oval.
· Owner Glen Todd said he plans to run both Taylor Said and St Liams Halo in the 77th Mile, while his third nominee, Commander, will skip The Mile despite winning three straight stakes races at Northlands Park. According to Todd, Mario Gutierrez, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winning jockey, will ride Taylor Said, while Leslie Mawing, Emerald Downs’ 2011 Leading Rider, has the mount on St Liams Halo.
· Handicap weights, to be released Friday, will be vital since the Mile field is limited to 12 horses and high weights are preferred.
Italian Boy holding off D'honorable One to win the Seattle Slew Handicap
ITALIAN BOY CHASES FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN IN DERBY
Trainer Tim McCanna knows that Italian Boy will need every last drop of stamina Sunday to capture the 1-1/8-mile Emerald Downs Derby, the track’s $65,000 championship event for 3-year-olds.
A speedy colt by Tizbud, Italian Boy has won four straight races at four different distances, including a gate-to-wire victory in the July 15 Seattle Slew Handicap at 1-1/16 miles. While Italian Boy passed his first two-turn test in the Slew, he’ll need to carry his speed an additional half-furlong to make his case for the meet’s Top 3-Year-Old honors. McCanna said he expects Italian Boy to handle the distance as long as he doesn’t go too fast too early.
“He’s pretty fit right now,” McCanna said. “I had him work seven furlongs on Sunday, and he galloped out great. I think he’ll be fine (with the distance), as long as he doesn’t get hooked on the front end.”
A likely pace presence, once again, will be Makors Finale, who had a stranglehold on the sophomore division before being out-dueled by Italian Boy in the Seattle Slew. Before that, the Makors Mark colt had won the division’s first two stakes races with gate-to-wire victories in the Auburn (dead-heat with D’honorable One) and Coca Cola Handicap.
If Italian Boy and Makors Finale decide to tussle early, the pace could set up nicely for stalker D’honorable One. The chestnut son of D’wildcat has yet to finish worse than third in his career, including a dead-heat victory with Makors Finale in the Auburn, and could get the first jump on the leaders Sunday.
The field for the 75th Running of the Emerald Downs Derby (Race 9 @ 6:09 p.m.) carrying 122 lbs.: 1, Makors Finale, Rocco Bowen; 2, Brady’s Kat, Javier Matias; 3, Edge Forward, Juan Gutierrez; 4, D’honorable One, Leslie Mawing; 5, Italian Boy, William Antongeorgi; 6, Faster Than Duke, Eliska Kubinova.
CHAMPAGNEANDCAVIAR WITH MY WASHINGTON OAKS
If Emerald Downs presented an award for Broodmare of the Year, Dance With Carson probably would win in a landslide.
After all, she already has produced three total stakes wins from two different horses at the 2012 meet: Winning Machine (Toccet-Dance With Carson) prevailed in the Governor’s Handicap and Budweiser Handicap and is a top local contender for the Longacres Mile, and Champagneandcaviar (Van Nistelrooy-Dance With Carson) pulled off a 28-to-1 shocker in the $50,000 Kent Handicap and is among the favorites Saturday in the $65,000 Washington Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1-1/8 miles.
A Kentucky-bred by Carson City-Ladies Excuse Me, Dance With Carson raced just five times—three times at Emerald Downs and twice at Golden Gate Fields—and earned a 91 Beyer while breaking her maiden in her final start Nov. 25, 2001. Her four foals that made it to the races are all winners, but before Champagneandcaviar, only Winning Machine had won a stakes race.
In the July 15 Kent Handicap at 1-1/16 miles, Champagneandcaviar re-rallied under Javier Matias and scored by three-quarters of a length over 4-to-5 favorite Exclusive Diva. It was just the second win in 10 career starts for Champagneandcaviar, although she had shown signs of life with a third in the one-mile Irish Day Handicap.
Saturday, Champagneandcaviar and Exclusive Diva travel an additional sixteenth of a mile in the nine-furlong Oaks, with all eight entrants carrying 120 lbs. In the Kent, Champagneandcaviar carried 118 lbs and Exclusive Diva 121.
“I don’t think the distance will limit us at all,” trainer Howard Belvoir said of Champagneandcaviar. “She surprised us last time, especially the speed she showed. She ran a huge race.”
A rebound win by Exclusive Diva would give her three stakes wins at the meet and pretty much clinch the 3-year-old filly championship. She has an overall record of 4-1-1 in six starts and earnings of $108,105 for trainer Tom Wenzel and owner Northwest Farms and Debbie Paxton.
Bernardini, sire of Exclusive Diva, won his only start at 1-1/8 miles by nine lengths in the 2006 Jim Dandy Stakes, and also won twice at 1-1/4 miles and once at 1-3/16 miles in the 2006 Preakness. Puxa Saco, Exclusive Diva’s dam, was a graded winner and earned over $400,000 but never won beyond seven furlongs.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winning rider Mario Gutierrez makes his third appearance of the meet at Emerald Downs to ride Regal Betty.
The field for the 33rd Running of the Washington Oaks (Race 8 @ 5:39 p.m.) carrying 120 lbs.: 1, Stephiano, Jose Zunino; 2, Champagneandcaviar, Javier Matias; 3, Exclusive Diva, Juan Gutierrez; 4, Talk to My Lawyer, Jennifer Whitaker; 5, Royal Moses, Eliska Kubinova; 6, Our Eleanor, William Antongeorgi; 7, Regal Betty, Mario Gutierrez; 8, Whiskey Miner, Leslie Mawing.
GALLYN MITCHELL DOING WELL AFTER HAND SURGERY
According to Denise Mitchell, wife and agent of Gallyn Mitchell, the track’s all-time leading rider underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured right hand and is resting comfortably at home.
“Gallyn really did super during the surgery,” she said. “The procedure was supposed to take more than 90 minutes, and the doctors were done in 30. You know Gallyn’s personality, he had the doctors laughing the whole time.”
To stabilize Gallyn’s hand, Denise Mitchell said the doctors inserted both pins and wires, which he can have removed in approximately six weeks.
Gallyn sustained the injury Sunday as horses were loading for the start of the $50,000 Angie C Stakes. Mitchell’s mount, Blueberry Smoothie, reared up, tossed the jockey to the ground, and then stepped on his hand. A 2-year-old filly by Giant’s Causeway, Blueberry Smoothie changed riders to Leslie Mawing and finished second to stable mate Goin to the Window.
NOTES: Week 17 honors: Jockey-Rocco Bowen (15-3-1-4); Trainer-Tom Wenzel (4-3-1-0); Owners-Sue Spooner & Brenda Woods (2-2-0-0); Groom-Marco Cruz (Dan Markle); Washington Bred-Kooky Saluki (breeder Renee Larrabee)… Leslie Mawing is scheduled to ride four horses Thursday and still needs two wins to reach 2,000 for his career…Goin to the Window was given a 67 Beyer and runner-up Blueberry Smoothie earned a 64 for their one-two finish Sunday in the Angie C Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Wenzel said next stop for the Northwest Farms pair, knock on wood, is the $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at 6-½ furlongs on Sunday, Aug. 26…The best may be yet to come as Northwest Farms and Wenzel have another well-bred firster entered in Sunday’s fourth race for maiden special weight 2-year-old fillies at 5-½ furlongs. Stopshoppingdebbie is by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of Taste the Passion, who already has produced Emerald Downs’ champions Shampoo and Smarty Deb. Stopshoppingdebbie has four bullet works on her tab including a :58-2/5 five-furlong drill from the gate last week…Former Emerald Downs jockey Troy Stillwell rode two winners Wednesday as the Tillamook (Ore.) County Fair began its four-day meeting…On Sunday, owner/breeder Keith Swagerty will join host Jacob Pollowitz from 1:05 to 1:20 p.m. for the “Paddock Preview Show” to talk about Brady’s Kat’s chances in the $65,000 Emerald Downs Derby. The 15-minute special, located in the track paddock, also includes Swagerty and Pollowitz’s handicapping analysis of the day’s card.