Blueberry Smoothie glides to victory in Shinpoch showdown | Emerald Downs
September 23, 2012 · 12:06 PM
As if there was any doubt which barn had the track's best 2-year-old fillies, they were laid to rest Saturday at Emerald Downs.
Blueberry Smoothie dominated her four foes, coasting home for a 5½-length victory in the $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Ridden by Juan Gutierrez at 118 lbs, Blueberry Smoothie ran 6½ furlongs in 1:16.45 and paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10.
Trainer Tom Wenzel and breeder/co-owner Northwest Farms have now captured both open stakes races for 2-year-old fillies at the meeting - finishing first and second with Goin to the Window and Blueberry Smoothie in the Angie C Stakes on Aug. 5, followed by Blueberry Smoothie's handy win Saturday.
Goin to the Window sat out the Shinpoch, as did the immaculately bred Stopshoppingdebbie, another from the Northwest Farms/Wenzel assembly line who some feel might be the best of the three. But with those two out until next year, Blueberry Smoothie pretty much had the Shinpoch to herself, and she didn't disappoint her many backers in the crowd.
After shaking off an early challenge from Song of Seattle, Blueberry Smoothie let out a notch into the lane to open a 2½-length lead, and the rout was on from there.
"The plan was to stay close to the front," Gutierrez said. "When we took the lead, I wanted to get her to relax. I just waited and waited to try save as much horse as I could. Then I asked her and she had plenty left. She's a nice filly."
The victory was worth $27,225 and pushed Blueberry Smoothie's earnings to $46,943 for Northwest Farms (Jerre Paxton) and C & M Racing (Corey Kinder and Mihai Tiru). A Kentucky-bred by Giant's Causeway-Shampoo, BlueberrySmoothie's overall record is 2-1-0 in three starts.
Innocent Love, ridden by Javier Matias, finished well for second place and paid $2.40 and $2.10. A $5,000 supplemental nomination, Innocent Love earned $9,900for finishing second in the Shinpoch.
"I got put a little wide into the turn and I had to close a little more ground on the leader than I wanted," Matias said. "Once I caught up to the leader, I could tell Juan (Gutierrez) was just waiting with his horse. I tried hard to get second because the winner was much the best."
Madame Pele, ridden by Leslie Mawing, finished third and paid $2.40.Agoodlawyer Willdo and Song of Seattle completed the order of finish.
Gutierrez rode four winners on the 11-race card and heads into closing day with a 114-95 lead on Leslie Mawing atop the jockeys' standings. The win on Blueberry Smoothie tied him with Matias for most stakes wins at seven apiece.
Exclusive Diva - also ridden by Gutierrez, trained by Wenzel and co-owned by Northwest Farms -improved to five-for-eight lifetime with a 2½-length victory in the $22,575 allowance for fillies and mares. The $2 daily double combining Blueberry Smoothie and Exclusive Diva paid a track record low $2.60*3-year-old filly Port Wakefield ($16.40) became the meet's 17th four-time winner with a 4¾-length victory under Jennifer Whitaker in race six. Owned and trained by Howard Belvoir, Port Wakefield has won her last three starts by 3¾, 2½ and 4¾ lengths. ... With the win, Whitaker edged back ahead of Debbie Hoonan, 408-407, for all-time leading woman rider at Emerald Downs. ... Jockey William Antongeorgi was off his mounts after tweaking his left knee in the starting gate before Saturday's opener. ...
Jockey Anne Sanguinetti had her first two-win day at Emerald Downs including a pick-up mount on seventh race winner Lafayette Star ($20). A 4-year-old Benchmark filly, Lafayette Star is 12-for-25 lifetime. ... Trainer Neil Knapp saddled a pair of long shot winners: Tenatious Spirit ($20.80) in the second race and Angel Unaware ($12.60) in the fifth. ...
At Stockton, Edward & Theresa DeNike's Cougarstown led all the way for a $38.60 upset in the Harvest Stakes for older fillies and mares. ...
The 2012 live racing season concludes Sunday with an 11-race program at 2 p.m. The $65,000 Gottstein Futurity, the meet's championship event for 2-year-olds, goes as Race 10, and the supporting card includes the Ashbaugh Beal Claiming Challenge, six races with enhanced purses for the meet's top claiming horses.