Ima Happy Cat and Rocco Bowen clear in the stretch en route to capturing the $50,000 Seattle Stakes on Sunday. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO

Ima Happy Cat and Rocco Bowen clear in the stretch en route to capturing the $50,000 Seattle Stakes on Sunday. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO

Ima Happy Cat prevails in $50,000 Seattle Stakes

Filly delivers 2½-length triumph over Bella Mia

  • Monday, May 21, 2018 11:21am
  • Sports

Ima Happy Cat collared the leaders into the stretch and drew clear for a 2½-length triumph over Bella Mia in the $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Emerald Downs.

With Rocco Bowen riding at 118 pounds, Ima Happy Cat ran six furlongs in 1:09.68 and paid $6.40, $3.20 and $2.60. Dan Markle is the trainer for owners Tim and Sue Spooner of Olympia.

With the victory, Ima Happy Cat made a successful leap from maiden special weight winner to stakes winner, a notoriously difficult feat in Thoroughbred racing.

“She’s just a real quality filly,” Markle said.

Markle said Ima Happy Cat lost a shoe on the walk over before the race, but stood still like a pro while being re-shod in the paddock.

Ima Happy Cat was all business in the race too, stalking Bella Mia and Brilliant Bird through fractions of :21.76 and :44.37, launching a three wide bid around the turn, overtaking the leaders into the lane and drawing clear for the victory.

“When I straightened her up in the stretch, I was loaded with horse today,” Bowen said. “She got a monster figure in her (maiden) win at Golden Gate, she’s a great horse.”

A California-bred by Smiling Tiger-Infernal McGoon, Ima Happy Cat is 2-1-1 in four starts with earnings of $53,705. She earned $26,950 for winning the Seattle.

Bella Mia, a slight choice over Ima Happy Cat in the wagering, gamely held second and paid $3.20 and $2.60. Winner of three stakes last year, Bella Mia earned $9,800 to push her earnings over the $100,000 mark for owners John and Janene Maryanski of Auburn. Emerald Downs and Washington champion as a 2-year-old, Bella Mia is 4-1-0 in six starts with earnings of $101,323,

Brilliant Bird also held on well in the stretch, finishing third, and paid $3.40 to show. Her career mark is 1-1-1 in three starts with earnings of $21,225.

Diamonds R, Spot On, Stay in Grace and Gold Supply completed the order of finish.

Sophomore fillies reconvene June 10 for the $50,000 Kent Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs.

Notes

Rocco Bowen has 26 stakes wins at Emerald Downs, tied with Gary Baze for No. 6 all-time. … Bowen, Eswan Flores and Julien Couton rode two winners each Sunday. … Jeff Metz was the only trainer with two wins. … 4-year-old filly No Talking Back ($10) made it two straight with a victory over stable mate Racy Rascal in the Sunday opener, an $18,500 optional claimer for older fillies and mares. Anne Sangunietti was aboard for trainer Chris Stenslie and owners Jody Peetz and Steve Shimizu. Incidentally, Infernal McGoon, dam of Seattle Stakes winner Ima Happy Cat, is also the grandmother of No Talking Back. … Exotic Animal races were held after Races 4, 5 and 6: Jorge Rosales rode West Seattle Hump to victory in the camel race, although the highlight was ”Meatball Paul” Johnson lugging out while finishing second aboard Donald Hump; Luis Gonzalez guided Screetch to victory in the ostrich race; and Tena Birdwell rode Noosa Zebra to a triumph in the first-ever zebra-race at Emerald Downs. … Owner Mike (Muddy) Waters rode in the ostrich race and also collected a Thoroughbred victory as Dreamrider ($8.20) drew off for an easy victory in race eight. … Live racing resumes Friday at 6:30 p.m., and includes a $5,535 carryover in the $0.20 Jackpot Pick 7.

More in Sports

Ravens spell doubles trouble for Raiders, post 3-2 win | NPSL Olympic girls tennis

Behind a sweep in doubles play, Auburn Riverside turned back Thomas Jeffferson… Continue reading

He’s Not Grey and Gary Wales score the feature victory on opening day at Emerald Downs. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO
He’s Not Grey sparkles on opening day

67-day meeting continues through Sept. 22 and includes 27 stakes

The Sockers’ Landon Donovan, left, and the Stars’ Vince McCluskey vie for the ball during Game 2 Saturday night at San Diego. COURTESY, Stars
Stars season ends in OT loss to San Diego, 7-6

Sockers sweep first-round, two-game series

Another no-no for Nate

Weeldreyer silences TJ as Auburn Mountainview rolls to 11-0 win

Ravens bounce Titans, move to 9-1 in league | NPSL Olympic girls tennis

Auburn Riverside defeated Todd Beamer 4-1 in a North Puget Sound League… Continue reading

Jefferson delivers unanimous decision against Gee in welterweight main event

Fight Night Brawl VII returns to Green River College

Grand day: Podliska powers Lions past Hornets 16-8 | NPSL Olympic softball

Emma Podliska launched a grand slam home run to lead Auburn Mountainview… Continue reading

Reporter honors the Lions’ Hilderbrand, Penn

Auburn Mountainview High School’s Kenzie Hilderbrand, water polo, is the Auburn Reporter’s… Continue reading

Most Read