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Trackattacker appears triple tough in $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
The morning line in Saturday's $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes tells the tale – undefeated Trackattacker is an unprecedented 1-to-9 in the 6½ furlong dash for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
In fact, line-maker Rob Rao had no choice but to make the talented Harbor the Gold gelding the shortest morning line favorite in track history. In two starts, Trackattacker has dominated foes like no other 2-year-old Emerald Downs has seen*blitzing maidens by nine lengths in a track record :49.98 for 4½ furlongs, and then drilling five over-matched foes by 11 lengths in while setting a stakes record of 1:08.31 in the Emerald Express.
Two wins by a combined 20 lengths, with one track record and one stakes record to boot. Moreover, Trackattacker earned Beyers of 74 and 76 for his efforts; Private Boss, with a 47, is the next highest Beyer in the WTBOA Lads Stakes.
As for Trackattacker's connections, they're excellent too. Leslie Mawing is the leading rider and stakes rider at the meet, while trainer Frank Lucarelli and owner Roy Schaefer (R.E.V. Racing) just connected with Mebossman for a $13 upset in Sunday's $74,250 Emerald Downs Derby.
"Actually, I'm a little surprised by the race," Lucarelli said of the WTBOA Lads. "I was thinking there might be two or three other horses in there. Awesome Indian and O B Harbor are nice colts, but they didn't enter the race."
Regardless of the odds, Lucarelli has learned to take nothing for granted in Thoroughbred racing. No. 2 all-time with 790 wins at Emerald Downs, he's savvy enough to realize you don't get a first-place check just for showing up.
"You know how it is with these (2-year-olds)," he said. "You have to run the race and you have to win the race. Things can happen. But (Trackattacker) is doing good, he's sharp and ready to go."
• The WTBOA Lads is race 8 at 5:54 p.m.
• Trackattacker was 1-to-20 when he won the Emerald Express, paying an Emerald Downs' stakes record low $2.10 to win. Trackattacker also accounted for $125,848 of the $129,636 wagered in the show pool.
• Trackattacker is Mawing's only mount on the nine-race card. He plans to sneak away from close friend Pat Perry's wedding to ride Trackattacker, and be back in time for the reception.
The field for Saturday's $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes (from the rail out, with morning line and weight): Moby, Gallyn Mitchell, 114 pounds, 8-1; Trackattacker, Leslie Mawing, 120, 1-9; Private Boss, Eliska Kubinova, 114, 10-1; Bolshoi's Bluff, 114, 15-1; Brewingintheblue, David G. Lopez, 114, 20-1.
Hard-running Pippa Bou Peep seeks maiden score
Trainer Charles Essex would receive an early birthday present if Pippa Bou Peep emerged victorious in Sunday's $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.
Essex, who turns 50 next Thursday, co-owns Pippa Bou Peep with David and Linda Olson of Maple Valley, envisions the little chestnut running another good race in the Shinpoch.
"She's a real smart filly, and I think that's what helps her out a lot," Essex said. "I'm not sure she's a monster filly, but she does everything right. She just runs in the lane and she doesn't make many mistakes and I think that makes her a little better as a young horse."
Pippa Bou Peep, still a maiden, comes off a runner-up finish to the sidelined Ethan's Baby in the July 27 Angie C Stakes. By Harbor the Gold-Annie's Bou Peep, she has finished well in all four of her races, compiling two seconds, two thirds and $18,132 in earnings. Moreover, maidens have fared well in the Shinpoch with both Sweet Saga (2011) and Lady Golightly (2010) earning diplomas in the race.
A stretch-runner, Pippa Bou Peep stretches to 6½ furlongs after finishing well at 4 ½, five, five and six furlongs.
"I think the distance will help her a lot," Essex added. "I wish we'd get a mile with her, but we'll have to do that next year. She's so easy to ride that I had her teach a couple of gals how to gallop and they got their licenses on her. She's kind of a pet."
Seeking the Light, who had a ton of trouble while finishing a distant third at 6-to-5 in the Angie C, gets a rider switch to Leslie Mawing, who has already won seven of 16 stakes at the meeting.
• The Barbara Shinpoch Stakes is race eight at 5:39 p.m.
• Although Chu and You (2013) and Blueberry Smoothie (2012) won the last two Shinpochs gate-to-wire, closers have fared well in the stakes; Sweet Saga (2011), Lady Golightly (2010), Cherokee Echo (2008) and Smarty Deb (2007) all rallied from over five lengths back to win the Shinpoch.
• The Press Box Podcast, hosted by Jacob Pollowitz and Vince Bruun, will feature the Barbara Shinpoch Stakes with the live race call from track announcer Robert Geller, Joe Withee's Winner's Circle interview, plus full stakes analysis and recap. To listen to the live or archived edition, please visit emeralddowns.com
The field for Sunday's $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes (from the rail out with weight): Pippa Bou Peep, Eliska Kubinova, 113; Jazz Queen, Anne Sanguinetti, 113; Seeking the Light, Leslie Mawing, 115; Seattles Best Copy, Rocco Bowen, 113; Bella Colomba, Jose Zunino, 113; Val de Saire, Gallyn Mitchell, 113; Sneaking a Kiss, Jennifer Whitaker, 113; Boss Lori, David G. Lopez, 113.
Weekly honors: Jockey-Juan Gutierrez (10-5-1-1); Trainer-Terry Gillihan (2-2-0-0); Owner-R.E.V. Racing LLC (1-1-0-0); Groom-Christina Roman (Martin Pimentel); Washington-bred-Mebossman (breeder Rick & Debbie Pabst). ... Trainer Frank Lucarelli said Emerald Downs Derby winner Mebossman would be pointed to the $50,000 Washington Cup race for 3-year-olds on Sunday, September 7. ... Trainer Charles Essex said he plans to train a string of runners at Turf Paradise this fall/winter, his first foray in four years to the Phoenix track. ... Ricky Frazier will have a big day Saturday at Emerald Downs. The former riding great autographs posters from 3-to-5 p.m. by the paddock, with proceeds to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and that night he will be enshrined into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame, along with trainer Ben Harris, male horse Chum Salmon, filly & mare Delicate Vine and breeders William C. & Barbara Nelson Jr. ... Longacres Mile nominee Commander is the 6-to-5 morning line favorite in the $50,000 Westerner Handicap for 3-year-olds and up Saturday at Northlands Park. ... Two Emerald Downs-based horses nominated to The Mile, Perfect Night and Dare Me Devil, are entered in Sunday's sixth race for older $32,000 claimers at 6 ½ furlongs. Dare Me Devil has won two straight at 6½ furlongs and earned a career-high 90 Beyer while edging Scat Daddybaby in 1:13.64 on Sunday, August 3. ... Boise Derby winner Dark Brago invades from Les Bois Park to run in Sunday's seventh race for 3-year-old allowance/optional claimers at 6½ furlongs. A Kentucky-bred Swiss Yodeler gelding, Dark Brago is 3-for-3 by a combined 17 ¾ lengths this year at Les Bois, and trainer Dru Hall is 43-for-118 at the Idaho track. Hall also plans to enter Idaho Cup Classic winner Floating Feather in the Longacres Mile. ... Hall also entered Idaho Cup Distaff Derby winner Jude Rocks in Sunday's ninth race for allowance/optional claiming 3-year-old fillies at 6½ furlongs. The five-horse field includes last year's Emerald Downs 2-year-old filly champion Chu and You entered for a $50,000 claiming price. ... Weights for the Longacres Mile will be released Saturday, and entries drawn 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Emerald Room. ... The 79th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile is Sunday, Aug. 24, with the Grade 3 event scheduled as race seven at 5:01 p.m. The $65,000 Emerald Distaff featuring unbeaten Stopshoppingdebbie is race nine at 5:59 p.m. ... Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of Stopshoppingdebbie's first race, a seven-length victory over Innocent Love in 1:02.97 for 5½ furlongs. It's the only non-stakes victory in the 4-year-old filly's eight-race career. ... Sunday's 10-race program begins with three Quarter Horse races; the first two 440-yard trials for the $60,000 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge on Sunday, August 31. Chicks Special Angel, a troubled fourth at 3-to-5 in last year's B of A Emerald Downs Championship Challenge, heads the first division, which also features prolific winner Rf Pistol Pete. A 6-year-old Oregon-bred mare, Chicks Special Angel is 13-for-20 lifetime for trainer Juan Sanguino, while Rf Pistol Pete, a 6-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding, set a single-season Quarter Horse record with five wins last year at Emerald Downs. The second division features Ambush Alley, a razor-sharp 6-year-old California-bred, and Rogue County, a 4-year-old Oregon-bred coming off a stakes victory at Prineville. ... Perfect weather is forecast at Emerald Downs this week: 79 degrees Friday, 82 Saturday and 83 Sunday.