Sports

Disruption has unique connection for Sunday's $200,000 Longacres Mile | Emerald Downs

Nelson Family Racing
Nelson Family Racing's Disruption and jockey Eliska Kubinova head for the Winner's Circle after a June 14 allowance victory at Emerald Downs. The 4-year-old Street Boss gelding goes for glory Sunday in the 79th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) for 3-year-olds and up.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Erin Palmer, Emerald Downs

For the Reporter

Of the 12 horses entered in Sunday's $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3), Disruption has the fewest starts, seven, and has never won a stakes race. That's the bad news.

Now for the good: the 4-year-old Street Boss gelding is coming up to Sunday's Grade 3 race in wonderful shape. Trainer Monique Snowden has Disruption peaking for the big race. The Mile marks his third start of the season, a campaign that already yielded a sharp allowance win over I Keep Saying at 6½ furlongs, and a third to Stryker Phd and Dontmesswithkitten in the Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.

Disruption only needs slight improvement to be considered a bona fide threat Sunday. Without question the Florida-bred 4-year-old looks and acts the part, his muscular frame topped by a copper penny coat that gleams with good health.

Snowden, who took over training Disruption last winter for owner Heidi Nelson, is enjoying the prestige that comes with training a Longacres Mile-type horse.

"Basically, I've given up any kind of life to take care of him all day long and he's paid me back so much," Snowden said. "The (Mt. Rainier Handicap) was so much pressure because we knew we'd have to do well otherwise we wouldn't have made it in The Mile.

"I've never seen him this good before," Snowden added. "His workouts are amazing. His attitude is amazing. He might win. He might not. But he'll be right there."

If Disruption wins Sunday, it would mark the first ever Mile won by a horse with all female connections. Jockey Eliska Kubinova completes Team Disruption, and said post-position No. 5 should suit her horse fine.

"I'm very happy with the post," said Kubinova, fresh off her first Emerald Downs stakes victory on Pippa Bou Peep in the last Sunday's Barbara Shinpoch Stakes. "I wanted No. 4, but this is as close as you can be.

"I think he's getting a lot stronger now," Kubinova added. "I'm not going to worry about the other horses, I'll have my own plan out there."

Disruption is drawn between what figure to be his two main pace rivals – Dontmesswithkitten in post 2 and Scat Daddybaby in post 8 – and Snowden is elated with No. 5.

"I love the post we got," she said. "I think we have enough speed to clear the horses on the inside and we'll make Scat Daddybaby have to run hard to get in front of us.

"I want us to have the lead into the first turn and then if someone really wants it that bad, we'll be happy to just sit right off."

And if all goes well, as the field straightens for home Disruption will have the jump on morning line favorite Stryker Phd and a wall of closers.

Longacres Mile notes

• Post times have been adjusted slightly for both The Mile and Emerald Distaff. The Mile goes as Race 7 at 5 p.m. (one minute earlier than previously scheduled) while the Distaff goes as Race 9 at 5:56 p.m. (three minutes earlier).

• Kubinova would join Jennifer Whitaker (Wasserman, 2008) as the only women jockeys to win The Mile. Coincidentally, Wasserman and Whitaker will lead the post-parade for the 2014 Mile.

• Four women trainers have won the Longacres Mile: Frances Keller, Janet Wig, Shauna Van Oostdam and Doris Harwood. And four have runners in this year's race: Snowden, Chris Stenslie (Dontmesswithkitten), Anita Bolton (Title Contender) and Barbara Heads (Mysterious Soul).

• Boyett arrived from California early Thursday and is stabled with trainer Charles Essex.

• Southern California-based Agapito Delgadillo makes his first Emerald Downs appearance and rides Boyett. A 48-year-old native of Mexico City, Delgadillo has 1,458 career wins. Delgadillo rode two long shot winners Thursday at Del Mar.

• Peter McLoughlin, President of the World Champion Seattle Seahawks, is Honorary Steward for the 2014 Longacres Mile. Former jockey Vicky Baze is Honorary Steward for the Emerald Distaff.

• The $22,575 Pete Pedersen Memorial goes as Race 10 at 6:28 p.m. Longacres Mile nominees I Keep Saying and Floating Feather head the six-horse field that includes El Capone, Carving, Worldventurer and Hard Slider.

• Longacres Mile nominees Handsome Mike and Rock Me Baby are entered in Sunday's $250,000 Del Mar (G2) on turf. The $1-million TVG Pacific Classic highlights the Del Mar card at 5:30 p.m.

$200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3)
Race 7, 5 p.m. (approximate post)
Post, Horse, Jockey, Trainer, WGT, Morning line
1. Jebrica, Alex Bisono, Mike Puhich, 116, 15-1
2. Dontmesswithkitten, Rocco Bowen, Chris Stenslie, 116, 20
3. Prohibition, Isaias Enriquez, Mike Puhich, 118, 3-1
4. Twistgrips, Amadeo Perez, John Snow, 115, 20-1
5. Disruption, Eliska Kubinova, Monique Snowden 116, 12
6. Boyett, Agapito Delgadillo, Mark Glatt, 117, 12-1
7. Title Contender, Rico Wolcott, Anita Bolton, 121, 9/2
8. Scat Daddybaby, Gallyn Mitchell,Robbie Baze, 115, 15-1
9. Stryker Phd, Leslie Mawing, Larry Ross, 121, 5/2
10. Mysterious Soul, Richard Hamel, Barbara Heads, 116, 15-1
11. Mr. Bowling, David G. Lopez, Mike Puhich, 117, 8-1
12. Shooting Jacket, Felipe Valdez, Dino Condilenios, 115, 20-1

TV: Emerald Downs Live on CSN (CSN-179) 2-6 p.m.
Giveaway item: Wasserman bobbleheads
Co-feature: $65,000 Emerald Distaff (Race 9, 5:56 p.m.)
Railbird Rally: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Hosted by Doug Cocke)

Stopshoppingdebbie headlines Emerald Distaff

Stopshoppingdebbie appears set to write another chapter to her already storied career at Emerald Downs. With a victory in Sunday's $65,000 Emerald Distaff at 1 1/8 miles, the 4-year-old Curlin filly would complete her second straight four-race division sweep at Emerald Downs.

As a 3-year-old, Stopshoppingdebbie won the Seattle Handicap, Irish Day Handicap, Kent Handicap and Washington Oaks. As a 4-year-old, she has wins in the Hastings Handicap, Washington State Legislators Stakes and Boeing Handicap.

Including a maiden win in 2012, Stopshoppingdebbie is 8-for-8, earning $211,273 for owner/breeder Northwest Farms. She currently has the most wins of any unbeaten horse in North America, and already has wins at six different distances spanning 5½ furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.

Moreover, a victory Sunday and Stopshoppingdebbie would have sole possession of Emerald Downs' record for most consecutive stakes victories*a mark she currently shares with Ropersandwranglers at seven stakes wins apiece.

In the Distaff, Stopshoppingdebbie carries a stakes record 124 lbs while spotting her rivals from six to 12 pounds, with regular rider Rocco Bowen in the saddle.

"I feel really comfortable with how she's come up to the race," said trainer Tom Wenzel, noting he gave Stopshoppingdebbie a breather following the Boeing win seven weeks ago. "She's gotten a little more aggressive and I think that's a positive. Right now, we're close to being a Grade 3 horse, maybe a Grade 2."

Assuming she remains undefeated, the plan is to find out just how good Stopshoppingdebbie really is. A trip to California for stakes engagements could settle the issue, but for now even the stoical Wenzel admits Stopshoppingdebbie is special.

"Horses that can keep winning races like Stopshoppingdebbie are a different animal," he said. "Horses that string races together, no matter what competition, are pretty serious horses.

"I don't think any distance makes a difference for her. She does have more of a sprinter's body but it doesn't seem to matter."

Aside from Goin to the Window and Blueberry Smoothie, both talented fillies but thus far unable to beat their stable mate, Wando Woman appears the biggest threat on Sunday. A 7-year-old B.C.-bred with earnings of $281,775, Wando Woman finished second to E Z Kitty in last year's Distaff and comes off a victory in the 1 1/8-mile B.C. Cup Distaff.

$65,000 EMERALD DISTAFF
Race 9, 5:56 p.m. (approximate post)
Post, Horse, Jockey, Trainer, WT, ML
1. Stopshoppingdebbie, Rocco Bowen, Tom Wenzel, 124, 2-5
2. Blueberry Smoothie, Javier Matias, Tom Wenzel, 117, 8-1
3. She's Stella Marie, Ronald Richard, Martin Pimentel, 112, 20-1
4. Goin to the Window, Juan Gutierrez, Tom Wenzel, 118, 9-2
5. Wando Woman, Amadeo Perez, Cindy Krasner, 118 5-1

Notes

Weekly honors: Jockey-Ronald Richard (13-3-0-2); Trainer-Charles Essex (4-2-0-2); Owner-Pegasus Too (1-1-0-0); Groom-Lisa Baze (Rigoberto Velasquez); Washington-bred-Pippa Bou Peep (breeders CE Rich & Ann Richardson). ... Former Emerald Downs' rider Joe Crispin rides defending champion Falling Knife for trainer Billy Morey in Sunday $20,000 Humboldt County Marathon at 1 5/8 miles. Run on Ferndale's half-mile oval, the horses cross the finish line five times in the 13-furlong marathon.

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