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EMERALD DOWNS: Wasserman back on top with win in Muckleshoot Tribal Classic at Washington Cup VII

Wasserman returned to the winner’s circle Sunday with a hard-fought 1- ¼-length victory over Scalding Passion in the $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic for older horses at Emerald Downs.

With Jennifer Whitaker riding at 118 lbs., the 7-year-old gelding ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 and paid $3.20 as the betting favorite. For the 2008 Longacres Mile winner, it was his first victory since last year’s Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, which he also won in 1:42 flat.

This year, Wasserman had been upstaged by his stable-mate Assessment, who had outrun Wasserman in all seven outings at the meeting, including the Longacres Mile. Wasserman had run well, however, including a fast-closing fourth in The Mile, and thus was heavily favored Sunday.

A Kentucky-bred, Assessment is ineligible for Washington Cup, which is a series of seven races for Washington-bred runners in all divisions worth $350,000 in purses.

Perhaps fearing that Scalding Passion would steal away on a lonely lead, Wasserman and Whitaker attacked earlier than usual, and they stalked Scalding Passion through six furlongs in 1:10 4/5. Wasserman made his move into the stretch, and gradually wore down Scalding Passion late to win going away.

Scalding Passion was clearly second, followed by Exclusive Eagle, C.R. Sawyer and Margo’s Gift.

The track’s all-time leading earner with $498,812, Wasserman earned $27,025 to increase his overall total to $518,549. He has compiled a 10-10-7 record in 47 starts, 39 coming at Emerald Downs.

“It’s not a job, it is like being on a friend," said Whitaker, who gets on Wasserman every morning and has been up for nearly all of the gelding’s races.

"(Wasserman) pretty much let’s you do whatever you want. After the break, he just took off. He’s ridden different every race and I think he had been storing it up for this one. When I let him go he just locked down. He was perfectly comfortable during the race and it was the first time he didn’t get dirt kicked in his face.”

Owned, bred and trained by Howard Belvoir, Wasserman could return to Emerald Downs in 2010. Belvoir said the gelding would winter at Coal Creek Farms in Enumclaw, and hopefully return to training as an 8-year-old.

Wasserman and Ladyledue in the John & Kitty Fletcher Stakes became the first horses to repeat as Washington Cup champions. Sunday was the seventh year of the event.

1:07! ATTA BOY ROY SETS TRACK & STATE RECORD

Atta Boy Roy continued his amazing season with a gate-to-wire, 10-¾-length victory in the $50,000 Chinook Pass Sprint for older horses. The 4-year-old Tribunal colt ran six furlongs in a track and state record 1:07.

With Ricky Frazier riding at 123 lbs., Atta Boy Roy set splits of :21 1/5, :43 1/5 and :55 en route to the record clocking. Valorie Lund is the trainer for owners Roy and Ellie Schaefer of Port Orchard, Wash.

The prohibitive favorite, Atta Boy Roy paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. The colt has seven wins in 15 starts with earnings of $134,325. Sunday’s win was worth $27,025. Patricia Murphy and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Pabst bred Atta Boy Roy.

Fifth in the Longacres Mile last month—in which he set the fastest quarter, half and three-quarter-mile splits in the 74-year history of the race—Atta Boy

Roy has had a spectacular season and is likely to earn Top Sprinter honors in two weeks. His other two starts at the meet were an allowance victory in which he tied Starbird Road’s track record of 1:07 2/5 for six furlongs, and a victory in the Governor’s Handicap in which he ran the fastest 6 ½-furlongs of the meet—1:14 1/5—while defeating subsequent Longacres Mile winner Assessment.

“He’s the fastest thing I’ve ever been on,” Frazier said.

Chickasaw Park rallied for second place, followed by Poncho, Bound to Be M V P and Immigration. The defending Chinook Pass Sprint champion, Bound to Be M V P pressed the pace and gave way into the stretch.

Grey Papa set the former state record of 1:07 1/5 at Longacres on Sept. 4, 1972.

KOALA BEACH DOMINATES DENNIS DOdGE STAKES

Koala Beach overpowered five foes and posted an eight-length victory in the $50,000 Dennis Dodge Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings. With Gallyn Mitchell riding at 120 lbs., Koala Beach ran 6-½ furlongs in 1:15 3/5 and paid $3, $2.20 and $2.10.

Doris Harwood, who has a record 19 wins this season with 2-year-olds, is the trainer for owner and husband Jeff Harwood of Kent, Wash. The Harwoods also combined to win this race last year with Noosa Beach.

A Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold, Koala Beach was stakes placed three times this season—all against Hollywood Harbor—before Sunday’s rout. Overall, the gelding has a 2-2-1 record in five starts with earnings of $55,718—including $26,178 for the win in the Dodge.

Edaciously finished in second place, followed by Private Jettz, Fast Trade, Movie Clip and Tough Road. Hollywood Harbor, meanwhile, is pointed to the $75,000 Gottstein Futurity on Sept. 26.

CLAIR ANNETTE UPSETS GADGET QUEEN IN BELLE ROBERTS STAKES

Clair Annette returned from a three-month layoff with a 1-½ length victory over 1-2 betting favorite Gadget Queen in the $50,000 Belle Roberts Stakes for older fillies and mares.

Expertly rated by jockey Seth Martinez at 121 lbs., Clair Annette ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 2/5 and paid $7.60. Trained by Connie Bouslaugh for owner-breeder Nina Egbert of Enumclaw, Wash., Clair Annette had never raced beyond 6-½ furlongs in her career.

Breaking from the rail, Clair Annette established a clear early lead and set fractions of :23 1/5, :46 4/5 and 1:11 for six furlongs. Gadget Queen and Ricky Frazier ranged up outside of Clair Annette in mid-stretch, but Martinez had saved something for the finish.

“At the top of the stretch she took a deep breath, switched leads, and it was all over,” Martinez said.

Gadget Queen finished five lengths ahead of third-place finisher Enumclaw Girl, while Pretty Maid, Perhaps Perhaps and She’s All Silk completed the order of finish.

A 6-year-old Washington-bred by Bea Genius, Clair Annette has eight wins in 16 starts, including a 4-¾ length triumph in the May 17 Hastings Park Handicap at six furlongs. The $26,178 winner’s share pushed her bankroll to $106,063. Clair Annette was voted To Claimer at the 2008 meeting after winning four straight races in gate-to-wire fashion.

HAVE’N A WILD TIME POSTS MAJOR UPSET PAYS $187 FOR SHOW IN DIANE KEM STAKES

In the Diane Kem Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Have’n a Wild Time posted the biggest upset of the day and helped cause the wackiest payouts in track history. The winner rallied from 10th place for a neck victory in 1:16 3/5 for 6-½ furlongs.

Triple stakes winner Knight Raider, the 1-5 betting favorite with over $150,000 wagered on her to show, weakened in the stretch run and finished finished fourth in the 11-horse field. Thus all three of the show payoffs smashed the track record of $38.80 set in 1997.

Have’n a Wild Time, ridden by A.L. Gutierrez at 121 lbs., paid $56.40, $21.40 and $187.

Private Fortune, Troy Stillwell riding, finished second at 35-1 and paid $23.40 and $108.60.

Pistolpackin’gal, Javier Matias riding, finished third at 29-1 and paid $156.40.

Knight Raider dueled through fractions of :21 3/5 and :44 1/5, led to deep stretch and wekaned late.

A Washington-bred by Free At Last, Have’n a Wild Time entered the race a maiden, with fourth and third-place finishes in her two previous starts. Bred by Renee Larrabee, trained by Tom Wenzel and owned by Ron Crockett Inc., Have’n a Wild Tim earned $25,000 for the victory.

It was quite a race for Crockett as he also owns third-place finisher Pistolpackin’gal. It was the first Emerald Downs stakes win for A.L. Gutierrez.

QUINALT RALLIES FOR 17-1 SHOCKER IN TROOPER SEVEN STAKES

Quinalt rallied boldy and snapped a 10-race losing streak with a 1¼-length victory in the $50,000 Trooper Seven Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

With Gary Gavica riding at 117 lbs., Quinalt ran one mile in 1:36 3/5 and paid $36.20. It was Gavica’s first Emerald Downs stakes win.

Owned by Maria Isabel Moreno of Federal Way and trained by Carlos Moreno, Quinalt hadn’t won for his new connections, which claimed him for $25,000 last Februray. The Harbor the Gold gelding had ran some good races, however, including a second in the Oregon Derby. A son of Matricule, Quinalt has a 2-3-2 record from 13 starts with earnings of $56,193.

Who’s Your Next Ex, ridden by Deborah Hoonan, held on tenaciously for second place, a nose ahead of third-place finisher Siberian Cocktail. He’s All Heart finished fourth, followed by Roy’s Tops, Toss’m Again, Big Liberty and Eighty Eight.

LADYLEDUE BACK IN STYLE IN JOHN & KITTY FLETCHER STAKES

Ladyledue rebounded from her first career defeat with a resounding 3-¼ -length victory over Point of Reference in the $50,000 John & Kitty Fletcher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

With Ricky Frazier riding at 121 lbs., Ladyledue came from just off the pace for her fourth stakes win of the year and her sixth overall at Emerald Downs. The Slewdledo filly ran one mile in 1:35 3/5 and paid $7.

Slewdledo won her first five career starts—all stakes races—before finishing sixth to No Flies On Doodle in the July 19 Washington’s Lottery Handicap. The filly had been bothered by a foot problem, and the Kem was her first start back.

Bred in Washington by Ken Paulson, Patricia Paulson and Bar C Racing Stable, Slewdledo has compiled a 6-0-0 mark in seven starts with earnings of $147,271 for owner Jon Sather of Manson, Wash. Ladyledue also won the Diane Kem Stakes on the 2008 Washington Cup program.

Point of Reference, the 7-5 betting favorite ridden by Javier Matias, rallied strongly into the stretch but was out-finished by the winner. Point of Reference finished second in all three outings at the meet: Washington’s Lottery Handicap, Washington Oaks and John & Kitty Fletcher Stakes.

Glo Bou Liza ran a strong race to finish third at 14-1 odds, and No Flies On Doodle, bidding for a third straight stakes win, finished fourth.

NOTES: Racing resumes Thursday with first post at 6 p.m. The season continues through Sunday, Sept. 27.

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