The third and final week of the 2018 Washington Cup drew a combined 18 runners for Sunday’s stakes twin bill, featuring the $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic and $50,000 WA Cup Filly & Mare presented by Xpressbet.com.
Mike Man’s Gold, a 19-time winner at Emerald Downs, heads a field of eight older horses in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic at 1 1/16 miles, while defending champion Exit Sixty Slew tops a field of 10 in the WA Cup Filly & Mare at 1 1/16 miles.
Mike Man’s Gold is competing in his sixth Washington Cup and his third Muckleshoot Tribal Classic. He won the race as a 4-year-old in 2014, earning a career-high 93 Beyer while running 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.13, and finished a close third last year to Mach One Rules and Dedicated to You. Co-owned by trainer Joe Toye and Greg and Chuck Conley, the 8-year-old Liberty Gold gelding is 19 for 44 at Emerald Downs with earnings of $291,481 and is just two wins shy of tying West Seattle Boy’s all-time record of 21 wins at Emerald Downs.
Elliott Bay and Hey Sequoia, third and fourth to Sippin Fire in the WA Cup Sophomore two weeks ago, are entered back in the Muckleshot Tribal Classic. Both are eligible for the $100,000 Getaway Day Stakes on Sept. 23, but that would mean another look at Sippin Fire, whose four stakes wins make him a strong candidate for Horse of the Meeting.
The WA Cup Filly & Mare lured a deep field including 3-year-olds Dontkissntell and Brilliant Bird, who finished first and second in the WA Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes two weeks ago. With a victory Sunday, Dontkissntell would become the first horse to win two WA Cup races in one year.
Blaine Wright, who sends out Pulpits Power in the Tribal Classic, also has a strong hand in the Filly & Mare with Exit Sixty Slew and Fly Far Away who have finished in the money in a combined 9 of 10 starts at the meet. In last year’s race, Exit Sixty Slew scored by 3½-lengths over 1-to-5 favorite Citizen Kitty. Remarkably, Wright swept all four open older filly and mare events this year with different horses: Invested Prospect, Alliford Bay, Top Quality and Reginella.
Trainer Chris Stenslie also has a strong one-two punch in the Filly & Mare with No Talking Back and Guardian One. After beginning the meet with a pair of runaway allowance wins, No Talking Back finished second, third and third in the Washington State Legislators, Boeing Stakes and Emerald Distaff. Guardian One has also been steady, compiling a 3-2-1 record in six starts with victories sprinting and routing.
Sailingforthesun, stakes-placed four times in 2017 at Hastings Racecourse, ships in from Canada for the WA Cup Filly & Mare.
• The six-race WA Cup drew 48 entries or 8.0 per race, including 38 entries over the final four races (Juvenile Colts & Geldings, Juvenile Fillies, Filly & Mare Stakes, Muckleshoot Tribal Classic.
• Also Sunday, the 2018 Washington Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held by the winner’s circle. This year’s class: Doris Harwood (trainer), Juan Gutierrez (jockey), Mustard Plaster (horse), Penney Family (breeder), George Todaro (lifetime achievement).
The field for the $50,000 Muckelshoot Tribal Classic, 1 1/16 miles, Race 8, 5:20 pm: 1-Hit the Beach, Jose Zunino, 118 pounds; 2-Grinder Sparksaglo, Julien Couton, 122; 3-Pulpits Power, Eswan Flores, 118; 4-Double A. Prospect, Lorenzo Lopez, 118; 5-Mike Man’s Gold, Rocco Bowen, 118; 6-Buckley Bay, Gary Wales, 119; 7-Elliott Bay, Jennifer Whitaker, 118; 8-Hey Sequoia, Kevin Orozco, 120.
The field for the $50,000 Washington Cup Filly & Mare Stakes presented by Xpressbet.com, 1 1/16 miles, Race 6, 4:20 pm: 1-Fly Far Away, Austin Solis, 117 pounds; 2-Exit Sixty Slew, Julien Couton, 117; 3-Tomorrow’s Mine, Patrick Henry Jr., 117; 4-Guardian One, Gary Wales, 117; 5-No Talking Back, Anne Sanguinetti, 119; 6-Brilliant Bird, Javier Matias, 115; 7-Dontkissntell, Eswan Flores, 119; 8-I Double Dare You, Leonel-Camacho-Flores, 117; 9-Sailingforthesun, Kevin Orozco, 119; 10-Gazing, Rocco Bowen, 117.
Racing this week
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
5 p.m. (8 races)
2 p.m. (10 races)
Xpressbet.com Washington Cup
$50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic
$50,000 WA Cup Filly & Mare Stakes presented by Xpressbet.com
2018 Washington Racing Hall of Fame (1:15 p.m.)
Seahawks Viewing Party (1 p.m.)
Longacres Mile runner-up Alert Bay resumed his winning ways Monday with a 1½-lengthg victory in the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Alert Bay ($5.80) ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.35 and earned a 94 Beyer. … Oh Marvelous Me, third in the Longacres Mile, worked three furlongs in :35 3/5 Monday at Emerald Downs. … Nominations close Saturday, Sept. 15, for the $100,000 Getaway Day Stakes for 3-year-olds and $50,000 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds, both to be run Sunday, Sept. 23. … The Sept. 23 program also features the $25,000 Pete Pedersen Overnight Stakes for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs, and $25,000 Fan Appreciation Day Overnight Stakes for older fillies and mares. … Weekend Wizard, second to Sippin Fire in the Muckleshoot Derby, heads a field of 12 in Saturday’s $150,000 BC Derby at Hastings Racecourse. … Also Saturday at Hastings, Washington Oaks runner up Diamonds R, runs in the $100,000 BC Oaks with Aaron Gryder up for trainer Tom Wenzel and owner George Todaro. … Reginella and Top Quality, first and second in the Emerald Distaff, carry high weights of 122 and 121 pounds in the $50,000 Delta Colleen Handicap, also Saturday at Hastings. … Los Alamitos began a 12-day fall meeting Thursday (Sept. 6-23), followed by a 22-day fall meet at Santa Anita (Sept. 28-Nov. 4).