An overflow field of 13 juveniles were entered in Sunday’s $100,000 Gottstein Futurity at 1 1/16 miles, the final of three stakes scheduled on closing day at Emerald Downs.
The 11-race card drew 98 horses and co-features the $25,000 Pete Pedersen Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 6 1/2 furlongs, and the $25,000 Horsemen Appreciation Overnight Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile.
Although 13 horses entered the Gottstein Futurity, the race is limited to 12 starters with preference based on earnings. The Gottstein is the second richest race at Emerald Downs, and the lone two-turn stakes for 2-year-olds. Muncey, Unmachable and Windy Point, already stakes winners this season, are top contenders, although Muncey and Windy Point drew post-positions 11 and 12.
Discreet Demons, You Go Girl and Windy Point all attempt to become the 14th filly to win the Gottstein and the fifth at Emerald Downs. Smarty Deb (2007), Talk to My Lawyer (2011), Blazinbeauty (2016) and Northwest Factor (2018) all beat the boys in the track’s championship race for 2-year-olds. Somewhat amazingly, Kolala Beach in 2009 is the only gate-to-wire winner in 23 runnings of the race at Emerald Downs.
The Pete Pedersen drew a field of nine, including defending champion Hit the Beach, 2018 Washington Horse of the Year Sippin Fire, and all-time Emerald Downs’ wins leader Mike Man’s Gold.
The Horsemen Appreciation drew 10 older fillies and mares including Emerald Downs’ stakes winners Blazinbeauty, Diamonds R, Little Dancer and 2018 Gottstein Futurity winner Northwest Factor.
The field for the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity (Race 9): 1-Harbors Rule, Scott Stevens, 120 pounds; 2-Wilson to Lockett, Eddie Martinez, 120; 3-Unmachable, Alex Anaya, 120; 4-Race Home, Kevin Krigger, 120; 5-Turntheclocktozero, Abel Cedillo, 120; 6-Discreet Demons (f), David Lopez, 117; 7-Haveulostyourmind, Jose Zunino, 120; 8-Love the Vino, Ryan Barber, 120; 9-Lolo Paniolo, Francisco Duran, 120; 10-You Go Girl (f), Gary Wales, 117; 11-Muncey, Javier Matias, 120; 12-Windy Point (f), Juan Gutierrez, 117.
Wales bids for the century mark
Heading into closing weekend with a 32-win lead, Gary Wales long ago wrapped up his first Emerald Downs’ riding title. The 33-year-old native of Scotland owns a commanding 95-63 lead over Kevin Orozco, needing five wins i the final three days to join the “100 Win Club” at Emerald Downs.
If Wales accomplishes the feat, he becomes the 17th different jockey and 30th overall with a 100-win season at Emerald Downs. Also, the current meeting is only 67 days while most seasons have ranged between 80 and 100 days, so Wales’ average of 1.33 wins per day in 2019 is solid.
Racing this week
• Friday, Sept. 20 (65/67)
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
• Saturday, Sept. 21 (66/67)
5 p.m. (9 races)
$18,200 Older Horse Marathon Final
$18,200 Filly & Mare Marathon Final
• Sunday, Sept. 22 (67/67)
2 p.m. (11 races)
Fan Appreciation Day (free admission)
$100,000 Gottstein Futurity
$25,000 Pete Pedersen Overnight Stakes
$25,000 Horsemen Appreciation Overnight Stakes
Through Sunday, there have been 236 claims for an aggregate $1,730,500 – compared to 198 claims for $1,203,250 in all of 2018. Chad Christensen leads with 24 claims totaling $345,750, plus an additional three claims for $28,000 in partnership with Frank Lucarelli. Christensen has made seven $25,000 claims and also claimed Elliott Bay for a track record tying $50,000. …. The spectacularly successful marathon series’ conclude Saturday night with a pair of 1½-mile tests: $18,200 WHBPA & WTBOA Horsemen Helping Horsemen for 3-year-olds and up, and $18,200 Equal Pay for older fillies and mares. To compete, a horse must have run in the first two races, but unlike the first two events the final is a starter allowance. … Grants Pass begins a 14-day meeting Sunday with an eight-race program composed of four Thoroughbred and four Quarter Horse races. General Mach Four, a five-time winner this season at Emerald Downs, is among eight entered in the $11,650 Inaugural Stakes at 5½ furlongs. Racing from Grants Pass will be simulcast at Emerald Downs.