For the Reporter
Sippin Fire has already accomplished a sensational season at Emerald Downs; ranking first in stakes wins with three and second in earnings with $81,200.
The bay gelding, however, is far from finished in 2018, and has a chance to finish off one of the greatest seasons in track history.
Sunday, Sippin Fire heads a field of six 3-year-olds in the $50,000 Washington Cup Sophomore Colts & Geldings Stakes presented by Elysian Brewing Company. The Sophomore Colts & Geldings is part of a stakes triple-header also featuring the $50,000 Washington Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes presented by Freight NW, and $30,000 Bank of America Championship Challenge for Quarter Horses.
Trainer Steve Bullock and owner How We Roll #4 have elected to forego a possible $100,000 (Canada) bonus and remain home for the Washington Cup and the new $100,000 Getaway Stakes on Sept. 23.
With a victory Sunday, Sippin Fire would become only the 14th horse to win four stakes in a season at Emerald Downs, and the first since Stryker Phd in 2015. A sweep of the Washington Cup and Getaway Stakes and Sippin Fire would join Noosa Beach (2010) as the only horses with five stakes wins in one season at Emerald Downs.
A Washington-bred gelding by Harbor the Gold-Bahati, Sippin Fire is 5-1-0 in eight career starts with earnings of $129,088 in earnings. His 2018 ledger is 3-0-0 in four starts, including consecutive victories in the Coca-Cola Stakes, Seattle Slew Stakes and Muckleshoot Derby.
Sippin Fire is 2-for-2 routing, and will be scaling back a furlong to one mile. In his lone work since the Muckleshoot Derby, Sippin Fire went five furlongs in a bullet :59 4/5 on Aug. 16.
Boundary Bay, third in the Auburn, Coca-Cola and Seattle Slew, races with blinkers off Sunday, while Elliott Bay, coming off a third in the Muckleshoot Derby, adds blinkers for the Washington Cup.
Bullet Drill carries a two-race winning streak while stepping up in class, and Hey Sequoia stretches out following an Aug. 5 allowance win. Sherm a maiden, rounds out the field.
The WA Cup Sophomore Colts & Geldings Stakes presented by Elysian Brewing Company goes as Race 9 at 6:39 p.m.
The WA Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes presented by Freight NW drew a field of five, and goes as Race 3 at 3:05 p.m.
The field for Washington Cup Sophomore Colts & Geldings Stakes, presented by Elysian Brewing Company: Elliott Bay, Jennifer Whitaker, 119 pounds; Sippin Fire, Rocco Bowen, 124; Bullet Drill, Kevin Orozco, 119; Sherm, Javier Matias, 119; Boundary Bay, Aaron Gryder, 119; Hey Sequoia, Eswan Flores, 119.
The field for Washington Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes, presented by Freight NW: Jupiter S., Kevin Orozco, 118 pounds; Dontkissntell, Eswan Flores, 118; Spot On, Austin Solis, 118; Brilliant Bird, Javier Matias, 118; Angels o’ War, Gary Wales, 118.
2018 Xpressbet Washington Cup
Sunday, Aug. 26
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes presented by Freight NW, 1M
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore C&G Stakes presented by Elysian Brewing Company, 1M
Sunday, Sept. 2
$50,000 WA Cup Juvenile Filly Stakes presented by Pegasus Training and Rehabilitation, 6 1/2 F
$50,000 WA Cup Juvenile C&G Stakes presented by Muckleshoot Casino, 6 1/2 F
Sunday, Sept. 9
$50,000 WA Cup Filly & Mare Stakes presented by Xpressbet, 1 1/16 M
$50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, 1 1/16 M
Champion of Champions winner invades Emerald Downs
Mr Pyc to You, who scored the biggest upset in the history of the $750,000 Champion of Champions (Grade 1), heads a field of 10 Quarter Horses entered in Sunday’s $30,000 Bank of Emerald Championship Challenge.
At 440 yards, the Bank of America is Emerald Downs’ top Quarter Horse event goes as Race 10 at 6:39 p.m.
A 5-year-old Oklahoma-bred, Mr Pyc to You stunned the Quarter Horse world with a half-length victory last December in the famed Champion of Champions, at Los Alamitos, the marquee event for older Quarter Horses in America. Off at odds of 60 to 1, Mr Pyc to You ran 440 yards in :21.61, rallying past Heza Dasha Fire in the final strides for the victory. Incidentally, Heza Dasha fire is the richest racehorse – Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse – in Washington history with more than $2.2 million in earnings.
Co-owned by trainer Jose Flores and Roy and Denise Van Amburgh of Valley Mills, Tex., Mr Pyc to You hasn’t raced since the Champion of Champions. The son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon didn’t get sufficient interest at stud and was put back in training with Flores at Los Alamitos two months ago and has logged three works for his comeback.
“We shipped him up there to (trainer) Hector Magallanes about 10 days ago, and everything seems to be going well,” Flores said. “I wish he had a race under him, but he’s a good horse and should run well.”
Flores, who also trains Heza Dasha Fire for Don and Kathy Meneely of Kennewick, is currently tied for third in the Los Alamitos standings with 27 wins.
Carlos Huerta, who was aboard Mr Pyc to You in the Champion of Champions, has the mount at Emerald Downs. Huerta has ridden here once before, finishing eighth on Simons Wonder Choice in the inaugural Bank of America Emerald Challenge in 2011.
The field for the 8th running of the $30,000 Bank of America Emerald Downs Challenge: Poutn On the Wagon, Eswan Flores, 124 pounds; L Bar D Genuine Red, Javier Matias, 124; For Sweet Jess, Luis Gonzalez, 124; Mals First Down, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 124; Tickle Ur Fancy, Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa, 124; Mr Pyc to You, Carlos Huerta, 124; Corona B Gone, Lorenzo Lopez, 121; L Bar D Bonnie Lee, Alex Anaya, 124; Kool Odds, Nikeela Black, 121; Favorite Bling, Kevin Orozco, 121.
Racing this week
Friday, Aug. 24
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
Saturday, Aug. 25
5 p.m. (8 races)
Twilight Saturday (through Sept. 22)
Breakfast at the Wire (2018 finale)
UW & WSU Alumni Bands
Sunday, Aug. 19
2 p.m. (10 races)
Xpressbet Washington Cup (Week 1)
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore Colt & Gelding
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore Filly
$30,000 Bank of America Challenge
Trainer Howard Belvoir said Barkley remains in training, and that no decision has been made regarding another race this year. Berkley is eligible for a $25,000 bonus for sweeping the Longacres Mile and $100,000 British Columbia Premiers at Hastings Racecourse. The latter event at 1 3/8 miles is Monday, Oct. 8. … Saturday’s 4th race is named in honor of Mike “Spanky” LeClair, longtime groom for Neil Knapp who died of diabetes last November. … Saturday simulcasts include the $1,250,000 Travers from Saratoga at 2:44 p.m. (PDT).