For the second straight year, the Xpressbet.com Washington Cup will be run over three weekends, beginning with a Sunday stakes twin bill for 3-year-olds: $50,000 Washington Cup Sophomore Colt & Gelding Stakes presented by Muckleshoot Casino and $50,000 Washington Cup Sophomore Filly presented by Freight NW.
Last year’s Washington Cup drew 55 starters in six races, a lofty average of of 9.2 runners per race. While Sunday’s doubleheader drew a combined 13 runners, next week’s juvenile stakes are expected to attract large fields, and horses running this Sunday can wheel back in two weeks to face older runners in the Washington Cup Filly & Mare and Muckleshoot Tribal Classic.
My Grandpa and Alittlelesstalk rate Sunday’s marquee. The one-two finishers in the Muckleshoot Derby on Aug. 11, My Grandpa looks to continue his late season momentum in the Washington Cup Sophomore Colt & Gelding, while Alittlelesstalk returns to her own division for the Washington Cup Sophomore Filly.
A tiger since adding blinkers three races back, My Grandpa heads a field of seven in the Sophomore Colt & Gelding. A Washington-bred by Grazen-Creole Delights, My Grandpa overcame all sorts of trouble to prevail by 1¼ lengths in the 1⅛-mile Derby. His overall record is 2-1-1 from six starts with earnings of $48,075 for trainer Tom Wenzel and owner Ron Crockett. Time ‘n Time Again, third in the Muckleshoot Derby, and El Borracho, from the powerhouse Blaine Wright stable, are maidens but have shown ability vs. stakes company.
Alittlelesstalk is a top candidate for year-end honors as the track’s Top Sophomore Filly, compiling a 2-3-0 record in six starts with earnings of $58,675. Trained by Roddina Barrett for owners Tim Floyd, Kelly Dougan and Stephanie Loffredo, the daughter of Demon Warlock captured the Kent Stakes in dramatic fashion over Mucho Amor, and also finished second in both the Seattle Stakes and Muckleshoot Derby. Alittlelestalk has handled distances from five furlongs to 1⅛ miles, so she figures to adapt nicely to Sunday’s one mile distance. Alittlesstalk carries five more pounds (123) than her five rivals Sunday, with jockey Scott Stevens returning for the riding assignment.
The field for the $50,000 Washington Cup Sophomore Colts & Geldings Stakes presented by Muckleshoot Casino, One Mile (Race 9: 5:58 p.m.): 1-Makah Lane, Juan Gutierrez, 119 pounds; 2-Unleash the Tiger, Kevin Krigger, 119; 3-My Grandpa, Jorge Carreno, 124; 4-Docktarri, Jose Zunino, 119; 5-Rocket Power, Javier Matias, 119; 6-El Borracho, Gary Wales, 119; 7-Time ‘n Time Again, Kevin Orozco, 119.
The field for the $50,000 Washington Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes presented by Frieght NW, One Mile (Race 7: 4:55 p.m.): 1-Magical Spell, Ryan Barber, 118 lbs; 2-Miss Monique, Kevin Orozco, 118; 3-Alittlelesstalk, Scott Stevens, 123; 4-Suddenly Awesome, Kevin Krigger, 118; 5-Lulu’s Lightening, Gary Wales, 118; 6-Fortune in Silk, Eddie Martinez, 118.
2019 Xpressbet.com Washington Cup:
Sunday, Sept. 1
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore C&G presented by Muckleshoot Casino, One Mile
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore Filly presented by Freight NW, One Mile
Sunday, Sept. 8
$50,000 WA Cup Juvenile C&G presented by Elysian Brewing Company, 6½ F
$50,000 WA Cup Juvenile Filly presented by Pegasus Training & Rehabilitation, 6½ F
Sunday, Sept. 15
$50,000 WA Cup Filly & Mare Stakes presented by Xpressbet, 1 1/16 M
$50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, 1 1/16 M
Washington Hall of Fame announces class of 2019
Snow Plow, Ruth Parton and Griffin Place are the newest members of the Washington Racing Hall of Fame, Emerald Downs has announced.
The first Washington-bred winner of a Grade 1, Snow Plow (Royal Ski-Mick B Quick) was 1981 Washington Horse of the Year after capturing the Demoiselle Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct and Selima Stakes at Laurel. Ruth Parton of Toppenish was the first woman in the history of American turf to obtain a trainer’s license, and an extraordinary all-around horsewoman who obtained fame nationwide in racing relays and rodeos. Breeders Terry and MaryLou Griffin (Griffin Place) have bred an array of champions at their 72-acre farm in Buckley, Wash., including 2000 Washington Horse of the Year Rings a Chime, the 2000 Ashland Stakes (G1) champion and 2000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) runner-up.
Aaron T. Van de Vanter, founder of The Meadows Race Track in Seattle, will be this year’s recipient in Lifetime Achievement. In addition to overseeing The Meadows, which flourished in the early 1900s, Van de Vanter (1859-1907) served as mayor of Kent, a state senator, and King County Sheriff.
The 2019 induction ceremony will be held prior to the races Sunday, Sept. 15, adjacent to the winner’s circle at Emerald Downs.
Yearly Inductees Washington Hall of Fame (Founded 2003)
Horse (year inducted): Snow Plow (2019 filly or mare), Mustard Plaster (2018 male), Noosa Beach (2017 male), Loto Canada (2016 male), Flamme (2016 filly or mare), Travel Orb (2015 male), Ropersandwranglers (2015 filly or mare), Chum Salmon, (2014 male), Delicate Vine (2014 filly or mare), Military Hawk (2013 male), Table Hands (2013 filly or mare), Hilco Scamper (2012 male), Rings a Chime (2012 filly or mare), Pataha Prince (2011 male), Firesweeper (2011 filly or mare), Biggs (2010 male), Sparrow Castle (2009 male), Belle of Rainier (2008 filly or mare), Peterhof’s Patea (2007 filly or mare), Sir William (2006 male), Smogy Dew (2005 filly or mare), Turbulator (2004 male), Saratoga Passage (2004 male), Captain Condo (2003 male), Chinook Pass (2003 male), Trooper Seven (2003 male).
Jockey: Juan Gutierrez (2018), Jack Leonard (2016), Gary Boulanger (2015), Ricky Frazier (2014), Gallyn Mitchell (2013), Paul Frey (2012), Vicky (Aragon) Baze (2011), Joe Baze (2010), Lennie Knowles (2009), Larry Pierce (2008), John Adams (2007), Albert Johnson (2006), Basil James (2005), Russell Baze (2004), Gary Baze (2003), Ralph Neves (2003), Gary Stevens (2003).
Trainer: Ruth Parton (2019), Doris Harwood (2018), Marion L. Smith (2017), Larry & Sharon Ross (2016), Wesley Ward (2015), Ben Harris (2014), Howard Belvoir (2013), Wayne Branch (2012), Tim McCanna (2011), Bill McMeans (2010), Kathy Walsh (2009), Glen Williams (2008), R.H. McDaniel (2007), Frances Keller (2006), Bud Klokstad (2005), Charlie Whittingham (2004), Allen Drumheller (2003), Jim Penney (2003), Tom Smith (2003).
Breeder: Griffin Place (2019), Penney Family (2018), Rick & Debbie Pabst (2017), Robert L. Edwards (2016), Herman Sarkowsky (2015), William C. & Barbara Nelson Jr. (2014), Czech-Mate Farm (2013), George Newell (2012), Grousemont Farm (2011), Les Turner (2010), Wilbur & Marianne Stadelman (2009), Frank Brewster (2008), Dan Agnew (2007), C.J. Sebastian (2006), Guy & Barbara Roberts (2005), George Drumheller (2004), Herb Armstrong (2003), Jerre Paxton (2003).
Lifetime Achievement: Aaron T. Van de Vanter (2019), Mark Dedomenico (2017), Robert Geller (2015), Ralph Vacca (2013), Jack Hodge (2012), Karen & Mickey Taylor (2011), James Seabeck (2010), Pete Pedersen (2008), Ron Crockett (2004), Joe Gottstein (2003).
Racing this week
• Friday, August 30 (56 live race date/67 race day meet)
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
Filly & Mare Distance Series (Leg 2)
• Saturday, Aug. 31 (57/67)
5 p.m. (8 races)
Breakfast at the Wire (8-10 a.m.)
End of Summer Party in the Park
Horsemen Helping Horsemen Distance Series (Leg 2)
• Sunday, Sept. 1 (58/67)
2 p.m. (10 races)
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore Colts & Geldings S
$50,000 WA Cup Sophomore Filly S
Mike Man’s Gold takes another crack at the all-time Emerald Downs’ wins record in race five Sunday, a $25,000/$20,000 claimer for 3-year-olds and up at 5½ furlongs. Mike Man’s Gold and West Seattle Boy both have 21 career wins, and a victory Sunday would lift the 9-year-old gelding into the top 50 all-time among Washington-breds. … .Although Emerald Downs’ doesn’t offer live racing on Monday (Labor Day), the facility is open for simulcasting including closing day at Saratoga and Del Mar and the $3,000,000 All American Futurity from Ruidoso Downs. … Leg 2 of the Horsemen Helping Horsemen Distance Series goes this weekend, with a field of eight entered in Friday’s $18,000 race for fillies and mares, and two $14,000 divisions of six and seven horses entered on Saturday. The races are 1¼ miles with all horses eligible to be claimed for $8,000.