It was a day a lot like yesterday, but even more so; the sky was blue, the sun loomed large, the fields were small. Nine scratches, mostly due to a cough that is moving through the barns, did not help. The crowd was mid-range but, amazingly, the investors found $533,647 worth of propositions they were willing to buy into.
Once again, the track played better for horses on or close to the pace, although it did allow for some closers to win, including one of the deep variety. The track appeared to get a little faster as the day went on, but form held up well with four favorites and two second-choices winning on the eight-race card. Longest priced winner of the day paid $13.30.
As the first was a Maiden Special Weight we will say it was the feature, and there appeared to be some pretty nice two-year-olds in it. After two scratches, five ended up running. One of them was Boundary Bay ($3.30) who won as many had anticipated, but not before a hammer-and-tongs battle down the lane with Take the High Road. The race went in 40.19 over a track that was not surrendering fast times easily.
The First: Boundary Bay
Boundary Bay was hustled along the inside to a clear lead before Take the High Road, who was last early, put in an eye-catching move on the outside that had him at the winner’s throat mid-way of the turn. They hit the top of the stretch side by side, switched leads simultaneously and fought all the way to the wire where Boundary Bay, with a very bellied down David Lopez in the saddle, was a head better after being briefly headed himself coming home. European who had attracted some support against the odds-on Boundary Bay did not break all that well, but mid-way down the backstretch she appeared to cotton on to the idea and finished well to be third. This race could contain a stakes winner or two.
The winner is a Washington bred by Harbor the Gold out of Flying Memo (CHI) owned by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trained by Glen Todd. Boundary Bay is a full brother to OB Harbor who won 3 stakes at Emerald Downs last year. It was Glen Todd’s first trip to the Winner’s Circle as a trainer since 1985 (he has not trained in the interim), although he did know the way due to visits made in other capacities.
The Second: Fire Beauty
Fire Beauty ($8.70) tries hard every time she is sent over and she laid it down once again on Sunday to beat a field of open $25,000 older claiming fillies and mares in a 6 ½ furlong dash that went in 1:17.86. Fire Beauty had to contend Susan’s Day who gave her no peace on the front-end without ever being able to get by. Cherokee in Me closed well but late to be third.
It was a two-horse race all the way. Susan’s Day came out of the gate to lead briefly before Fire Beauty established herself as the front runner. Susan’s Day never stopped trying and was making another run at the winner when the wire intervened with her a half-length in arrears to Fire Beauty.
Mel Snow trains Fire Beauty for himself, Fran Snow, and Coyote Creek Racing Stable. The winner was bred in British Columbia by R. J. T. Thoroughbreds. Fire Beauty has now won 6 races in 30 starts and over $100,000 in her career.
The Third: Riding On the Wind
Riding On the Wind ($4.30) had no difficulty in controlling the pace and cruising to a comfortable front-running score against an abbreviated field of 8K conditioned (non-winners of 3) fillies and mares. Donttellmyhusband closed from last to be second and Rosie’s Up ran evenly to be third, well ahead of Yzitmyfault in fourth after paying the price for chasing the winner. There was no one in fifth.
Riding On the Wind is owned by Maralee Walters and trained by Tracy McNeil. Riding On the Wind provided leading jockey David Lopez with his second win of the day. She is a Kentucky bred.
The Fourth: Crater Lake
After a full 6 ½ furlongs of head-to-head combat, Crater Lake ($13.30) edged a half-length past odds-on favorite Remembermesoftly deep in the stretch to break his maiden for owner/breeder Helen Klimes, owner Lorie Henson and trainer Steve Henson. Remembermesoftly was well clear of Cherokee War Chant in third.
Crater Lake was bred in British Columbia. He is by Storm Victory who also sired, Storm Stalker winner of the sixth. Crater Lake was ridden by Romario Saunders and it was the first of two for him as well as he also rode Storm Stalker to a win two races later.
The Fifth: Valid Vow
Justifying the public support that made her an 8-5 favorite, Valid Vow ($5.20) overcame a three-wide trip around the first turn by collaring the pace setters going down the backstretch, opening up a clear margin on the last turn and maintaining it all the way home, a series of events spread over 6 ½ furlongs and 1:18.46, start to finish. Riojana chased most of the way in second and finished there, a little more than 2 lengths ahead of Queen of Barn I who came along for third.
Amadeo Perez rode Valid Vow for Canmor Farms, owner of the Kentucky bred daughter of Broken Vow who is trained by Mark Cloutier.
The Sixth: Storm Stalker
The fastest 6 ½ furlongs of the day (7 races were run at that distance) was turned in by Storm Stalker ($7.80) who had her head down at the perfect time to win by the shortest of noses over a charging She Spends My Lute. They hit the finish line together in 1:17.36 and the miracle of modern photography was required to separate them. In the end, Storm Stalker prevailed over She Spends My Lute who ran far too well to lose but did. Hippie was well back in third after setting the early fractions. Romario Saunders rode the winner, his second of the day.
Storm Stalker was bred in BC by Helen Klimes (a breeding double) and Sharon Marie Pring. She is owned by Barry and Henrica Tyrer and trained by Jodi Rawson. Storm Stalker was the second winner on the card by Storm Victory who stands at Klimes Farm.
The Seventh: Touch of Green
Touch of Green ($6.10) closed from last and far back to take the seventh, a split of the fifth with both being conditioned events for 4k older fillies and mares. Ariki Princess ran a non-threatening second while having a less than perfect trip, and in turn was not in any danger from Lady Cash who hung on to third after getting to the lead after a half-mile, only to have the top two run by her.
Amadeo Perez rode for owner/breeder George Gilbert and trainer Philip Hall. It was Perez’s second win of the day.
The Last: Tapatio
The card opened and closed with four-horse fields of maidens, the last being for three-and-ups willing to run for a $25,000 claimer price tag. It was won by Tapatio ($6.10) with Skyler White Shield doing the steering for owners Robert and Sheena Maybin. The odds-on favorite Sanawar ran second, a head better than Fire Boss who set all the fractions before tiring late and settling for third. The final time of 1:17.67 was quite decent.
Robert Maybin trained the winner who went to a new barn following a photo session in the Winner’s Circle.