Mach One Rules made it two straight stakes wins with a powerful two-length triumph over Bistraya in Sunday’s $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
The Mt. Rainier was the final of four stakes on Mile Preview Day as the countdown is officially on for the 82nd running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Sunday, Aug. 13.
With his triumph Sunday, Mach One Rules appears to be the top local threat for the Northwest’s most prestigious horse race. Powering to the lead into the lane, the 2-to-1 second wagering choice turned aside Canadian invader Bistraya in mid-stretch and pulled clear for his fifth career Emerald Downs stakes victory.
Ridden by Isaias Enriquez at co-high-weight of 124 pounds, Mach One Rules ran one mile and one-sixteenth in 1:42.55 and paid $6.60, $4 and $2.60. Frank Lucarelli is the winning trainer for owner Roy Schaefer (R.E.V. Racing) of Port Orchard, Wash.
“He’s just doing really good mentally and physically, he’s in a zone right now,” Lucarelli said of Mach One Rules. “Hopefully he can stay in it for one more race.”
A 4-year-old Washington-bred gelding by Harbor the Gold-Felice the Cat, Mach One Rules is 6-5-2 in 15 starts with $20-9,356 in earnings. He now has two straight wins after nine consecutive defeats including a series of stinging losses to Barkley.
Bistraya, Amadeo Perez riding at 122 pounds, paid $6.80 and $3.40, while Barkley finished third and paid $2.20. The 7-to-5 betting favorite, Barkley was far back early, but did show some heart to rally for third and is now 7-2-1 in 11 career starts with earnings of $192,325.
Papa Frank, Dedicated to You, Moon King, Togrammashousewego and Pleas Be Me rounded out the order of finish.
Trainer Mike Puhich said that Prime Engine, 3-to-1 morning line second choice, was scratched due to a high temperature, and Stryker Phd, who would have been making a fifth straight appearance in the Mt. Rainier, was a late scratch at the gate.
Citizen Kitty awesome in Boeing Stakes
Citizen Kitty asserted herself as Emerald Downs’ top older filly or mare with a dominant 4½-length victory over Princess Katie in the $50,000 Boeing Stakes for older fillies and mares.
Ridden by Julien Couton at 123 pounds, Citizen Kitty ran one mile in 1:36.84, and paid $8.40, $5 and $3.60 as second choice in the wagering. Jeff Metz is the winning trainer for owners Bruce and Cass Maller of Incline Village, Nevada.
A 5-year-old Washington-bred by Proud Citizen-Katowice, Citizen Kitty has been a study in consistency this year, compiling two wins and three seconds in five starts led by victories in the Hastings and Boeing Stakes and a second in the Washington State Legislators.
In the Boeing, Citizen Kitty sat off the pace as My Heart Goes On set fractions of :23.38 and :46.08, and made a sweeping four-wide move to the lead into the stretch, and powered home with authority. The impressive victory makes her strictly the one to beat in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff at 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 13.
Trained by Metz throughout her career, Citizen Kitty is 6-4-5 in 23 starts with earnings of $152,415, including $27,500 for Sunday’s victory.
Vancouver shipper Princess Katie, ridden by Amadeo Perez, rallied from last to finish second and paid $10.20 and $6.40, while Princess Kennedy, ridden by Rocco Bowen took third and paid $5.60. Pyscho Sister, B C Z Middleton, Profound Moment, My Heart Goes On, Protective Shield and McDove completed the order of finish.
He’s Not Grey pulls upset in Emerald Express
First-time starter He’s Not Grey rallied from far back to post an 11-to-1 upset in the $50,000 Emerald Express for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
Ridden by Juan Gutierrez at 119 pounds, He’s Not Grey covered 5½ furlongs in 1:05.04, and paid $24.80, $12.60 and $6.60. Candi Tollett is the winning trainer for owner John Parker of Lake Bay, Wash.
A California-bred by Slew’s Tiznow, He’s Not Grey is the first first-time starter to win the Emerald Express in its 22-year history. He’s Not Grey sold for $10,000 at the 2016 Barretts Fall Sale, and Parker credited Roddina Barrett for picking out the gray colt.
“He’s been the talk of the barn, he’s been doing so good,” a jubilant Parker said. “Winning this race is unbelievable.”
He’s Not Grey commenced a four-wide bid on the turn, collared Elliott Bay and Brown Tiger past mid-stretch and drew off to win with authority.
Bullet Drill, longest shot on the board at 33-to-1, rallied from last to finish second and paid $24.40 and $7. Kevin Orozco rode the runner-up at 118 pounds.
Brown Tiger, who dueled with Elliott Bay through fractions of :22.25 and :45.91, finished third under Julien Couton and paid $3.40. Sippin Fire, the 9-to-5 favorite, finished fourth and was followed by Elliott Bay, Vicente’s Shadow and Rosie’s Reward.
For Tollett it was her second career stakes victory, both this year with gray horses owned by Parker. Sharkzilla scored a 23-to-1 upset in the Auburn Stakes for 3-year-olds.
The $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes at six furlongs on Aug. 6 is next for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
Bella Mia Too much in Angie C Stakes
Bella Mia made short work of the $50,000 Angie C Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
With Julien Couton aboard at 119 pounds, Bella Mia rolled gate-to-wire for a 2¼-length victory over long shot Faith Flys Again in 1:05.06 for 5½ furlongs.
Owned by John and Janene Maryanski of Auburn, Bella Mia is 2-0-0 in three starts with earnings of $38,788. A Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold-Bella Campana, Bella Mia broke her maiden by 5 ¼ lengths at five furlongs two weeks ago, and Sunday’s extra half-furlong proved no issue.
Breaking beautifully from the No. 5 post-position, Bella Mia set splits of :22.41, :46.40 and :58.65, shook off Manny Way into the stretch, and held sway to the wire.
Faith Flys Again, bidding to give trainer David Martinez a third straight win in the Angie C, finished second at odds of 35-to-1 and paid $22 and $8.60.
Canadian shipper My Aunt Mo, the 2-to-1 second choice, overcame a rough beginning to finish third and paid $3, while Philly Baby, the 7-to-5 favorite, encountered traffic in the stretch and finished fourth. Manny’s Way, Sea N Redd, C I M Sweet, Come Find Me, and Goldie’s Darlins completed the order of finish.
Bella Mia became the ninth straight Angie C winner to lead gate-to-wire. Smarty Deb in 2007 was the last come-from-behind winner of the race, and the daughter of Smart Strike later became the first Emerald Downs’ runner to appear in the Breeders’ Cup.
The $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at six furlongs on Aug. 5 is next for 2-year-old fillies.
The $0.50 all stakes Pick 4 returned $526.20. … Blaine Wright tops all trainers with five stakes wins at the meet, while Frank Lucarelli, Jeff Metz and Candi Tollett have two stakes wins each. … It was a great day for Washington-breds with Bella Mia, Citizen Kitty and Mach One Rules all scoring stakes wins for the Evergreen State. … Harbor the Gold, sire of Mach One Rules and Bella Mia, has a record 50 stakes wins at Emerald Downs. Slewdledo with 27 stakes wins is a distant second. … Citizen Kitty and Mach One Rules are the first double stakes winners at the meet. … Although it wasn’t a stakes race, Iwannabeadivatoo ($11) and Kiss My Lulu battled through a superior stretch run in the $20,000 claimer for fillies and mares, the former prevailing in 1:10.15 under Rocco Bowen for trainer Roddina Barrett and owner Luke Lindsey. A 5-year-old Preachinatthebar mare, Iwannabeadivatoo has finished first, second or third in 24 of 29 career starts…Bowen, Kevin Orozco, Isaias Enriquez and Julien Couton all rode two winners Sunday. … Juan Gutierrez’ victory on He’s Not Grey was his 1,319th win at Emerald Downs and his 62nd stakes win. He needs 100 wins to tie Gallyn Mitchell’s Emerald Downs’ record of 1,419 wins. … Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m., and features a carryover in the $0.20 Pick 7 of $14,585.