Sunday (9/7) Big Stakes Day at Emerald Downs Picks

Today’s (9/7) Emerald Downs card features 6 local Stakes.  Here’s my take on them:

The Chinook Pass (4th race) – Only 4 horses entered in this 1 mile tilt for 3 yr old colts & geldings.  Noosito is a mortal lock here.  Four straight races with Beyers higher than any of his competitors have ever run.  It is possible Noosito may exhaust himself by chasing the pace set by Hoody in the one hole …..  but I doubt it.

Dennis Dodge Stakes (5th race) – Another lock in this 5 horse affair for 2 year old colts & geldings.  Any of the three lifetime races by Trackattacker are faster than any of the races put up by any of the others – by at least 17 Beyer points.  Trackattacker should easily win this one gate to wire.

The Pegasus Training Center Stakes (6th race) – Three of the five horses entered in this matchup for older fillies & mares appear competitive here.  Stephanie Plum will likely get the lead and could prove tough to overhaul, with no other bonefide front runners entered.  Madame Pele has the class & speed figures to contend as well. However, she has not had a race since July 6, and has a poor win percentage (only 4 of 21 races).  Still, last September Madame won a mile stakes race here with this jockey (Juan Gutierrez) aboard.  Gutierrez wins at a 30% clip when teamed with trainer Jim Penney’s runners such as this.  Leading jockey Leslie Mawing jumps from Madame to Hastings Park stakes runner Castinette Dancer, who seems best suited to the 1 1/16 mile distance.  However, Dancer has failed to win a race in her last 10 tries, though she was favored in only one of those 10 races.   I think Madame Pele will get first run at Plum & will be able to hold off the late run of Dancer for the win here.

The Northwest Farms Stakes (7th race) – This 7 horse race for two year old fillies is a wide open affair.  The favorite will likely be Pippa Bou Peep who is coming out of a race topping 57 Beyer 6 1/2F Stakes race three weeks ago.  That was in a relatively slow time of 1:17.2, so either the track was slow that day, or this Beyer figure is very generous.  Pippa had never run a race faster than a 40 Beyer in any of her previous 4 races, so this favorite appears vulnerable, especially with the cutback to 6F & Pippa’s closing running style.  So who is most likely to upset here?  My money is on Fine Red Wine, a bit of a longshot who won its last race on June 8 despite hopping at the start & being steadied.  Wine worked 5 furlongs in a quick :59 August 24, which is as fast as one of the contenders here, Dr. Dr. Kate ran in its last race, a winning effort August 22.  Who did Wine beat on June 8?  You guessed it, Pippa Bou Peep.

Comcast SportsNet Stakes (8th race) – The remarkable thing about this race for three year old fillies is that there are no closers entered.  All seven entrants have the same running style, all preferring to run on or near the lead.  The best of these appears to be favored Mylast Sweet Pea, but Pea has failed to last throughout pressured fractions in each of her last 3 races, all routes and all against stakes competition.  Unfortunately, the pace figures to be pressured again here.  Pea has only won one of her 10 lifetime races.  My bet is second favorite Chu & You will hang on to win.  None of the other entrants have ever put up faster early fractions & with the short straight to the first turn at the mile distance, jockey JM Gutierrez will likely gun Chu to the front.  Chu has never won from off the pace, so her best chance would appear to be on the lead.  None of the entrants other than Pea appear to be fast enough to catch her.  Chu’s last win at 6 1/2F was very fast & in hand.  A repeat of that effort would likely win this.

Muckleshhot Tribal Classic Stakes (9th race) – Honestly, I have no idea which horse will win this race.  None of these five older horses appear to want the 1 1/16 mile distance.  Dare Me Devil is likely to get the pace.  However, DMD’s last 2 route races have been disasters & DMD has never run at this class level.  Mike Man’s Gold appears to have a class edge & ran this distance effectively from the lead this time last year.  However, Mike will not get the lead here.  I Keep Saying’s last race at a mile wasn’t too bad but he was fading at the end of that & today’s race is farther.  I recommend using this race as a spread in your multi-race exotics.

Hope this analysis was helpful.  Good luck at the races!

– Ron Classen at