Archie Graham Wins!


Archie Graham leads to the wire!

Well, that was fun!

Archie Graham rallied from the back of the pack and scored a 1 1/4-length victory Sunday in the 7th race at Emerald Downs. Ontheshadyside and Golden Dynamo dead-heated for second place while Calex, Kiss Sin Goodbye and Life Is a Joy rounded out the order of finish.

Wearing the green and white silks of Emerald Racing Club, Leslie Mawing rode Archie Graham to the triumph in 1:43.23 for 1 1/16 mile. For those that wagered, Archie Graham paid $6.20 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show.

Archie Graham earned $6,325 to push his total to $16,329 in six races for Emerald Racing Club.

As usual, whenever an Emerald Racing Club horse wins, the winner’s circle was moved onto the actual racetrack to accommodate Archie Graham and the Emerald Racing Club. What a great scene, and nice work by everybody for cheering Archie to victory!


Look at all those happy Emerald Racing Club people!

Sharon Ross said Archie Graham looked good back at the barn, so let’s hope he gets a chance for his third win of the meet.

Great job Larry, Sharon, Leslie and Emerald Racing Club!

Diamonds Dena, meanwhile, is being treated with antihistamines for her pesky hives. She’s also dealing with a bit of body soreness, and had a chiro adjustment Saturday. If all goes well, Dena will breeze an easy half-mile next weekend and then, if all is still well, we’ll look for a race the following week.

For those planning on visiting the barn, a few reminders:

The best time to visit is 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Archie Graham remains in his usual stall, but Diamonds Dena has been moved to the opposite side of the shed row into a high-traffic area. Dena’s new stall allows her better access to fresh air, but also is situated in a precarious area for visitors. Therefore please check with Sharon before going to see Diamonds Dena. You can still visit her, but it’s important that we remain safe and not interrupt training!

Also, no visitors Tuesdays.

Have a great week and let’s win another race soon,

Bummer! Diamonds Dena Finishes 6th


Ronda Rocks (blue blinkers) prevails over Winninginfashion 

Gosh folks, I don’t know what to say.

I was really excited to watch Diamonds Dena run tonight for the Emerald Racing Club. She was 2-1 on the morning line and had just beaten most of the horses she was facing Friday.

So there was good reason for optimism.

But nope. Not tonight. No way, no how.

Diamonds Dena broke lousy from the gate, dropped far back, and failed to muster a rally when jockey Erick Lopez asked her for run. We finished a well-beaten sixth as Ronda Rocks–whom Diamonds Dena beat July 8–held off Winninginfashion for the victory.

Mind you, I don’t mind losing, it’s part of the game. And I’ve been around horse racing a long time–38 years to be exact–and learned long ago to never assume anything in this sport. Thoroughbreds are animals-not machines-and they have their ups and downs just like humans.

Nevertheless, I’m baffled. Dena was 3-for-3 here this year and she wasn’t moving up in class for tonight’s race; $15,000 fillies and mares is her level. But things were amiss from the moment the gate opened. Normally, ‘Dena has tactical speed and drops about four lengths behind the leaders before picking up the pace on the last turn. Tonight, she could barely keep up with Cup of Soup, a deep closer, and it was obvious pretty early that tonight wasn’t her night.

Back to the drawing board. . .

It’s possible that Diamonds Dena might have sustained some sort of mishap leaving the starting gate. Incidentally, it was an abnormally long load as Winninginfashion was a handful while loading and ‘Dena was forced to wait a long time for the break. So something might have been amiss, as no question ‘Dena dropped farther back than normal for her.

I’ll check with Larry and Sharon, and perhaps Erick Lopez passed something along to them as well. ‘Dena did not get claimed, so assuming everything checks out OK we’ll get another crack at the group she faced Friday. I’ll also find out a possible next race for Archie Graham, too.

Happy Longacres Mile Weekend!




Diamonds Dena Race On Friday, Aug. 12!


Great News!

We finally get see Diamonds Dena in action. She runs in the 6th race on Friday, August 12, post time about 9 p.m.

It’s pretty much the same condition Dena won at last month–a $15,000 claiming race for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 mile.

We’re in post-position No. 3 with Erick Lopez the jockey. (The photo above is Dena and Erick winning at Emerald Downs on July 8.)

I’ll send out the morning line, etc., on Wednesday.

Sharon said that Archie Graham came out of Friday’s race fine and we’ll have to wait and see what’s next for him.

Great to see so many of you at El Dorado Farms on Sunday. I counted between 45 and 50 people which is pretty darned good considering the cloudy weather, Seafair weekend and many other options. A million thank yous to Ron and Nina Hagen and their tremendous staff out at El Dorado. Nina is especially amazing, it’s easy to see why so many winners are bred on their farm!

I took some photos but I can’t get them to upload. I’ll keep trying.


Last Call For El Dorado Farms!

In case you missed the email here are directions to El Dorado Farms (from Emerald Downs) for Sunday, August 7.

We plan to begin at 11 AM sharp and go to 1 PM.

Please come if possible and bring a guest too!

The address is 41818 228th Ave SE, Enumclaw, WA 98022

1-Take Auburn Way North which becomes Highway 164

2-Keep going past Muckleshoot Casino

3-Take left on 400th ST, proceed about 2 1/2 miles

4-Turn right on 228th Way, go 1 mile to stop sign

5-Proceed thru stop sign and take first left into El Dorado Farms. It’s an automatic gate but you need to get really close to the gate for activation

6-Park in the stallion paddock.

If anyone gets lost please call my cell phone (253) 335-2657 and I’ll help!

Look forward to seeing everyone . And here’s hoping that during the show, we get a text from Sharon alerting us that Diamonds Dena race fills for Friday!



Archie Graham finishes (where else?) 4th!

Not fourth again!

Archie Graham continued his fourth-place finishing streak Friday with another belated bid that came up a bit short in the stretch. For his efforts, Archie Graham earned the Emerald Racing Club $863 in purse money.

Of course, finishing fourth is nothing like winning but it’s still great to see Archie give it his all. He had more than 12 lengths to make up early in the race, yet was only beaten 4-¼ lengths for the victory. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board to find the best distance and field for him to run against, but it appears that a flat mile might suit him best.

Archie galloped out very well, and appeared to walk back to the barn in good order. I’ll check in with Larry and Sharon Ross and report on how Archie’s doing.

Archie’s stable mate—Diamonds Dena—continues to train forwardly. She worked a half-mile this morning in :46.80, which was the fourth fastest of the day at that distance. And Sharon said she looked great. We are hoping that a race for Diamonds Dena will fill very soon (possibly Friday, Aug. 12) so that she can show off all that work she has done in the morning.

Also want to remind folks that the Emerald Racing Club is invited to El Dorado Farms near Enumclaw on Sunday—11 AM to 1 PM—to tour one of the state’s top breeding operations. We’ll be done in plenty of time to make Sunday’s races. I’ll e-mail everyone directions Saturday afternoon.

Until then, let’s all have a great weekend and keep the faith. We will get another win soon!

Archie Graham (Race Chart)

Friday Paddock Winners, Archie Graham 3-1


Here are the paddock winners for Friday, August 5:
(Reminder Archie Graham is in Race 6 with post time 8:59 PM)
Elizabeth Ayers-Gibson
Steve Richards
Heather Allen
Daren & Shirley Wagner
Brad Meyer
Ryan & Laura Doerfler
Terry Hall
Adam Kraft
Becky Hunter
Sheridan Jones

Sorry if your name is not on the list. We’ll try and get everyone at least one turn this season. Also, I’ll be by the paddock Friday, and in case of a no-show somebody else will be allowed in the paddock.

Incidentally, Race 6 Friday is the feature race which means the winning jockey and trainer (and hopefully a couple of ERC members) will be interviewed. Let’s hope Archie runs a big one, and that Leslie Mawing and Larry and Sharon Ross are on camera in the Winner’s Circle!

Here is the field for Friday’s 6th Race (Purse $11,500, 3-Year-olds & Up, $10,000 claiming price): 1-Archie Graham, Leslie Mawing, 124 lbs, 3-1; 2-Dare Me Devil, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 124, 4-1; 3-Perfect Night, Jennifer Whitaker, 120, 15-1; 4-Cinematic Cat-SCRATCHED; 5-Mr. Takahashi, Eswan Flores, 120, 5-2; 6-Doctor Bruce S., Javier Matias, 120, 6-1; 7-Raspberry Ala Mode, Rocco Bowen, 120, 5-1; 8-Songandabullet, Juan Gutierrez, 120, 15-1; 9-Dustin’s Passion, Ronald Richard, 120, 6-1.

As you can see, Archie Graham is 3-1 second choice on the morning line, so track line maker Rob Rao believes Archie Graham is going to get a lot of action at the windows. And in Daily Racing Form, George Cottrell picks Archie Graham to win!

I believe Archie will like the shorter distance of 6 1/2 furlongs, and it’s worth noting Archie won his career debut in a very short 5-furlong race and also finished second earlier this year at 5 1/2 furlongs. I’m a little concerned that Friday’s race is not top-heavy on speed, but it’s also interesting to note that Archie Graham defeated morning line favorite Mr. Takahashi in a turf race last year at Golden Gate.

Here’s hoping Archie gets a good trip Friday and makes all of us proud! (I posted the picture of his May 15 victory for good karma.)

As for Diamonds Dena, we can’t get a race to fill and it’s extremely frustrating! We need something in the $20,000 claiming range for older fillies and mares at a mile or a mile and a sixteenth. No dice, but the racing secretary plans to add another race at Dena’s condition for Friday, August 12. We’ll know if it fills Sunday morning, so stay tuned. Sharon said if we can’t get a race for Dena soon, she’ll need another breeze for fitness.

I suppose the best thing you can say about Diamonds Dena is that it’s another lesson for owners. That is, you can have a fit and ready horse for a race, but you still need the race to fill. It’s soooooo frustrating because Diamonds Dena is a good horse!

I’ll post the result and video of Archie’s race ASAP Friday night.

And finally, I’ll send out precise directions to El Dorado Farms near Enumclaw. I sincerely hope everyone plans to be make it Sunday–11 AM to 1 PM–because it’s going to be fun and informative, and we’ll finish up in time so everyone can make it to Sunday’s races at Emerald Downs.

See you Friday night!


Diamonds Dena-Career PP’s

thumbnail_Diamonds Dena

Several of you have asked if we could share the lifetime past performances (PPs) of Diamonds Dena so here they are: Diamonds Dena

Not bad, eh?

As you can see from the photo Diamonds Dena sure seems to be enjoying herself in the new environment with Larry and Sharon Ross. In fact, several of you were supplying Diamonds Dena and Archie Graham with goodies Thursday morning, and I swear if these two could talk they’d say they’ve arrived in Horsey Heaven!

‘Dena has resumed galloping and Larry and Sharon will begin to look for a race soon. I can hardly wait, considering she’s 6-for-8 lifetime at Emerald Downs! If you look closely at her PPs, you’ll also notice Diamonds Dena is a sharp 5-for-10 in races at one mile.

Archie Graham came out of his race well and the poor guy is giving it all, but keeps finishing 4th. A couple of things are being considered, perhaps a mild drop in class or a slightly shorter race?

Incidentally, Life Is a Joy, the 42-1 bomber that won Archie’s race last Sunday, has some “back class”. A review of his lifetime PPs reveal that ‘Joy began his career 3-for-3 with Jerry Hollendorfer and finished second and third to California Chrome in a pair of stakes in 2013.

Drats! Archie Graham 4th Again

It was a hectic weekend, folks!

We acquired a second horse–Diamonds Dena–while our existing horse–Archie Graham– finished fourth. Again.

Sunday’s race was frustrating. All things considered, Archie Graham wound up getting a decent trip from the 10-hole, and it was exciting to watch Archie Graham and Leslie Mawing rally into contention on the last turn. In fact, I really thought we had a good chance to get the money, but it just wasn’t to be. The three horses in front of us into the lane–Life Is a Joy, Private Boss and Hoody–battled all the way to the wire with Life Is a Joy prevailing in a 42-to-1 upset.

So for the second straight race Archie Graham finished fourth out of 10, not bad in the final analysis. But if there’s one thing I know about Emerald Racing Club, it’s that you folks are accustomed to winning!

I’ll let the dust settle and get an Archie Graham report from Larry and Sharon Ross and pass it along.

Diamonds Dena came out of her win Friday in good order and I’ll see what their thoughts are on a potential race for her too.

Also, Nina Hagen of El Dorado Farms and myself are trying to work out a date for our visit to the farm.

Have a great week everyone!



We Claimed Diamonds Dena!

As most of you know by now, Emerald Racing Club added a second horse to its roster Friday. We claimed 5-year-old mare Diamonds Dena out of Friday’s 6th race for $15,000.

Diamonds Dena absolutely loves Emerald Downs, as she proved again Friday with a 1 & 1/2-length victory over Ronda Rocks in a very respectable 1:36.97 for one mile. Diamonds Dena is now 6-for-8 at Emerald Downs (8-for-24 overall) and gives us a an older filly or mare that perfectly complements Archie Graham in our barn.

We taped a video with Sharon Ross filling out the claim slip, explaining why Diamonds Dena is a good fit with Emerald Racing Club. When making the video, we still weren’t sure we would make the claim as Sharon and Larry wanted to take a closer look at Diamonds Dena when she came over to be saddled for the 6th race.

This was the second claim we’ve dropped in the last two weeks. Last time, however, there were three claims in on the horse we tried to acquire, and we lost the subsequent shake and came away empty-handed.

This time, ours was the only claim on Diamonds Dena and all of us–Larry, Sharon, Jacob Pollowitz and myself–were excited to see the red tag placed on Diamonds Dena. We got her, we like her and we’re confident you’re going to like Diamonds Dena too!


Diamonds Dena wins Friday’s feature race at Emerald Downs!

Updated: Archie Graham Finishes 4th Again

Archie Graham gave it a good try, but came up a bit short and finished fourth in the 6th race Sunday at Emerald Downs. It was a decent showing, considering there were 10 horses in the race.

In fact, Archie Graham was only beaten about 3 lengths for the whole ball of wax, as He’s Cagey–winning his third straight race–prevailed by a neck over Tribal Money while the latter was a head in front of third place Hoody.

Archie Graham also raced five-wide on the last turn, so he lost a bit of ground too.

Like I said, it wasn’t a a bad showing, although I’m sure most of you were hoping for a victory today. Maybe Sophia McKee was the whole key to success? After all, I don’t recall back-to-back losses with SM at the helm of ERC!

Anyway, I watched Archie Graham closely after the race and he appeared to walk off OK. However, I’ll confirm Archie’s health with Larry and Sharon Ross on Monday and pass along their thoughts to everyone.

So after three starts for Emerald Racing Club, Archie Graham has one win, two fourths and $8,208 in earnings.

I suppose we could also find solace in the fact that Sunday’s race was exceptionally fast for a $10,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles. He’s Cagey was timed in 1:41.94, which was quite a bit faster than Find Joy’s winning time of 1:43.40 in the Kent Stakes for 3-year-old fillies later on the card.

Incidentally, He’s Cagey was claimed for $10,000 Sunday by owner John Parker and trainer Candi Tollett, and likely will move up a level meaning we won’t have to face him in the next race.

As for adding a second ERC horse. . .

I can tell you that we came close this weekend, and that we’re studying horses and their past performances with a fine tooth comb. We will come up with another horse soon!

Finally, another marvelous turn out for today’s race. You people are amazing!