Diamonds Dena Finishes 4th

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Diamonds Dena At The Barn

Diamonds Dena never made a serious bid Friday and finished fourth in the fifth race for $10,000 claiming fillies and mares. And she was not claimed.

It was Dena’s second straight lackluster effort and now, with the season ending Sunday, we must find a buyer for our 5-year-old mare. As you know, the Emerald Racing Club Membership Agreement calls for our horses to be sold at the conclusion of the season, with the sale money added to the ERC purse account. Once we have a final total, we then can divide by 200 and let everyone know how much of their $500 they get back, or roll over to 2017, etc.

One prospective buyer surfaced immediately after Dena’s race Friday,and hopefully a deal can be made this weekend. The price seemed reasonable, given Dena’s back to back sub par outings. Stay tuned.

As for Archie Graham, we are exploring options to make it possible for our favorite gray gelding to return to the Emerald Racing Club next year. He would need to be sold and then bought back when the 2017 Emerald Racing Club begins again early next year.

In so many ways Archie been a perfect horse for our club–extremely sound, friendly and accommodating to visitors, and he has some racing talent too. It also would spare the annual frantic search for a horse and allow ERC members to visit Archie at the barn in February and March, and see how a veteran horse prepares for racing off a layoff.

Several of you already have approached me about finding a way for us to keep Archie Graham. Let us know what you think!

Archie Graham Finishes 2nd With Late Rally


Archie Graham turned in another solid effort Sunday at Emerald Downs, finishing second in the seventh race and earning $2,300 for his efforts. He’s Cagey, our nemesis all season, led gate-to-wire for a a 6 3/4-length victory in a very respectable 1:43.20 for 1 1/16 miles.

Although he didn’t get the victory, Archie Graham rallied from last and gamely edged Angel de Amour for second place money. So in seven starts for Emerald Racing Club, Archie Graham has two wins, one second,four thirds and $18,559 in purse earnings.And you’ve heard me say it all season, but this particular group of $10,000 claimers is as tough as I’ve seen at Emerald Downs.

Time for my little editorial on Archie Graham:

Archie has performed steadily all season for Emerald Racing Club. He’s a professional racehorse, giving us everything he had in seven starts while maintaining fitness and enthusiasm throughout. I know Larry and Sharon Ross have grown quite fond of Archie, ditto for regular rider Leslie Mawing, and me too.

What’s more, Archie Graham has been a delight at the barn, kind and affectionate with his many visitors and fans, and enthusiastic in his training. In short, he’s been a lot of fun.

Way to go, Archie!

We also learned Sunday that Diamonds Dena is a go for Friday night. She runs in Race 5 (about 8:30 p.m.) for $10,000 claiming older fillies and mares at one mile. Javier Matias is the rider. More on that race later in the week.

Enjoy Labor Day everybody!




Archie Graham Paddock, Sunday Sept. 4


Hi Emerald Racing Club,

Paddock for Archie Graham, Race 7, 4:45 p.m., Sunday, September 4. We have extra room because we’re on the far (north) side of the paddock.

Kay Ray

Andrew Gohl

Sal Viggsano

Milt Tremblay

Alexa Darin

C.J. Koenig

Gerald Boures

Michael Monelli

Virgil Maas

Ron Barber

David Pitts

Tom Chin

Gary Grant

Annie George

Zee Straight-Weiss

Kevin Murphy

Tammy Miller

Chris Trujillo

Stacy Hanks

Also, Diamonds Dena worked a very easy half-mile Saturday in :53.40 seconds. Entries for her race will be drawn Sunday morning.

Look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!

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

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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.