Tribal Waters To Run Saturday – Dancing Yodeler to Retire

Tribal Waters

Tribal Waters is in! He is entered in the 9th race on Saturday, August 1. It is a Claiming $12,500 – $10,000 going 6 1/2 furlongs. Jockey Leslie Mawing is aboard.

If you have not been to the paddock yet, please RSVP for the Paddock, click here. Please do so by 5 pm on Friday, July 31.

Charlie Thomas

Charlie was entered for Sunday and the race did not fill. It only had four horses. Now we must wait to see if the racing secretary will bring the race back as an extra, otherwise the next race in the book is two weeks away.

We got some great photos of Charlie this morning. You may notice that he has a different exercise rider. Brian Allen, our regular exercise rider, broke his leg in a starting gate incident and he has been replaced by Gilbert Ramirez. We wish Brian a speedy recovery!

_J3T9001 _J3T9047

Dancing Yodeler

Dancing Yodeler was instrumental in kicking off the first Emerald Racing Club. At the end of last year Dancing Yodeler was sold to a spin off group from ERC called Left Coast Thoroughbreds. Dancing Yodeler would be their first foray into racehorse ownership independent of the ERC.

Left Coast Thoroughbreds kept him in training with the Ross’ and brought him back to Emerald in the spring. He was claimed in his first start of the season and they subsequently claimed him back two starts later.

Upon claiming him back, they learned that he had an injury that would necessitate retirement from racing. Yodeler will be retired to Sharon’s farm and after recovery will pursue a second career.

We are honoring Dancing Yodeler with a retirement ceremony on Saturday.

He will come over with the horses for the fourth race, then parade to the Winner’s Circle with jockey Leslie Mawing aboard for a final time.

After the parade, he will return to the paddock for a photo with the original Emerald Racing Club members.

Many of you were part of the club last year. As his original owners, you are invited to join us in the paddock for a photo. You may enter through Will Call gates under “Emerald Racing Club”.

We wish Yodeler the best in retirement, and who knows…we might see him back next year as Sharon’s new pony horse!

yodeler tongue


Training Schedule and The Morning Line

Training Schedule

Tribal Waters and Charlie Thomas are expected to work Saturday first and second after the renovation break (reno 8:30 – 9) pending track and weather conditions.

Tribal Waters was entered twice this past weekend but the race did not fill.

You can watch the horses work as part of Breakfast at the Wire – a casual morning gathering with special guest trainers, jockeys and more. You can get a tasty breakfast for $6 and the program runs 8 am – 10 am Saturdays until the end of August.

The Morning Line

The “morning line” are the odds in the official track program that are set before the races.

The morning line odds are not actually a handicapper’s best guess of who will win the race, but is their best guess at how the public will wager. The morning line is printed in the Daily Racing Form and also in our Official Track Program.

Charlie’s “morning line” in his last race was 5-2, meaning that Rob Rao, our staff member that makes the morning line believed that he would be the favorite in his race and that his best guess at the final odds is 5-2 ($5 returned for every $2 bet).

The morning line may seem simple, or in a sense a “best guess” but it is actually a mathematical formula. To explain it further, I’ve found an excerpt from Ed Burgart – race caller at Los Alamitos. His references to the takeout works for Washington as well (our Win takeout is 16.1%).

(The following column is reprinted from the October 2000 issue of The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal.)

Calculating the Morning

While establishing the morning line looks simple on paper, it requires a mathematical formula. It isn’t as easy as putting down 5-2 on one horse and 10-1 on another.

A good morning line maker wants his total odds to “balance.” If we didn’t have to worry about a takeout in the win pool (about 16 percent in California), the complete race odds would balance at 100 percent.

“But we have to leave room for percentages we don’t calculate,” says Russ Hudak, morning line maker at Hollywood Park. “The takeout in the win pool is 15.75 percent. With the takeout about 16 percent, we want to allow for a margin of error. I usually allow the morning line to run between 123 and 125 points. We can allow one point per horse per race.”

Therefore, by adding 16 and 100 percent, we arrive at 116 percent. By allowing one point per horse, the morning line will generally balance between 124 and 126 points for fields with eight or more horses. For simplicity reasons, I try to keep my morning line odds around 125 points for nearly every race, regardless of the field size.

Balancing Act

How does an oddsmaker arrive at points for odds? And how do the odds eventually add up to 125 points?

I use odds ranging from 2-5 to 30-1. In a majority of competitive races, I make the morning line favorite around 5-2 or 3-1. I always strive to find horses that I don’t think the public will like and make them longshots, in the range of 20-1 or 30-1.

Then, I look for middle-range horses, the type I sense some fans will like and others won’t. These horses are usually in the 6-1 to 10-1 category. The horses I think the public will wager heaviest on are the lowest odds on the morning line. In the case of a standout horse like world champion Tailor Fit, I make his morning line odds even lower than 5-2 or 3-1, because the public is likely to wager more heavily on a proven runner.

In these scenarios, the final morning line balances to 125 points. So how do we compute the odds to total 125 points? By dividing 100 percent by the odds plus 1, we arrive at a point system. For example, 2-1 represents 33 points (100 divided by two plus one). Odds of 7-2 are 22 points (100 divided by 7/2 plus 2/2 equals 100 divided by 9/2). Odds of 4-5 are 55 points (100 divided by 4/5 plus 5/5 equals 100 divided by 9/5). By reverting to grade school mathematics, we multiply 100 X 5/9 to arrive at 55 points for 4-5. And we multiply 100 X 2/9 to arrive at 22 points for 7-2.

On your next trip to the track, you can determine if a morning line balances by using the point system in the accompanying box. Coincidentally, the final odds always balance around 125 points as well — use the aforementioned formulas when looking at final odds in a race chart.

To help fans understand the difference between handicapping and making a morning line, the Los Alamitos program includes this disclaimer: “People around the track talk about the morning line but few know what it really is. No, it’s not another person’s opinion as to the winner of a race. Instead, a paid racing official tries to predict how the public will bet a particular race.”

Morning Line Points
I calculate the morning line odds of a race using this point system:



What did we win?

You should still be basking in the glow of victory this morning. Many thanks to trainers Larry & Sharon Ross, jockey Leslie Mawing, exercise rider Brian Allen, and Charlie’s groom Dagoberto Torres. It really is a team effort to get each and every horse to the races and a superb job by everyone in the Ross barn.


Groom Dagoberto Torres leads Charlie in the paddock. Photo by Hilary Hutchison.


Charlie Thomas breaks from post position 3. Photo by Erin Palmer.


Charlie makes the lead under Leslie Mawing. Photo by Erin Palmer.

You may now be asking yourself, what did we actually win?


Charlie and Leslie Mawing return to the Winner’s Circle. Photo by Wayne Nagai.

We can turn to the chart to see:

chart with win

For Charlie’s first place finish the Club earned $8,195.

Of that 10% is paid to the trainer, 10% to the jockey, and 1% stake to the grooms in the barn.







There’s an additional $5 for Prodigious Fund (retired racehorse fund) and another fee for jockey insurance of $6.50. Those will all be detailed in our Horsemen’s account statement when we review July financials next month.

So all in all you won $6,462.55! (Plus your winning tickets!)


In addition to the Win photos, you may also opt to purchase a DVD of Charlie Thomas’ race for $10. You may do so by visiting Customer Service on Track Level, or by calling 253-288-7711.






Charlie Thomas Wins!

Charlie Thomas_win photo_7-11-15

Charlie Thomas won today’s 8th race in a breathtaking last to first rally. He finished first by a half-length over Rocky’s Quest.

You can replay the race by clicking here. Full chart is here.

At the end of the day we all have our memories of the experience, but we also have the very official (and coveted) “Win Photo” taken by the track photographer.

You may order one from Reed Palmer Photography (official track photographer) for $10. This is a special promotional rate offered to Emerald Racing Club members. Email or call 503-380-0430 to request your photo.

For future reference (and wins), the track photographer is located on ground level of the Grandstand to your left before you exit the main gates. The photos are copyrighted, please don’t print from here.

If you captured your own and you’d like to share, please email and we’ll collect them together.

Emerald AM Recap

We noticed a number of Emerald Racing Club members got their day off to a good start by riding Howard Belvoir’s all-time leading money earner and 2008 Longacres Mile winner, Wasserman. Heather Sacha got some great photos and I pulled all the ones that I saw a lanyard in! She has more on her smugmug website. If you see yourself, please comment below and I’ll update captions.

wasserman and jennifer

Longtime rider for Wasserman, jockey Jennifer Whitaker brings Wasserman to the paddock to greet his fans.

wassie joe

Our own TV host Joe Withee even came out for a ride.

erc wasserman fan erc wassie 2 erc wassie kid wasserman wasserman fan 2

Paddock List for July 11 and Emerald AM

Paddock list for Saturday:

  • Dave Freeburg
  • Randy Mecham
  • Shirley Wagner
  • Stacy Hanks
  • Michael Thyng
  • Jennifer Gans
  • Patti Klump
  • Michael Kauffman
  • Mark Foltz
  • Brian Johnson
  • Miriam Wilson
  • Liz Ayers
  • Michael Whidbey
  • Robert Handley
  • Celia Handley
  • Perry Kusakabe
  • Art Schneider

Charlie Thomas will run in the 8th race. Two horses have scratched out of the race. Please meet our customer service staff by the paddock immediately after the running of the 7th.

Emerald AM

Emerald AM is our free morning workout program from 9 am – 11 am. Emerald AM is hosted by Jacob Pollowitz and includes; morning workouts, interviews with trainers and jockeys, and special for tomorrow – a visit to the starting gate. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about what goes into getting a horse ready to race, the visit to the starting gate is a rare opportunity.

After the starting gate, 2008 Longacres Mile winner Wasserman will be appearing in the paddock for photos. And if you are lucky, you might even get to sit on the track’s leading money earner! Then, at 11 am we have the tram tours through the stable area.

Wasserman gives me a free ride!

Wasserman gives me a free ride!

Coffee, juice and danishes are provided.

If you wish to visit Tribal Waters and Charlie Thomas tomorrow, meet our volunteer Holly at the paddock crossover at 11 am and she will escort you back to Sharon’s barn on foot. The paddock crossover is where the horses walk out onto the track from the paddock. It is the area where the public walks across the rubber bricks to access the Park area. Wear your lanyard so she can identify you as an ERC member!

Since Charlie is in tomorrow, he is NOT allowed treats, but TW will enjoy them. Also, Charlie will get anxious if you stand in front of his stall without feeding him, so you might get a quick glimpse of him and then have to go around the corner. We want to keep him relaxed and quiet before his race.

Charlie Thomas to Run July 11

Charlie Thomas is entered to run Saturday, July 11 in the 8th race. He is in post position 3 of 9 horses going 1 mile for $15,000 claiming. Jockey Leslie Mawing is aboard. Overnight is here.

RSVP for the paddock by 5 pm on Friday, July 10 by clicking here.

If you have already been in the paddock this year, please do not RSVP. I will let you know when everyone has had a chance to make it through and when we are ready to cycle through again.

I will have the paddock list posted later Friday night.

Tribal Waters Update

We are happy to report that TW came out of his race just fine.

Wayne Nagai got some great photos of TW from his eventful race on Saturday.

_DSC0665 _DSC0822 _DSC0856

Equine Art Show

The Equine Art Show is taking place on track level, south end, this weekend. Be sure to take a stroll through the art!

Tribal Waters Runs 4th Via DQ

Tribal Waters endured an extremely rough trip and was eased. While racing along the inside he was bumped very hard by the four horse. Jockey Joe Steiner had to check sharply and then eased Tribal Waters across the finish line in last. Full chart here.

After a lengthy steward’s inquiry, the horse that bumped him was disqualified and placed last. The result was TW was moved up from fifth to fourth.

The “stewards” are employed by the Washington Horse Racing Commission and the three individuals are responsible for ensuring that the rules of racing are followed. During the races they are in the Steward’s Stand on the sixth floor watching the race on multiple TV monitors and through the binoculars.

In Tribal Waters’ case, they determined that the four horse, My Chief, had cost Tribal Waters a better finish and therefore they DQ’d him.

There are two different types of evaluations regarding interference in racing:

1) A foul is a foul (regardless of the outcome, the horse should be DQ’d)

2) A foul only matters if the horse interfered with was cost their best position because of the foul

Washington rules of racing adhere to the second school of thought. If a foul did not affect the outcome, then they will let the finish positions stand. If a foul did affect the outcome, then they will make a change.

You can watch the Replay of Tribal Waters Race here.

Sharon reported that it appeared Tribal Waters didn’t suffer any ill effects from his jostling trip, but we’ll know more in the morning. He may be a little stiff from having his hind end knocked about.

Charlie Thomas

Charlie Thomas is sharp and we’ll be entering him for next weekend.

Emerald AM

Saturday, July 11 is Emerald AM. This is a free morning program from 9 – 11 am with free coffee, juice and danishes.

It is hosted by Jacob Pollowitz and includes a visit to the starting gate and interviews with trainers and jockeys.

If you wish to visit the barn on Saturday, Holly will be meeting and escorting Club members at 11 am. If you’d like to go to the barn, meet Holly on the track apron by the margarita stand (track level, above the paddock).


Tribal Waters Paddock List

Paddock list for Tribal Waters’ race:

Zee Straight-Weiss
John Escude
Gerald k Boures
Wayne Hoff
Marshall Nichols
Mark Babin
Brad Meyer
Joan Jones
Jennifer Teeter
Kristie Polito
Milt Tremblay
Gina Goodyear
David Lewis
Becky Hunter
Joy Carlson
Erika Hoffmire
Debbie Connell
Jan Reed
Sheila Berg

Tribal Waters will race in race 5. Please meet our customer service staff at the entrance to the paddock. Wear your lanyards!

Tribal Waters To Run July 4

Tribal Waters will run on Saturday, July 4!

He will be running for the same conditions as last time: C12500-10000NW3 (which you all know what that means now!). He will be in race 5, breaking from post position 2. Overnight is here.

The race is 5 1/2 furlongs and jockey Joe Steiner remains aboard.

RSVP for the paddock by 5 pm on Friday, July 3, click here.

If you have already been in the paddock this year, please do not RSVP. I will let you know when everyone has had a chance to make it through and when we are ready to cycle through again.

I will have the paddock list posted later Friday night.

July 4 we are celebrating FREEdom with FREE admission, so be sure to bring your friends and family to the races and no need to call Dana for additional Will Call that day.

Section 15 is always reserved for horsemen and overflow will go to section 19. Seating on a first come, first served basis.

July 3 Fireworks Spectacular

Reminder we have special 4:30 pm post time for the July 3rd Fireworks Spectacular presented by Carl’s Jr. Fireworks will go at approximately 10 pm.