Sunday, April 9, is going to be a terrifically busy day for Emerald Racing Club.
In addition to our annual Orientation, which begins at 12 noon, we also have our first starter of the racing season as Distinguishable will run in Race 5 at 3:51 p.m. The race is 5 1/2 furlongs for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races, with a $15,000 claiming price and 11,000 purse. Distinguishable drew the outside post position in a six-horse field with Javier Matias the jockey.
So we should have a full day to say the least. Check-in for Orientation begins at 11:30 a.m., and former jockey Vicky Baze will help help to get people checked in and pass out Sunday’s official racing program. (Don’t purchase one!)
The most important thing is for you to meet our trainers, Sharon Ross and Mike Puhich. We will talk about their training careers, review the rules for ERC visitors at each barn, and answer questions from Club members. Think of some good ones!
Other guests include Phil Ziegler, President of Emerald Downs Racetrack & Casino; Jody Peetz, one of the top owners at Emerald Downs; and Matt Dinerman, Emerald Downs track announcer who will help with the Emerald Racing Club this spring and summer.
At 1 p.m. handicappers John Lindley and Gary Dougherty will discuss the basics of reading the program and Daily Racing Form, and also field any questions from our audience. I also will pass out Daily Racing Form past performances of Distinguishable and McDove, and John and Gary will teach you how to read them.
We will use a hat drawing to determine the paddock winners for Sunday’s race. Since there are only six horses in the 5th race, we should be able to get 15 ERC members into the paddock no problem. Sunday’s winners then become ineligible for the paddock until every ERC member has had the same opportunity. Also, do not despair first-time Club members, as you still will have a close-up view of the paddock activity.
Sharon Ross called an audible Friday morning and had McDove work four furlongs (half mile) under Javier Matias. The official time was :51 and 1/5 seconds. Sharon and Javier both were pleased with the workout.
McDove probably will have one more work before her tentative race Saturday, April 22.
Distinguishable did not go to the track Friday, although she did walk for 40 minutes on the mechanical hot-walker.
If anyone has questions, I will be back in the office by 1 p.m. Saturday. You can reach me at (253) 288-7723.