No Race Sunday!

Distinguishable had a mishap Friday morning and trainer Mike Puhich said she will be scratched from Sunday’s race.

I will offer more details in today’s email, but don’t worry, Distinguishable is in no distress and is resting comfortably in her stall. She should be back in action soon.

Distinguishable’s workout went well, too. She worked an easy three furlongs in :35.80 under Isaias Enriquez, and the jockey said everything was going well, but Distinguishable coughed several times on the walk back to the barn and Puhich immediately decided to scratch. Thoroughbred racing has its share of ups and downs, and it’s no fun giving you folks lousy news like today’s.

McDove, meanwhile, was given the morning off, but is doing well and we could have a race next Friday.

Distinguishable Runs Sunday

Distinguishable is officially entered in Race 5 Sunday at Emerald Downs. Post time is 4:09 p.m.

The condition is a simple one: a $15,000 claiming race for fillies & Mares 3-year-olds and up which have never won three races. Period. The purse is $11,300, the distance 6 furlongs.

We drew the No. 4 post in a field of eight, but we have a new rider Sunday–Isaias Enriquez. Javier Matias, who rode Distinguishable in her first two starts this season, will ride It’s My Knight for trainer Doris Harwood in Sunday’s race. I have no qualms with Enriquez, a former riding champ at Emerald Downs, but I will find out what happened and report back.

Enriquez will get a feel for Distinguishable Friday as Mike Puhich plans to work her three furlongs at 6:30 a.m. In horse racing vernacular this is called a “blowout”, a short drill immediately on top of a race to have the horse nice and sharp for the contest. It also will allow Enriquez to get a feel for our filly.

If anyone wants to watch the workout, meet me at the paddock at 6:15 a.m. I know it’s early, but it will be the first time Distinguishable has actually had a timed workout at Emerald Downs. I’ll take some pictures and post them Friday along with an analysis of the race.

I apologize again for these last minute changes, but when the extra race was posted, Puhich said if we don’t run Sunday we might be waiting at least another two weeks for a race.

McDove also is ready to go. There is a possible race for her Friday, May 26, and she is likely to have a workout this weekend too.

Sunday’s weather forecast is an almost perfect sunny and 72 degrees, and in addition to nine Thoroughbred races there will be one camel race and one ostrich race. Those latter two events should be interesting.

Blue Ribbon Farm/Griffin Place-Saturday, May 13

Saturday morning we are visiting two of Washington’s top Thoroughbred breeding farms–Blue Ribbon Farm and Griffin Place–which are located side by side in Buckley. We will see stallions, foals and broodmares along with a behind-the-scenes look at Thoroughbred breeding farms.

Debbie Pabst  of Blue Ribbon Farm and Mary Lou Griffin of Griffin Place will be our hosts, and the Equine Art Commission will provide free coffee. Debbie and Mary Lou each will make a presentation and then answer questions.

It takes about 35-40 minutes to get to Blue Ribbon Farm from Emerald Downs and bring rain gear! It appears showers are possible and the ground might be a bit muddy. Directions below.

Here is the schedule:

Blue Ribbon Farm, 9:00-10:15 a.m.

Griffin Place, 10:30 -11:45 a.m.

Blue Ribbon Farm

Griffin Place

Blue Ribbon Farm address:  26719 120th Street E. Buckley, WA. 98321

From Emerald Downs take 167 south to highway 410 (Bonney Lake exit). Follow 410 east until you are about one mile from Buckley and turn right on Mundy-Loss Rd.  Continue through four-way intersection to traffic light at 120th St E. and turn right.  Follow 120th St. until you have gone over two speed bumps, then turn right and enter thru the blue gate (White River High School is on the other side of the street). You will be directed where to park.


Distinguishable came out of Sunday’s race well, and trainer Mike Puhich is mulling options for a next race. It’s fairly common to drop in class off a loss, so we could be looking at a $15,000 claimer for her next start. Distinguishable was pretty tired after the race, so it’s good to see that she is bouncing back well.

As for McDove, the latest condition book listing races for Friday, May 19 to Sunday, June 4 just came out, and I’ll see what Sharon and Larry Ross have in mind.

Distinguishable Finishes Third

Distinguishable relaxing Sunday morning

We have a new rival, her name is Jerre to Carrie, and we now owe her two races.

It just wasn’t Distinguishable’s day Sunday at Emerald Downs. She finished third as Jerre to Carrie led all the way for a 2 1/4 length victory in 1:09.99 for six furlongs. Parkers Delight finished second, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Distinguishable, and Distinguishable edged Fly Far Away by a head for third place.

You might recall that Jerre to Carrie was the horse that beat McDove on April 22, meaning that Jerre to Carrie has now beaten both of our horses this season.

Sunday’s race was a $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races (not including maiden races and claiming races for $22,500 or less). Distinguishable earned $2,250 for third, and in two starts for ERC she has a win and a third and $8,300 in earnings.

The bettors were right Sunday, as they made Jerre to Carrie the 8-to-5 favorite followed by Distinguishable and Parkers Delight both at 2-1. Jerre to Carrie took the lead and set fractions of :22.13 for the opening quarter-mile, :45.10 for the half, and :57.16 for five-eighths. Distinguishable was in second place most of the way, but weakened noticeably in the final furlong and barely held third place.

Afterward, jockey Javier Matias said Distinguishable simply got tired chasing Jerre to Carrie, and he already knew on the turn that it wouldn’t be our day. It probably didn’t help that Distinguishable hadn’t had an actual workout since her win on April 9, as she skipped a couple of scheduled workouts because of track conditions. Disitnguishable jogged or galloped almost every day, but it just isn’t the same as a timed workout.

Matias added that Distinguishable also threw her head a couple of times in the starting gate and said he might suggest some morning schooling in the gate.

The good news is Distinguishable seemed to walk back to the barn OK, so we should be able to regroup and look for another race before long.

Incidentally, none of the horses in the race were claimed Sunday. Jerre to Carrie, claimed for $15,000 in the race two weeks ago, earned a quick $8,250 for her new owners Sunday.

With Mike Puhich still en route from Kentucky, it proved difficult to meet with ERC members after the race. I dashed to the jockeys’ room for a brief chat with Matias, and then headed back to the winner’s circle area and did manage to find a few of you and relay what was said. Going forward I think the area directly back of the winner’s circle is a good area to gather for a quick rehash of the race. There’s plenty of room and the location is directly across from the giant TV screen.

McDove, meanwhile, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.60 Saturday morning and is about ready for another race. The new condition book begins Friday, May 19.

I’ll try and head back to the stable Monday and make sure everything is OK with Distinguishable, and I’ll also be out early for training Wednesday and Thursday.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Reminder: The Blue Ribbon Farm field trip is Saturday, May 13. Their address is 26719 120th Street E., Buckley, WA. 98321. I’ll confirm a time with Debbie Pabst and send detailed driving directions later in the week. We’ll probably start around 9 a.m.

Distinguishable Morning Line Favorite

There is a slight change in post time for Distinguishable’s race Sunday at Emerald Downs. Race 4 is now listed at 3:20 p.m., 16 minutes earlier than previous posted.

The weather forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies and 62 degrees with only a 10 percent chance of rain.

Distinguishable is the 9-to-5 morning line favorite, followed closely by Parkers Delight, 2-1, and Jerre to Carrie, 5-2.

Please email if you would like to be in the paddock drawing. With a small five-horse field we have room for 15 people, and remember ERC members who weren’t in the paddock either April 9 or April 22 have priority.

Here is the field with morning line odds: 1-Fly Far Away, Irving Orozco, 117 lbs, 6-1; 2-Our Silver Lining, Eliska Kubinova, 120, 6-1; 3-Jerre to Carrie, Rocco Bowen, 120, 5-2; 4-Parkers Delight, Jose Zunino, 123, 2-1; 5-Distinguishable, Javier Matias, 120, 9-5.

Sunday’s eight-race program begins at 2 p.m.

McDove’s workout Friday was postponed due to track condition.

No visitors at the Ross barn this weekend, please. Several horses shipped in from Golden Gate Fields and it’s a bit hectic there right now, and Sharon and Larry also have two horses running Sunday.

Distinguishable Race Sunday

In case you missed the email earlier today, Distinguishable is racing this weekend after all. She runs Sunday in Race 4 at 3:36 p.m.

Again I apologize for the inconvenience caused by these last minute changes. The extra race race that didn’t fill with only three horses Saturday was offered again on Sunday’s card, and this time drew five horses. Emerald Downs is going through a horse shortage and many of the races in the condition book are not filling, and an inordinate number of extra races are being used.

The good news is that Distinguishable is ready to roll. Sunday’s race is a $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races (not including maiden races and claiming races for $22,500 or less). The purse is $15,000 (55 percent to the winner) and the distance 6 furlongs.

Here is the field: 1-Fly Far Away, Irving Orozco; 2-Our Silver Lining, Eliska Kubinova; 3-Jerre to Carrie, Rocco Bowen; 4-Parkers Delight, Jose Zunino; 5-Distinguishable, Javier Matias. I will add the morning line and an analysis of the race Friday.

My initial thoughts are that it’s great to have the outside post-position as it will allow Javier Matias some options early in the race.

Distinguishable beat Our Silver Lining in the April 9 race, so that’s a good sign. Jerre to Carrie, you might recall, defeated McDove in the April 22 race and was claimed by owner Richard Caswell and trainer Kay Cooper. Parkers Delight has seven career wins and will be up close to the pace early. Fly Far Away is the only horse without a start this season but her trainer, Blaine Wright, is red hot with eight wins in 15 starts this season.

McDove, meanwhile, is scheduled to have a workout Friday morning, probably around 7:10 a.m. But the weather in Auburn has been crazy this afternoon, with all kinds of lightning, thunder and heavy rainfall. Sharon Ross will probably have to take a good look at the racetrack before making a final decision on McDove’s workpout.

I spoke to Debbie Pabst of Blue Ribbon Farm and our field trip is a go for Saturday, May 13. I will finalize the time and send everybody directions to the farm early next week.

No Race This Saturday

No race this Saturday for Distinguishable at Emerald Downs. The race drew just three entries, and so it’s back to the original plan and wait for the race on Sunday, May 14.

The May 14 race on Mother’s Day is a $25,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at 6 furlongs. We need at least five horses to enter to make the race go.

Nice to see several of you out this morning to watch the fillies train. It rained pretty much all morning, and Mike Puhich canceled Distinguishable’s workout due to track condition, but she did jog two miles and continues to train well.

McDove galloped one mile and Sharon Ross has scheduled a workout Friday morning, weather permitting. The forecast is for showers, so it might be touch and go.

I’ll be out Thursday and Friday morning, hope you can join me!


Possible Distinguishable Race Saturday

In horse racing, the first Saturday in May always means its Kentucky Derby day.

But in addition to the 143rd Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs, Distinguishable also could have a race Saturday. The race–a $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs–is an “extra” race that could be used if the races listed in the condition book do not fill.

It’s virtually the same condition as the race we have been planning to enter Sunday, May 14 (and the one we will enter if Saturday’s race doesn’t fill).

I realize you have plans to make, and pitching curve balls isn’t ideal, but an even worse scenario would be to sit out Saturday’s race and then the race on the 14th doesn’t fill. It’s doubtful there are enough horses in our category to support both races.

As I mentioned, Saturday is Kentucky Derby day and one of the busiest days of the season at Emerald Downs. I know many of you prefer to watch the race on the apron next to the racetrack, but since it will be crowded I will get us a section of reserved seats with a good view.

We should know whether it’s a go by late Wednesday morning.

Trainer Mike Puhich also said Distinguishable will have a workout Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. It will be three furlongs with jockey Javier Matias aboard, and hopefully you can swing by and catch the drill.

I’ll be at the paddock by 6:45, and after the work we can ask Puhich questions and perhaps go back to the barn and watch Distinguishable cool out, etc. Afterwards we can stick around and watch McDove gallop.