Directions to Pegasus Training Center

Please note we will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 1.

As I mentioned in the email, the location is 37 miles from Emerald Downs.

If you have any problems please call my cell at (253) 335-2657 and I’ll help guide you in. They have plenty of parking available.

Lousy news: No go for McDove on Sunday, but Monday is a possibility.

pegasus map



Distinguishable Claimed For $25,000

Distinguishable-Friday, June 23

Distinguishable (No. 6) in the stretch run Friday

In case you missed the email last night, Distinguishable finished fifth and was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Manny Ortiz and owner Carrie Brogden, a partner in Select Sales Agency of Lexington, KY.

There actually were two claims in for Distinguishable, with trainers Ortiz and Tim McCanna each depositing claim slips prior to the 15-minute cutoff before last night’s 6th race. When multiple claims occur for the same horse, they draw peas in the paddock to determine who gets the horse, in this case Ortiz and Brogden.

I emailed Brogden to confirm that Distinguishable was claimed as a broodmare, and hopefully will hear from her soon. As we’ve discussed before, Distinguishable is very attractively-bred (By Distorted Humor-Officiate) and sold for $250,000 as a yearling in 2014, and she obviously makes a fine broodmare candidate.

As for last night’s race, I thought Distinguishable ran very well. She finished fifth, but she did the dirty work, pressing the early pace as Ila Veiw wound up tying the fastest 6 furlongs by a filly or mare in track history with a 1:07.90 clocking. Ila Veiw set remarkably fast factions–:21.53 for the quarter-mile, :43.80 for the half-mile and :55.55 for five-eighths–and kept right on going.

As I wrote in the email last night, if Ila Veiw isn’t in the race Distinguishable would have won. That’s just an opinion, of course, but trainer Mike Puhich felt the same way. The horses that wound up passing us for second, third and fourth place all lagged back early, while Distinguishable was out there challenging Ila Veiw on the turn for home. Full credit to the winner, she was dynamite.


Anyway, sorry to see Distinguishable go. She was classy and wonderful with visitors, and one gets a bit emotional when that red tag is placed on the horse. Incidentally, that $25,000 claim tied the biggest of the season at Emerald Downs.

As Mike Puhich said in our post-race gathering, any time you turn a profit you have to look at the big picture. We purchased Distinguishable for $10,000, and in three starts she earned $8,680 in purses. Combine that with the $25,000 for the claim and we got a grand total of $33,680 for our $10,000 investment. There were training bills, of course, but the final tally is easily in the black.

The plan now is to claim another horse (or horses.) I promised never to be mad if one of our horses was claimed, but I also feel what’s fair is fair, and Puhich and Larry and Sharon Ross have their eyes wide open. We also still have McDove and she is getting close to another race following her great effort June 3.


The trip to Pegasus Training Center is Saturday, July 1. I will email the time and directions early in the week. You can figure around 8 a.m.


Incidentally, I saw something today at Santa Anita that was a first in nearly four decades in racing. A nicely bred 4-year-old named Award It was entered in a $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares and listed as a hermaphrodite–which I always understood was an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes. However, they made this distinction to warn any would-be claimers that Award It is not able to be bred, so in this case spending $25,000 as a potential broodmare would not have worked.





Friday Race Update

Hi Everyone, Matt Dinerman here again!

I just wanted to add a little bit to my analysis on Distinguishable’s race Friday night.

Kiss My Lulu is now scratched out of the sixth race tomorrow night, so that is one less rival to worry about. Trainer Blaine Wright has opted to run Kiss My Lulu in a race on Sunday afternoon. As of late Thursday afternoon, there are now seven fillies and mares signed on to compete in Distinguishable’s race.

This, in my opinion, is a major defection. You’ve got one less speed demon to worry about, so it might effect the pace scenario. Ila Veiw and Our Silver Lining are both quick, so they’ll be ensuring a fast pace. I still believe Distinguishable is going to sit in a stalking position, but we will see.

REMINDER: Distinguishable runs in Race 6. Post time is at 9 PM.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Distinguishable 4-1 Morning Line

The more I look at Friday’s race, the more psyched out I get. I’m not saying Distinguishable can’t win–after all, she’s 4-to-1 on the morning  line–but it isn’t going to be easy.

We are the third choice in an eight-horse field of $25,000 claiming fillies and mares that is top to bottom tough. Moreover, the race appears loaded with speed, not an ideal scenario considering Distinguishable is a front-runner. Kiss My Lulu and Ila Veiw are both confirmed speedsters, while Distinguishable, Parkers Delight and Our Silver Lining also have good early lick. Arlington Lady, Fly Far Away and Trinni are stretch-runners that could be rallying into a fast pace.

Reminder we’re in Race 6 at 9 p.m. It’s the featured Muckleshoot Casino Purse with a purse of $15,200, and wouldn’t it be fun to have Javier Matias, Mike Puhich and a couple of ERC members interviewed by Joe Withee after the race? In any event, the weather is going to be splendid and hopefully everyone has a lot of fun.

I thought it might be fun to get Matt Dinerman’s opinion of the race. In addition to being America’s youngest track announcer at age 24, Matt also is an excellent handicapper whose selections appear every race day on I asked Matt to first envision on how he sees the race shaping up in terms of pace, and then to select the top three finishers.

Here is the field with the morning line odds followed by Matt Dinerman’s analysis: 1-Arlington Lady, Erick Lopez, 12-1; 2-Fly Far Away, Julien Couton, 8-1; 3-Kiss My Lulu, Juan Gutierrez, 6-1; 4-Ila Veiw, Eswan Flores, 5/2; 5-Parkers Delight, Jose Zunino, 3-1; 6-Distinguishable, Javier Matias, 4-1; 7-Our Silver Lining, Eliska Kubinova, 15-1; 8-Trinni, Rocco Bowen, 5-1

“Hi everyone! Matt here. I’m really looking forward to calling the green and white Emerald Racing Club silks this Friday night. Like Vince said, there is a lot of speed in this race. Let’s go over each quick filly and mare:

#3 Kiss My Lulu is a ‘need the lead’ type, meaning if she doesn’t race on the lead, she stops. So, there’s one way for her to go. She’ll be out in front.

The runner breaking right to her outside, #4 Ila Veiw, has also done her best work when on the lead, so I expect her to be keeping Kiss My Lulu company on the front end.

#7 Our Silver Lining has dueled on the lead in prior starts, but she has tactical speed, meaning she can be effective stalking the pace (AKA sitting RIGHT behind the leaders) before making her run down the stretch. The good news for Our Silver Lining is she is drawn OUTSIDE of the other speedsters. Her jockey (Eliska Kubinova) can look over, see what others are doing and then place her where she sees fit. It wouldn’t be surprising if she sits right on the leaders’ tails, though I can’t see her being farther than a length and a half away from the pace. If she was drawn inside, Eliska would probably have to be a little more aggressive out of the gates and go to the lead to make sure not to get trapped in traffic. But because she is drawn outside Eliska knows she’s going to get a clear trip, so she has options.

Now….#6 Distinguishable has speed herself. In her first start for ‘The Club,’ I’m sure you all remember she went to the lead and never stopped. Last time out, she stalked the pace and finished third. I think Distinguishable is a lot like Our Silver Lining; she can stalk if need be but her best weapon is her speed. She is naturally quick and if you take away that natural quickness, she is not going to be in a good, fluid stride and she won’t run her very best race. I expect Javier to let Distinguishable get in a natural, quick stride, put her in a stalking spot and then ask her to run by the leaders down the stretch.

Vince is right; this is not an easy spot. You’ve got a lot of nice quality fillies and mares in here. My top pick is Parker’s Delight, who is going to get a perfect stalking trip off the speed and will get the first jump on the closers if the pace collapses. My second pick is Kiss My Lulu, making her first start for the Blaine Wright stable. Blaine is exceptionally good at improving runners once he claims them. In fact, he wins at a 32% clip with runners making their first start for him after a claim! My third pick is your girl Distinguishable. This is a really tough field she is running against, but she is training GREAT at Pegasus and the fact she has tactical speed gives me the confidence that Javier can put her in a good spot based on how the race is shaping up and, hopefully, put up a solid effort.

Sometimes, horses that come off of HUGE efforts “bounce” in their next start, meaning they regress significantly. This could be the case with Ila Veiw, who ran her eyeballs out three weeks ago in an allowance race, losing the contest by a head after getting a clear lead and setting the pace before getting tagged in the final strides. The thing is, this time she is going to have company out on the front end and it will be awfully hard to duplicate that last run. So, from a horseplayer perspective, she is a play against for me, especially at a short price. HOWEVER, if she CAN repeat that last effort, she’s tough.

Good luck to The Emerald Racing Club on Friday night! We look forward to seeing many members at the track. Hopefully, we’ll see you all in the winner’s circle too!”






Distinguishable Returns Friday, June 23

Distinguishable returns to action Friday night at Emerald Downs. She runs in a $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

It goes as the featured Race 6 at 9 p.m.

The race actually drew eight horses, which is surprising since the same condition only had five entries two days ago. No complaints, though as it will be nice to watch Distinguishable race again, especially after her bleeding episode last month. She has trained well in the interim at Pegasus and will return to her same stall at Emerald Downs early this week, probably Tuesday.

The field for Friday’s race (fillies & mares 3-year-olds and up which have have never won two races, not including maiden wins or claiming races $22,500 or less): 1-Arlington Lady, Erick Lopez; 2-Fly Far Away, Julien Couton; 3-Kiss My Lulu, Juan Gutierrez; 4-Ila Veiw, Eswan Flores; 5-Parkers Delight, Jose Zunino; 6-Distinguishable, Javier Matias; 7-Our Silver Lining, Eliska Kubinova; 8-Trinni, Rocco Bowen.

It’s a tough race, about what you would expect at this level. Kiss My Lulu and Ila Veiw both have serious speed, but at least Distinguishable drew outside of those two. I’ll have a race analysis later in the week.


McDove, meanwhile, breezed a half-mile in :50 flat Sunday morning with Javier Matias riding. Sharon Ross said it was a “maintenance” drill to keep up the fitness level between starts. McDove had a tough race 15 days ago, so we’re probably still a little ways from another race for her.



McDove Misses In Thriller


Exit Sixty Slew (red) & McDove battle through the stretch

McDove ran a wonderful race and did everything but win Saturday at Emerald Downs.

With Javier Matias donning the green and white silks of Emerald Racing Club, McDove took the early lead, was resilient when challenged on the last turn, and battled head and head the length of the stretch vs. a sharp filly named Exit Sixty Slew.

Unfortunately, Exit Sixty Slew had her head down at the wire and prevailed in a photo finish, thus becoming the first horse to win three races this season at Emerald Downs.

The race was the $15,600 Stella Artois Purse for fillies and mares, with a $20,000 claiming price.


Exit Sixty Slew in front. . . .barely

Ridden by Rocco Bowen, Exit Sixty Slew ran one mile in 1:36.66 and paid $3.80 as the betting favorite. She was claimed, too, as trainer Blaine Wright and owners Below The Rim Stable and Medicore Racing claimed Exit Sixty Slew from Saturday’s race for $20,000.

McDove ran fabulously in defeat, easily finishing second, while First Heritage, Diamond Cut and Cup of Soup rounded out the order of finish. It was a bit surprising to see McDove grab the early lead away from Exit Sixty Slew, but trainer Sharon Ross said Javier Matias rode the horse well.

“Sometimes they break sharp and want to roll,” she said. “Javier’s a good rider with a great clock in his head, and he knows how to adapt during a race.”

McDove led by a length and half while setting fractional times of :24.31 for the quarter-mile, :47.76 for the half and 1:11.55 for three-quarters (six furlongs). Exit Sixty Slew challenged from the outside on the last turn and appeared headed for another convincing victory, but McDove wouldn’t go away, and the two 4-year-old fillies raced side by side the length of the stretch in a virtual match race.

Although the photo didn’t go our way, it was very neat to see the Emerald Racing Club reward McDove with a big round of applause after the race. She earned $3,120 for her efforts.

“McDove ran a great race,” Sharon Ross said. “Sometimes you run great and get beat, it happens in horse racing.”

For ERC veterans, Saturday’s contest was reminiscent of the 2015 stretch duel between Charlie Thomas and Coach Royal, and just as exhilarating.

We’ll let the dust settle, regroup and then explore options for another race for McDove. In two starts, she has one second, one third and $4,800 in earnings.






McDove 5-2 Third Choice

There is a slight change in post time for McDove’s race Saturday at Emerald Downs. She is entered in Race 4, post time 3:19 p.m., which is 19 minutes earlier than I reported Wednesday.

What happens is our simulcast coordinator, Eric Berry, studies the post times at other race tracks and then tries to slot our races so that they don’t conflict with other tracks. Sometimes that means adjusting post times a few minutes one way or the other.

Anyway, Mcdove’s race is 3:19 p.m.

Here is the morning line for our race: 1-Diamond Cut, Juan Gutierrez, 7-2; 2-Cup of Soup, Eswan Flores, 10-1; 3-Exit Sixty Slew, Rocco Bowen, 9-5; 4-First Heritage, Kevin Orozco, 2-1; 5-McDove, Juan Gutierrez, 5-2.

McDove is 5-2, which means the morning line maker thinks she will go off the third choice in the wagering at 5-2 (2 1/2 to 1)–just slightly higher than Exit Sixty Slew, the morning line favorite at 9-5, and First Heritage, the second choice at 2-1. Again, the public has the final say and determines the actual odds by how much they wager on each horse, but it’s safe to say this looks like an evenly matched field.

As I handicapped the race, it appeared obvious that Exit Sixty Slew is going to have the lead to herself on Saturday, always a dangerous a scenario in horse racing. Exit Sixty Slew has shown keen speed in both victories this season, but those were sprints and the idea is to keep her within striking distance early and then catch her in the stretch. That would be our dream scenario Saturday, lay just off of Exit Sixty Slew and then sweep past in the stretch for the victory! Mind you, however, we leave the actual strategy to Javier Matias and Larry and Sharon Ross.

The race is one mile, two furlongs farther than McDove ran in her first race here April 22, and the added distance should be a positive factor Saturday.


Distinguishable cleared a major hurdle Friday morning at Pegasus, and it appears she will race again for ERC. She breezed four furlongs in :52 flat, scoped clean afterwards, and trainer Mike Puhich said all systems are go.

“Realistically we could look for a race, but we might want to work her one more time just to make sure,” Puhich said. “Things are progressing nicely for her.”

I will email video of Distinguishable’s work later tonight.


Michelle Reagan of the The Gift Horse said the Emerald Racing Club t-shirts will arrive next week and available for pick up beginning Friday, June 9.

ERC T-shirt

McDove Race This Saturday

McDove is back in action Saturday at Emerald Downs. We finally got a race to fill and she runs in Race 4, post time 3:36 p.m.

The race is a $20,000 claiming race for fillies and mares 3-year-old and up at one mile, with a $15,600 purse. We drew post-position No. 5 with Javier Matias our jockey.

Needless to say, we’re very excited to watch McDove race again. Her first outing was pretty good, a third-place finish at 6 1/2 furlongs on April 22, and this time she stretches out to one mile in distance. McDove, the feeling has been, would be better around two turns. Her sire (Proud Citizen) was runner-up in the 2002 Kentucky Derby (1 1/4 miles) and her dam (Dove Cry) is by a sire (Dove Hunt) whose 11 career victories were all in races one mile or longer. McDove’s most recent victory on February 2 was in a one-mile race.

Here is the field for McDove’s race: 1-Diamond Cup, Juan Gutierrez, 119 lbs; 2-Cup of Soup, Eswan Flores, 119; 3-Exit Sixty Slew, Rocco Bowen, 119; 4-First Heritage, Kevin Orozco, 114; 5-McDove, Javier Matias, 119.

As you see, there are only five horses in the race but some good ones. Exit Sixty Slew already has two wins this season, albeit against slightly softer competition, and she appears to possess the most early speed in the race. Diamond Cut has raced mainly on turf in Arizona and California, but has earned $143,568. Cup of Soup was a tough competitor at this level here last year and has four wins in 12 starts at Emerald Downs. First Heritage has five career wins and was just claimed for $15,000 by Blaine Wright, currently the leading trainer at Emerald Downs.

I’ll have some more handicapping notes and post the morning line Friday.

After the race, we can meet behind the winner’s circle (below) and Sharon Ross can analyze the replay. She also can tell us what Javer Matias had to say and answer any questions.

Saturday’s first race is 2 p.m.

Distinguishable continues to gallop well at Pegasus Training Center and will have a four-furlong workout Friday morning.