- About Us
Improving Stryker Phd is off to California | Emerald Downs
One of Emerald Downs' top horses is headed to California, trainer Margo Lloyd said Thursday.
Stryker Phd, who rolled to a 3¼-length victory in Sunday's $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, will ship to Golden Gate Fields with Lloyd, who plans to have a small string of runners in the Bay Area this fall.
Stryker Phd – who broke his maiden on the turf at Golden Gate last November – will be pointed toward a turf race or two, with regular rider Debbie Hoonan maintaining the mount.
"I'm really thrilled with how well (Stryker Phd) is doing, especially after a long campaign," Lloyd said.
Stryker Phd showed a new dimension in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic by laying much closer to the pace than usual – a tactic which can cause a closer to lose his punch.
But not Stryker Phd. He inhaled the field and drew off to win in 1:40.99 for 1 1/16 miles. Only Herbie D in the Mt. Rainier Handicap, with a 1:40.52, has run a faster 1 1/16 miles at the meet.
"I think he's still learning," Lloyd said of her star charge. "He's almost handicapped himself by being so far back this season. Debbie (Hoonan) said he was comfortable closer (to the pace)."
A 4-year-old gelding by Bertrando-Striking Scholar, Stryker Phd improved to 1-4-1 in six starts at the meet, with earnings of $97,835 for Jim and Mona Hour. His Beyers have been steady as a rock, including a 96, 97 and 96 in his last three starts.
Local fans needn't worry as the plan is for Stryker Phd to return to Emerald Downs in 2014.
"If I was to predict, I think he'd be a fantastic 5-year-old," Lloyd said.
E Z Kitty, Metz soaring
For trainer Jeff Metz, Washington Cup XI was a near-perfect afternoon. The 46-year-old native of Alameda, Calif., had his first three-win day at Emerald Downs – capped by E Z Kitty's victory in the Pegasus Training Center Stakes – and surged into first place in the trainers' standings with 38 wins.
With three weeks left in the meet, Metz had a chance to unseat two-time defending training champion Frank Lucarelli. "Hopefully, we can try to make it all the way to the title," Metz said. "We're down to about 16 horses, and you figure most of those will get one more start."
E Z Kitty put an exclamation point on her sensational meet with a 3¾-length victory in the Pegasus, earning a career-high 92 Beyer in the process. The 5-year-old He's Tops mare has three stakes wins at the meet and has virtually clinched honors as top Older Filly or Mare, and also has a chance for Top Washington-bred honors. She leads all Washington-breds in 2013 earnings with $165,024.
Owned by Bruce and Cass Maller, E Z Kitty will ship to Turf Paradise and be pointed to the $35,000 Princess of Palms Stakes on Saturday, October 12.
Other Washington Cup runners doing well
According to Kay Cooper, daughter and assistant to trainer Jim Penney, Jebrica and Madame Pele are doing great after competing last Sunday on Washington Cup XI.
"Both horses are doing very well," Cooper said. "I was happy with how they competed."
Jebrica, third to Stryker Phd in the $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, finished his 2013 Emerald Downs campaign with great success. Led by his victory in the June 16 Budweiser Handicap, Jebrica concluded the season with a 4-1-0-2 record in the stakes program, including a fourth-place finish in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Aug. 18.
A 5-year-old by Liberty Gold, Jebrica is expected to make his next start in the $100,000 B.C. Premiers Stakes (G3) on October 14 at Hastings Racecourse. No stranger to the Vancouver racetrack, Jebrica captured the B.C. Premiers as a 3-year-old in 2011 and just missed by neck to Commander in the 2012 Premiers.
Stable mate Madame Pele made her one start this season at Emerald Downs count, taking command at the three-eighths marker and pulling away in the Comcast SportsNet Stakes. A 3-year-old daughter of Salt Lake, Madame Pele improved her Emerald Downs record to 4-1-2-1 with first, second and third in stakes company.
On the barn front, Cooper confirmed Thursday that the Penney contingent would ship a string of runners to Golden Gate Fields to compete in its fall meeting.
Weekly honors 21: Trainer - Jeff Metz (10-3-2-2); Jockey - Isaias Enriquez (17-4-3-5); Owner - John E. Parker; Groom - Jesus "Chuy" Gonzalez (Bonnie Jenne); Washington-bred: He's Not Bluffin (Ron & Nina Hagen breeder). ... Trainer Rigoberto Velasquez, who has four horses entered Friday, has won with 10 of his last 20 starters – 6-for-11 at EmD and 4-for-9 at PM. ... Jockey Joe Steiner visited his parents' Quarter Chute Café on Thursday and said he plans to resume riding at the Santa Anita Fall Meet, with Corey Black as agent. ... With two stakes wins Sunday, Juan Gutierrez and Rocco Bowen are now tied for first in stakes wins with six apiece. ... In the trainers' stakes standings, Tom Wenzel leads Doris Harwood 6-4, with Robbie Baze and Metz tied for third with three wins apiece. ... In the overall standings, Jeff Metz leads two-time defending champion Frank Lucarelli 38-37, followed by Harwood with 33 wins and Stenslie with 30. ... Metz said he has 16 horses left at Emerald Downs, and figures to have 13-to-15 starters remaining in his quest for the title. The 46-year-old trainer said he plans to return to Emerald Downs for a second season in 2014.