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Stopshoppingdebbie takes Distaff | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
It wasn't easy, but undefeated Stopshoppingdebbie showed her class Sunday with a three-quarter-length victory over stable mate Goin to the Window in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Rocco Bowen at a stakes record 124 pounds, Stopshoppingdebbie ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.45 and paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Tom Wenzel is the trainer for owner-breeder Northwest Farms.
The victory improved Stopshoppingdebbie to 9-for-9 overall, and the $35,750 winner's share increased her earnings to $247,023. Wenzel and owner Jerre Paxton (Northwest Farms) have discussed a California campaign this fall, but said Stopshoppingdebbie first had to clear Sunday's hurdle.
Goin to the Window would prove a formidable obstacle, drawing nearly even with Stopshoppingdebbie at the eighth pole, but once again Stopshoppingdebbie answered with another surge of energy.
"It was an incredible race," Bowen said. "(Stopshoppingdebbie) was doing it so easy and pricking her ears. I usually don't step it up a notch at the half-mile pole but I had to today to keep her going.
"(Goin to the Window) never got the head in front of us. Once 'Debbie saw her, she just drew away. I was never once worried today. The other horse is a really good horse, so I never let my guard down. But at the end of the day, I knew I was on the best horse. I've won a lot of big races, but I have to say this is the best race I've ever won. It was a special day for me."
A Kentucky-bred by Curlin-Taste the Passion, Stopshoppingdebbie has back-to-back divisional sweeps at Emerald Downs; she swept the 3-year-old filly division in 2013 and the older filly & mare division in 2014. The eight straight stakes wins are a track record, one better than Ropersandwranglers' seven consecutive stakes wins in 1996-97.
Goin to the Window, ridden by Juan Gutierrez at 118 pounds, paid $3 and $2.40. It was three lengths back to Blueberry Smoothie, ridden by Javier Matias at 118 pounds, and a $2.40 show payoff.
With Blueberry Smoothie gaining the show, it marked the seventh time in two seasons that the three Northwest Farms' fillies finished first, second and third in an Emerald Downs' stakes race.
But as usual, Stopshoppingdebbie got the victory.
"We had a good day today," Wenzel said. "All the mares acted pretty good in the paddock and they all performed. Goin to the Window ran a great race running out 'Debbie and, Blueberry Smoothie tried like she always does.
"We hope to (run outside the state with Stopshoppingdebbie). We'll see how the mare pulls up, and then we'll have some decisions to make."