COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

Father’s Day at EmDowns: Sunday race set for 90-year-olds and up

  • Friday, June 15, 2018 6:04am
  • Sports

In honor of Father’s Day, Emerald Downs’ is carding one of the most unique races in Thoroughbred history.

Sunday’s 6th race – “The Not in Any Rocking Chair Starter Allowance” – is for 3-year-olds and up that have started for a claiming price of $3,500 or less in 2017-18 and whose trainer was born on or prior to June 6, 1928.

In other words, the race is open to horses whose trainers are at least 90 years old, of which Emerald Downs has several. The horses in Sunday’s race are conditioned by 94-year-old Arturo Arboleda, 91-year-old H.R. Pat Mullens, 90-year-old Ira Rhodes, and 90-year-old Bob Meeking, who celebrated his 90th on June 6, hence the conditions of the race.

“We thought this would be a great way to honor these guys on Father’s Day,” said Phil Ziegler, president of Emerald Downs Racetrack and Casino. “What other sport could a 90-year-old still be out knocking heads with the younger guys and gals?”

Originally from Canada, Meeking has had a long and celebrated career while conditioning horses like Longacres Derby winners Mincemeat (1970) and Salad Sam (1976). Still going strong at 90, he has five wins this season and is looking forward to Sunday.

“I think it’s a good idea, and it seems apt for Father’s Day,” he said. “What it really shows, though, is that this is an ageless business.”

Fittingly, Meeking sends out Trelawny in Sunday’s six-furlong race. Like his trainer, the 11-year-old gelding is still going strong at an advanced age, winning five races last year as a 10-year-old and once in three starts this year.

Arboleda is coming off his best season at Emerald Downs, winning 10 races in 2017 including five that paid 10-1 or higher. In 2015, he gave Joe Steiner a leg up for the jockey’s 1,000th career victory.

H.R. Pat Mullens has 233 career wins at Emerald Downs. A veteran of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War, Mullens overcame a life-threatening aortic aneurysm last winter and already has three wins at the meet.

Rhodes currently has a one-horse stable, consisting of 7-year-old gelding Some Storm Cat who finished third in his most recent start.

The field for the Not in Any Rocking Chair Starter Allowance: 1-Regazze Cat, Kevin Orozco riding, 120 pounds, Arturo Arboleda trainer; 2-Cats Gulch, Jose Zunino, 120, Arboleda; 3-Trelawny, Julien Couton, 124, Bob Meeking; 4-Some Storm Cat, Eswan Flores, 120, Ira Rhodes; 5-Ryan Walt, Rocco Bowen, 124, H.R. Mullens.

More in Sports

Fully charged for state

Kentridge devours district field to reach the 4A tournament for the first time since 2001

Kent-area athletes part the waters at state

Kentridge diver McKnight takes second

Chiefs get past Thunderbirds in overtime

Mount registers first career goal in 3-2 loss to Spokane

Kentridge captures district title, soars into state tournament

Chargers take down Olympia in final, improve to 22-0

COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces 2019 race dates

67-day meet opens April 20, ends Sept. 22

The Stars’ Jamael Cox driving the ball up the field against the San Diego Sockers during Ron Newman Cup playoff action last March. COURTESY PHOTO, Stars
Venerable Cox returns to the Stars for indoor season

Major Arena Soccer League veteran Jamael Cox will be back with the… Continue reading

The Thunderbirds’ Wood checks the Silvertips’ Conrad Mitchell into the boards during WHL play Saturday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
Silvertips slide past Thunderbirds on military appreciation night

Seattle wears special military-themed jerseys for charity

Kent Reporter honors Kentwood’s Kersey, Hed

Kentwood High School’s Derek Kersey, football, is the Kent Reporter’s Male Athlete… Continue reading

Kentwood’s bumpy season comes to an end

Conquerors drop district playoff to Curtis, turn attention to next season with plenty of returning talent

Most Read