For the Reporter
A Washington-bred colt or gelding by Harbor the Gold out of Bahati. Those are among the most potent bloodlines in Emerald Downs’ history, producing champions Couldabenthewhisky and Del Rio Harbor.
As good as those two were, however, they both finished second in the Seattle Slew Stakes, with Couldabenthewhisky runner-up to Zayda in 2011 and Del Rio Harbor runner-up to stable mate Noosito in 2014.
Sippin Fire – the latest stakes winner produced by Harbor the Gold-Bahati – is the horse to beat Sunday in the 42nd renewal of the $50,000 Seattle Slew, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Trained by Steve Bullock for How We Roll #4, the white-faced gelding comes off a devastating 3½-length score over Freiburg in the $50,000 Coca-Cola Stakes last month.
Ridden by Rocco Bowen, Sippin Fire covered 6½ furlongs in 1:15.41 and earned a career-high 74 Beyer. The Slew marks his first route test, but his older brothers handled two turns fine, and Sippin Fire worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 1/5 on June 29.
Whawasithinking, winner of the six-furlong Auburn Stakes, and Elliott Bay, a stakes winner last year at 1 1/16 miles, are top contenders in a deep field.
Trump Itz, runner-up to Elliott Bay in the 2017 Gottstein Futurity and a recent allowance winner, is another top contender, as is the rapidly-improving Freiburg, whose rail draw complements his sharp speed.
Boundary Bay, third in both the Auburn and Coca-Cola, gets the riding services of Aaron Gryder, while Schoenhardt is a new shooter with route experience in Arkansas. Golden Cowboy, fifth in the Coca-Cola, must overcome the outside post-position.
• Through nine stakes, average field size is 7.3 horses and average $2 win payoff $11.80.
• Long shots have won the last two stakes: Dedicated to You ($24.20) in the Governor’s Stakes and Diamonds R ($28.20) in the Irish Day Stakes.
• Washington-breds have won four of the first nine stakes this season; Boundary Bay, Elliott Bay, Sippin Fire, Trump Itz and Golden Cowboy are Washington-breds in this year’s Seattle Slew.
• Karen and Mickey Taylor, owners of Seattle Slew, will again serve as honorary stewards for the race named in honor of their 1977 Triple Crown champion.
The field for Sundays 42nd running of the $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes, 3-year-old colts & geldings, 1 1/16 miles, Race 8, 5:39 p.m.: 1-Freiburg, Eswan Flores, 118 pounds; 2-Whatwasithinking, Kevin Orozco, 124; 3-Boundary Bay, Aaron Gryder, 118; 4-Smoothee Lee, Austin Solis, 118; 5-Elliott Bay, Jennifer Whitaker, 120; 6-Schoenhardt, Javier Matias, 118; 7-Sippin Fire, Rocco Bowen, 124; 8-Trump Itz, Julien Couton, 118; 9-Golden Cowboy, David Martin, 118.
Racing this week
Friday, July 6
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
Saturday, July 7
5 p.m. (8 races)
Twilight Saturday (through Sept. 22)
Breakfast at the Wire (through Aug. 25)
Sunday, July 8
2 p.m. (9 races)
$50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes
Wiener Dog & Wannabe Races
Blackford, the 7-year-old gelding aboard whom Julien Couton capped his six-win night Tuesday, has won on July 3 the last three years at Emerald Downs. … Frank Lucarelli begins the week needing one win to tie Tim McCanna for most training wins in track history. McCanna is No. 1 with 928, followed by Lucarelli, 927; Howard Belvoir, 745; Jim Penney, 662; Doris Harwood, 540; Roy Lumm, 428; Bud Klokstad, 402; Tom Wenzel, 367; Dan Markle, 359, and Robbie Baze, 350. … Nominations close Saturday for the $50,000 Mt Rainier Stakes (3 & up, 1 1/16 mile) and $50,000 Boeing Stakes (3 & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/16 mile), both to be run Sunday, July 15. The stakes quadruple-header also features the $50,000 Angie C Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and $50,000 King County Express for 2-year-old colts and geldings.