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Private Gold scores with another Emerald Downs 2YO winner

Washington’s leading second-crop sire, Private Gold, added to his arsenal of 2-year-old winners at Emerald Downs on August 14, when his daughter Zenovit outran the nine other maidens who lined up against her to record her first career victory.


The 8-5 wagering favorite, who carried top weight of 122 pounds including jockey Seth Martinez, entered the $20,000 claiming test for non-winners off a second-place finish at the same level and distance — 5 1/2 furlongs — on July 23. She repeated the running tactics from that race by stalking the early leaders, then engaging her competition in a strong stretch run.


Zenovit earned the win by a stubborn nose when she prevailed in a prolonged drive to the wire, which she reached in 1:03.60. Hanging on for the hard-luck place after setting the early fractions of the race was another filly from Private Gold’s 2007 crop, Private Fortune, who finished 1 1/2 lengths clear of the third-place runner.


Trained by Larry Ross, Zenovit has banked $8,963 from her three starts to date. She is the second foal out of the winning Cahill Road mare Cahilina, and was bred in Washington by Dana Claxton and Riverbend Farm, who still retain joint ownership.


Nine-year-old Private Gold is represented by 11 winners and total progeny earnings of more than $210,000 from two crops to race. A dual stakes winner by Seeking the Gold, he stands at El Dorado Farms in Enumclaw. — August 14, 2009


Atticus surpasses $10 million in lifetime progeny earnings

In the midst of one of his most successful years of production, it was appropriate that the California stallion Atticus achieved yet another landmark on August 12. His 2006 Grade 3 winner Can’t Beat It ran unplaced in a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Delaware Park, but earned enough from the effort to elevate his sire past the $10 million mark in lifetime progeny earnings.


The 6-year-old veteran is one of 25 stakes horses representing the 17-year-old Nureyev stallion, who relocated from Kentucky to stand at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California prior to the 2005 breeding season. An earner of $377,190 from 32 starts, Can’t Beat It is also one of five Atticus runners to capture a graded or group stakes event, a coalition led by the 2005 Florida Derby (G1) winner and 2009 first-crop sire High Fly ($927,300).


Several other offspring have added to their sire’s laurels in 2009. Atticus Kristy, a 62-time starter and $761,050-earner who hit a career high when he won Keeneland Race Course’s 2006 Shakertown Stakes (G3) at 5, succeeded in Monmouth Park’s $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes on August 8 as an 8-year-old. On the opposite end of the spectrum is 3-year-old Strawberry Tart, a blossoming filly who has won four races this year, including Hollywood Park’s $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes and $87,335 Manhattan Beach Stakes, and ran a hard-fought second in the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (G2) at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on August 1.


Strawberry Tart represents her sire’s initial crop of California-conceived runners, as does the colt Lucky Primo, winner of the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Stakes in October 2008.


A Grade 1 winner and $1.2 million-earner who set a world-record time for one mile (1:31.89) in 1997, Atticus is currently represented by nine crops of racing age. He has sired 143 winners from 247 starters, and boasts more than $40,000 in average earnings per runner. — August 12, 2009


Hollywood Harbor leads Harbor the Gold hit parade

The precocious Harbor the Gold gelding Hollywood Harbor strengthened his chances of earning a year-end title as Washington’s champion 2-year-old male with his second consecutive blow-out stakes victory at Emerald Downs on August 9, followed in third by his 2007 cropmate Koala Beach, who collected his own second straight stakes placing. [WATCH RACE VIDEO]


Gate-to-wire winner of the track’s $31,275 Northwest Stallion Strong Ruler Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on July 18, Hollywood Harbor improved on that five-length victory with another runaway score in the Premio Esmeralda Stakes, which was contested at six furlongs and valued at $45,000. Partnered again with jockey Jose Zunino, the Washington-bred employed the same speedy tactics to run the other five juveniles off their feet and tally his second win.


After breaking with interest from the gate, Hollywood Harbor set brisk fractions of :21.20, :43.80 and :55.60 as the 2-5 favorite, and was ridden out to the wire with a 5 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:09, equaling the stakes record.


“I was a little bit worried because he was going awfully fast,” said winning trainer Chris Stenslie, whose charge pushed his three-race earnings to $45,351. “He just goes so easy, makes it look so easy. He’s getting better and better, faster and faster. It’s very exciting to be a part of this horse’s success.”


Produced by the multiple stakes-winning Slewdledo mare Miss Slewette, Hollywood Harbor is campaigned by Jody Peets’ One Horse Will Do Corp. and John Holmes.


Koala Beach, runner-up to Hollywood Harbor in the Strong Ruler, closed for third in the Premio Esmeralda to improve his bankroll to $20,540. A winner in his local June debut, the Washington-bred gelding was ridden by Ricky Frazier for trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jeff Harwood. He is the first foal out of the unraced Distinctive Cat mare Kittyzallwet, a half-sister to Hollywood Harbor.


Both geldings were bred by Bar C Racing Stables Inc.


Two days before the talented 2-year-olds put on a show in Washington, the 3-year-old filly Aroseformadeline represented their sire as a gate-to-wire winner in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race at Grande Prairie in Canada. The stakes-placed Leonard Hammrich homebred won for the fourth time from 12 starts, bringing her overall earnings to $14,570. An Oregon-bred, she was produced by the winning Katahaula County mare Cheyenne Rose, and is currently trained by John Harris.


All three runners are by 8-year-old Harbor the Gold, a resident of Bar C Racing Stables in Hermiston, Oregon who currently reigns as the state’s leading second-crop sire. Six of the first seven winners for the Seeking the Gold stallion have won or placed in stakes events. — August 9, 2009


Atticus veteran sprints to stakes win on the Jersey Shore

After knocking on the door with two seconds and a third in three consecutive stakes races from May through July, the veteran Atticus runner Atticus Kristy broke through with a spirited victory in his 62nd lifetime start: the $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park on August 8. [WATCH RACE VIDEO]


The turf sprint specialist, who captured Keeneland Race Course’s grassy, Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs in 2006, relished the same approximate distance on the Jersey Shore in the My Frenchman. Entered as the 4-5 favorite against six rivals and paired with jockey Joe Bravo, the well-traveled gelding tracked 1 1/2 lengths behind the two battling front-runners while racing in third alongside the rail, swung to the outside in the stretch, then got his 8-year-old legs pumping when it came time to do the real running. He reached the wire in a robust 1:02.13 as a one-length winner, improving his total bankroll to $761,050 with the $36,000 paycheck.


Atticus Kristy is now in profit mode for his new owner, David Ross, who claimed the four-time stakes winner from his breeder, Centaur Farms Inc., and former co-owner, Dan Lynch, for $50,000 at Keeneland four months ago; he has earned more than $65,000 from his four subsequent starts for Ross at Monmouth and Atlantic City Race Course.


Overall, the Kentucky-bred carries a career line of 14 wins, 13 seconds and 12 thirds. He is the third stakes winner out of the Unbridled mare Christy Love, and is currently trained by Michael Pino.


Atticus Kristy is one of 25 stakes horses sired by the 17-year-old Magali Farms stallion Atticus, a Grade 1-winning millionaire by Nureyev who relocated to California prior to the 2005 breeding season. — August 8, 2009


Juvenile son of Private Gold returns to winner’s circle in style

Private Jettz, a representative from the second crop of runners by Washington’s leading freshman sire of 2008, Private Gold, justified his 6-5 favoritism when he crushed an eight-horse field at Emerald Downs on August 6 in only his third lifetime start.


The 2-year-old gelding broke on top and led at every call of the 5 1/2-furlong dash, setting internal fractions of :22.40, :46 and :58.20 before he carried jockey Gallyn Mitchell across the wire in a final time of 1:04.60. In the end, his closest rival only managed to get within 6 1/2 lengths of his back heels to secure the place; it was another 5 1/2 lengths back to the third-place finisher.


A front-running winner at 4 1/2 furlongs in his local June 6 career debut, Private Jettz stepped immediately into stakes company for his next start: the Northwest Stallion Strong Ruler Stakes on July 18. He did not get to the lead in that 5 1/2-furlong race, and finished an even fourth. For his third outing, he relished the drop to $12,500 claiming company and pocketed a $5,445 winner’s check for trainer Blaine Wright and owners John and Janene Maryanski, who bred the youngster in Washington.


To date, Private Jettz has earned $12,465. He is the second foal out of the two-time winner Freedom in Flight, by Free At Last.


Graded stakes-placed Private Gold won three races, including a pair of stakes events in Kentucky, and now stands at El Dorado Farms in Enumclaw, Washington. The 9-year-old son of Seeking the Gold has 10 winners from his first two crops of racing age. — August 6, 2009


Washington champ nabs stakes placing for Harbor the Gold

The 2008 Washington Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Noosa Beach, a son of Oregon’s leading second-crop sire, Harbor the Gold, added to his lofty credentials on August 2 with his runner-up finish in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap for sophomores at Emerald Downs. [WATCH RACE VIDEO]


Racing as a homebred for owner Jeff Harwood and his wife, trainer Doris Harwood, Noosa Beach has made all eight of his career starts at the Washington oval, where he has compiled a record of four wins and three placings and a $113,125 bankroll. He has competed exclusively in stakes company since he broke his maiden by daylight in his August 2008 debut, and captured three of those stakes events carded at distances of 6 1/2 furlongs or less: the 2008 Captain Condo Stakes and the 2009 editions of the Pepsi Cola Handicap and the Auburn Stakes.


Asked to tackle 1 1/16 miles in the seven-horse Seattle Slew under the familiar guidance of regular rider Juan Gutierrez, speedy Noosa Beach battled head to head with Peaceful Reign throughout the race, and set the opening fractions of :23.20 and :46.20 when he led by a head on the outside of that rival for the first half-mile. But the 4.80-1 fourth wagering choice was no match for his stubborn counterpart, who finally passed him in the stretch en route to a 4 1/2-length victory. Noosa Beach held on for second, reaching the wire 2 1/2 lengths clear of the 9-5 favorite, Winning Machine.


Noosa Beach was bred in Washington, and produced by the unraced Basket Weave mare Julia Rose.


He is the top earner for the winning Seeking the Gold stallion Harbor the Gold, an 8-year-old resident of Bar C Racing Stables in Hermiston, Oregon. — August 2, 2009


Atticus filly Strawberry Tart misses Grade 2 victory by a nose

The steadily improving Atticus filly Strawberry Tart, perfect in her last two starts, stepped up to Grade 2 stakes company for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s $150,000 San Clemente Handicap on August 1, and emerged just a nose short of victory. [WATCH RACE VIDEO]


A dual stakes winner on the turf during Hollywood Park’s 2009 spring/summer meet, Strawberry Tart returned to the surface at Del Mar for the one-mile San Clemente, a race which attracted 10 sophomore fillies for its 42nd edition. She was reunited with rider Martin Garcia, who guided her in both Hollywood wins, and installed as the second wagering choice at odds of 2.40-1.


After a clean break from post #3, the Jeff Bonde-trained filly was bumped by a rival when the field bunched up entering the first turn. She overcame that wobble to run in fifth along the rail for the majority of the trip, eventually passing the tiring front-runner in the stretch to take a brief, glorious lead on her own. But, on her outside, the 11-1 longhsot Starlarks (Ire) was full of momentum from her own last-to-first run, and was able to nip Strawberry Tart at the wire in a swift 1:33.82.


“Tough beat,” Garcia said after the race, which marked his mount’s first runner-up finish from seven career starts. “For a second there, I thought I had it.”


Strawberry Tart is now her sire’s leading North American female earner, with a bankroll of $182,625. The four-time winner was bred in California by Valentine Farm LLC, and produced by the Strawberry Road (Aus) mare Mylittletart. Her owners are George and Mary Clare Schmitt.


Atticus, 17, holds court at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California. The Grade 1 winner by Nureyev has 25 stakes horses and progeny earnings of more than $9.9 million to date. — August 1, 2009


Vronsky represented by maiden winner at Del Mar

On July 29, the oceanside track operated by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Southern California served as the stunning backdrop for the first career victory by Premiere Flyer, one of five winners from the initial six starters sired by the young stallion Vronsky.


Facing nine other runners in the restricted, six-furlong maiden claiming test, the 3-year-old gelding outran all comers — as well as his 10-1 odds — with a 1 3/4-length score in 1:11.53. The Donald Warren trainee was ridden by Victor Espinoza, who has been aboard for all four of his starts to date. Premiere Flyer raced three times from April through June at Hollywood Park, placing once, then turned in a pair of five-furlong works at Del Mar in mid-July before he started locally for a $40,000 claiming price.


The change in scenery worked in his favor. Premiere Flyer gave chase along the inside early, moved up leaving the turn and took control of the race with a sixteenth of a mile to go. At the conclusion, he led a mouth-watering, $1,821.80 trifecta of longshots.


Bred in California by Old English Rancho and produced by the winning broodmare Flying in Style, by Flying Sensation, Premiere Flyer is a half-brother to 2007 Derby Trial Stakes winner Flying First Class. He is campaigned by E.W. and Judy Johnston in partnership with Dolores Riggio, and he has now earned $17,600.


The second-crop sire Vronsky, 10, is a winning son of Danzig who resides at the Johnstons’ Old English Rancho in Sanger, California. He is represented by cumulative progeny earnings of nearly $130,000 to date. — July 29, 2009


Private Gold gelding scores third victory from last five starts

On July 26, He’s All Heart added to his racing credentials when he became the fourth three-time winner for Washington’s leading second-crop sire, Private Gold.


The 3-year-old gelding overcame an early speed duel to capture a $15,000 claiming race carded at one mile around the Emerald Downs oval, where he has made all nine of his career starts. The race marked his most valuable victory to date, and his third from his last five starts. His other two local wins came at the $7,500 claiming level: first on May 22, when he defeated 10 other maiden Washington-bred runners with a 4 1/4-length win margin at six furlongs, then on June 5, when he returned to the same distance for a two-length score in open company.


Partnered again with jockey Robert Burney, who had guided him to those prior two achievements, He’s All Heart battled with fellow speedster Tucannon until the twosome neared the three-quarter marker, then took over and successfully held his main contender at bay until he reached the end of the race with a one-length advantage in 1:36. The gelding banked $5,995 for his gritty effort and pushed his overall earnings to $18,914.


He’s All Heart was bred by Washington Thoroughbred Foundation, and produced by the Chequer mare Big Headache. He is trained by Larry Wolf for owner Vic-Tory Stables IV.


Private Gold, 9, stands at El Dorado Farms in Enumclaw, Washington. The Seeking the Gold stallion, a two-time stakes winner, is represented by progeny earnings of more than $180,000 from two crops of racing age. — July 26, 2009


Emerald Downs stakes exacta tops big day for Harbor the Gold

A pair of juvenile runners by the budding stallion Harbor the Gold occupied the top two positions in Emerald Downs’ $31,275 Northwest Stallion Strong Ruler Stakes on July 18, tightening their sire’s grip on the title of Oregon’s leading second-crop sire of 2009 in the process.


The Washington-bred geldings Hollywood Harbor and Koala Beach dominated the 5 1/2-furlong sprint, with even-money favorite Hollywood Harbor quickly translating an energetic burst from the starting gate into an insurmountable lead. Ridden by Jose Zunino, the Chris Stenslie trainee carried a four-length advantage at the quarter-mile mark, which he reached in :21.60, and left no doubt about the outcome as he motored to the finish a five-length winner in 1:03.60.


Turning in a strong effort of his own was the 9-5 second wagering choice, Koala Beach. With leading rider Ricky Frazier up, the Jeff Harwood runner chased his cropmate in second throughout and held the five other starters at bay to secure the runner-up check 1 1/2 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher.


Hollywood Harbor and Koala Beach were both bred by Bar C Racing Stables Inc. The former is out of the multiple stakes-winning Slewdledo mare Miss Slewette, and sold for $21,000 as his sire’s top-priced yearling in 2008. Hollywood Harbor is owned by One Horse Will Do Corp. and John Holmes, and has earned $20,601 by scoring one victory and one placing from his first two starts. Koala Beach is trained by Doris Harwood, and has earned $13,790; he also totes one win and one placing from his initial two outings.


Two races after the 2-year-olds completed a stakes exacta at the Washington oval, 3-year-old Who’s Your Next Ex added to their sire’s credentials when he romped to his own fourth career victory in a one-mile allowance optional claiming event. A front-running, 5 1/4-length winner against six overmatched rivals, the Charles Essex-trained gelding pushed his eight-race bankroll to $39,393 when he reached the wire in 1:36.80 under regular rider Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo.


A Portland Meadows stakes winner at 2, Who’s Your Next Ex was bred in Washington by Kim Smith, and currently races for owner Kimberly Nobles. His dam is the winning Synastry mare Synanita.


All three runners were sired by 8-year-old Harbor the Gold, a dual winner by Seeking the Gold who stands at Bar C Racing Stables in Hermiston, Oregon. From two crops to race, he is represented by six stakes horses and cumulative progeny earnings of more than $235,000. — July 18, 2009


Private Gold enhances his status as Washington leader

The July 18 racing program at Emerald Downs proved to be a successful one for Private Gold, last year’s leading freshman sire in Washington, when his 2-year-old son Movie Clip nabbed a stakes placing in only his second lifetime start and his 3-year-old daughter Primadonna Pearl rallied for her third victory while establishing herself as the stallion’s top earner.


In the featured $31,275 Northwest Stallion Strong Ruler Stakes for juveniles, Movie Clip saved ground on the inside under jockey Jose Contreras, then finished willingly for third in the 5 1/2-furlong test, reaching the wire 6 1/2 lengths behind the runaway winner, Hollywood Harbor, but ahead of four other starters.


A runner-up in his local 4 1/2-furlong career debut on June 14, the Doris Harwood-trained gelding has now earned $7,431 from a pair of placings for his owner and breeder, Frank Gaunt. Movie Clip was produced by the winning On Target mare Paper Clip.


One race prior to the Strong Ruler, Primadonna Pearl banked $5,995 for winning a $15,000 claiming race by a neck in 1:11. Saddled by trainer Vann Belvoir and ridden by Jose Zunino, she rocketed from seventh to first in the six-furlong event, defeating seven rival sophomore fillies at odds of 10-1.


Like Movie Clip, Primadonna Pearl was bred in Washington and also earned the distinction of being stakes-placed at 2. From 15 starts, she totes a record of three wins and seven placings and earnings of $31,840. She is campaigned by Howard Maggard.


Primadonna Pearl is the second foal out of the winning Slewdledo mare Primadonna Poppy, and was bred by Carleen Phyllis Belton and Dan Belton.


Each of the youngsters hails from one of the initial two crops by Private Gold, a two-time stakes winner who currently stands at El Dorado Farms in Enumclaw. The 9-year-old Seeking the Gold stallion is represented by nine winners and four stakes horses from his first 23 starters. — July 18, 2009


Private Gold juvenile filly nabs stakes placing in second start

Making just her second lifetime start, the Private Gold filly Miss Cygogne stepped up to stakes company and came away with a placing in Emerald Downs’ $31,500 Northwest Stallion Knights Choice Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on July 12.


A member of her sire’s second crop, Miss Cygogne made a splashy career debut at the Washington racetrack just 10 days earlier, when she dominated a 10-horse field of maidens which included eight colts and geldings. After she aced that 4 1/2-furlong test by 10 1/2 widening lengths for owner Jeff Harwood and his wife and trainer, Doris Harwood, the filly was haltered for a $7,500 tag by new owners Al Adams, David Israel and Gary Borman and trainer Bill Thompson.


Paired with rider Seth Martinez and installed as the 13-1 sixth wagering option among the eight betting interests assembled for the Knights Choice, Miss Cygogne eagerly chased the early leader, the heavily favored Knight Raider, while running in third between two other rivals, but quickly found herself outmaneuvered by the speedy front-runner, who kept improving her advantage over the field with every stride and ultimately reached the conclusion of the 5 1/2-furlong race as an overpowering, 13-length winner. Martinez and his mount were able to hold on for third in a blanket finish, reaching the wire a half-length behind the runner-up.


Miss Cygogne collected $4,725 to bring her two-race bankroll to $8,383. She was bred in Washington by Nina and Ron Hagen, and produced by the Basket Weave mare Cygogne.


The HagensEl Dorado Farms in Enumclaw serves as the Washington home of the Grade 3-placed, dual stakes winner Private Gold. The 9-year-old son of Seeking the Gold was the state’s leading freshman sire of 2008, and is currently leading his second-crop peers by winners and progeny earnings in 2009 as well. — July 12, 2009


Stakes placing pushes Atticus veteran’s bankroll past $725,000

Like the proverbial bottle of wine, Atticus Kristy just keeps improving with age. In the current racing season, his seventh to date, the 8-year-old Atticus gelding has not finished worse than third in six trips postward. Moreover, he added a third consecutive stakes placing to his 2009 tally in mid-July.


A short-distance turf specialist and Keeneland Grade 3 winner in 2006 who has made 48 of his 61 lifetime starts on the lawn, Atticus Kristy has experienced a rejuvenation since he was claimed for $50,000 from his breeder, Centaur Farms Inc., and former co-owner, Dan Lynch, out of a Keeneland Polytrack race in April. His new owner, David Ross, immediately elevated him back into stakes company, first at Atlantic City Race Course and then at Monmouth Park; Atticus Kristy responded with a gritty pair of runner-up efforts.


Kept at Monmouth for the track’s $60,000 John McSorley Stakes on July 12, the Kentucky-bred got up for third in the 5 1/2-furlong turf dash, with only the noses of the winner and the second-place finisher preventing him from attaining his 14th career victory. Saddled by trainer Michael Pino and ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, he collected $7,200 for the show to push his total bankroll to $725,050.


Atticus Kristy is the first foal out of Christy Love, an Unbridled mare who was unplaced from only two starts as a racehorse, but who has succeeded at stud by producing three stakes-winning, six-figure earners. Her oldest offspring has now won or placed in 38 races since he debuted at 2 in 2003.


The three-time stakes winner is the second-highest lifetime earner for Grade 1 winner Atticus, a resident at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California. The 17-year-old Nureyev stallion is represented by 11 stakes winners and the collective earners of more than $9.8 million to date. — July 12, 2009


Suances runner makes it two in a row at Hollywood Park

Three-year-old Adam Suances stamped himself as an up-and-coming horse to watch on July 11, when he captured his second consecutive outing at Hollywood Park, thereby becoming the second multiple winner to hail from the initial crop of runners sired by the California stallion Suances (GB).


The Darrell Vienna-trained gelding, who broke his maiden after a nearly 13-month layoff in a local 6 1/2-furlong claiming contest on June 18, turned in three bullet works over the Santa Anita Park training track following that race in preparation for his third lifetime start. Partnered again with jockey Martin Pedroza and installed at odds of 2-1 for the 6 1/2-furlong starter allowance, Adam Suances stalked the pacesetter through the opening half-mile from a running position along the rail, gained the advantage in midstretch and pulled away to a 1 1/4-length victory in 1:16.06.


Adam Suances collected $19,140 for the effort to push his total earnings to $31,440. He was bred in California by his owner, Red Baron’s Barn, and produced by Carbon Copy (GB), a winning daughter of Pivotal (GB).


A Group 1 winner in France and Grade 2 winner in the United States, Suances currently holds court at Rancho Temescal in Piru. The 12-year-old Most Welcome (GB) sire is credited with progeny earnings of $241,320 from two crops to race, led by the Grade 2-placed stakes winner Feisty Suances. — July 11, 2009


Harbor the Gold represented by runaway debut winner

Harbor the Gold solidified his status as Oregon’s current leading sire of 2-year-olds on July 10, when he became the state’s only stallion to be represented by two juvenile winners of 2009. Each of the successful starters from his 2007 foal crop won at first asking.


Like his counterpart Koala Beach, who broke his maiden on June 28, the first-time starter Fisher Creek controlled the proceedings in his own five-furlong debut at Emerald Downs 12 days later. Saddled by trainer Tim McCanna and ridden by jockey Seth Martinez, the gelding grabbed an immediate lead as the 2-1 wagering favorite and carved fractions of :22.20 and :45.40 for the first half-mile of the $20,000 maiden claiming test, increasing his advantage over the hapless eight-horse field with every stride.


The Washington-bred runner, who entered the race off a bullet five-furlong work at the track on July 4, reached the wire five lengths ahead of his nearest competitor in a final time of :57.40. He earned $6,572 for his owner, Dunn Bar Ranch LLC, in the process.


Fisher Creek is the fifth foal out of Pretty Peggy Slew, a durable daughter of Slewdledo who won or placed in 36 of her 56 lifetime starts during six seasons of racing.


Both Fisher Creek and Koala Beach were bred by Bar C Racing Stables, the Hermiston farm which stands 8-year-old Harbor the Gold. The two-time winner by Seeking the Gold was Oregon’s leading freshman sire by progeny earnings last year, and currently ranks as the state’s leading second-crop sire of 2009. — July 10, 2009


Unbeaten Excessive Passion is first stakes winner for Vronsky

The California second-crop sire Vronsky achieved his first stakes winner on July 4, when his 2-year-old colt Excessive Passion remained undefeated following a front-running romp in the Everett Nevin Alameda County Stakes at Pleasanton.


Trained by Jeff Bonde, Excessive Passion embarked on his racing career with an eye-catching debut win at Golden Gate Fields on March 28. In that two-furlong maiden special weight dash, he set a track record on the San Francisco-area oval’s Tapeta Footings surface when he stopped the clock in :21.59. Moved to a traditional dirt surface on the Northern California fair circuit and asked to stretch out to 5 1/2 furlongs for the $60,000 Everett Nevin, the colt took an immediate lead over his nine state-bred rivals, put away an early contender after a spirited duel and drew clear from another looming threat near the quarter pole under jockey Omar Figueroa, who guided him to a 3 1/4-length victory in 1:03.90.


The internal fractions posted by the 3-2 wagering favorite were :22.30, :45.21 and :57.42. He collected a $31,000 winner’s check while keeping his two-race record perfect for owners Rusty Brown, Philip Lebherz and Alan Klein. To date, his earnings stand at $49,720.


Excessive Passion is the fourth named foal out of the winning In Excess (Ire) mare Ms Hearts N Arrows. He was bred in California by Old English Rancho and Berumen, and sold for a gender-best $25,000 at the 2008 Northern California Yearling Sale.


Old English Rancho in Sanger is the home of his 10-year-old sire, Vronsky. The multiple winner by Danzig, who sold for $1 million as a Keeneland September yearling, is represented by four winners from six starters to date. — July 4, 2009


Harbor the Gold stakes horse returns to winner’s circle

Who’s Your Next Ex, a stakes-winning gelding who helped elevate his sire, Harbor the Gold, to the top of Oregon’s freshman sire list last year, scored his first victory as a 3-year-old — and third win overall — in a one-mile race conducted at Emerald Downs on July 3.


The Washington-bred became one of the stallion’s three first-crop runners to win a stakes event last November, when he captured the Dennis Dodge Memorial Stakes at Portland Meadows in the final start of his four-race juvenile campaign. His 2009 season, which began in mid-May, netted a fourth-place finish, then a third, in claiming company at Emerald Downs, followed by his gate-to-wire breakout effort in the $17,500 claiming race in his third start of the year.


Saddled by trainer Charles Essex and ridden by jockey Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo in the eight-horse field of sophomores, Who’s Your Next Ex posted internal fractions of :23.40, :46.40, 1:11.20 and 1:23.80, held off a fast-closing longshot in the waning yards and stopped the clock in 1:37 as a 1 1/4-length winner. The 5-1 wagering choice earned $7,480 for owner Kimberly Nobles, bringing his seven-race bankroll to $29,493.


Who’s Your Next Ex is out of the multiple winner Synanita, by Synastry, and was bred by Kim Smith.


Second-crop sire Harbor the Gold, a winning, 8-year-old son of Seeking the Gold, stands at Bar C Racing Stables in Hermiston, Oregon. — July 3, 2009


Strawberry Tart, by Atticus, scores second Hollywood stakes

Less than a month after she captured the first stakes race of her career on the Hollywood Park turf course, the Atticus filly Strawberry Tart continued to blossom with another black-type victory over the same grassy Southern California strip.


Stretching out to a mile for the first time and running again under lights on a July 3 Friday night program, the 3-year-old filly was given the same come-from-behind ride in the $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes that jockey Martin Garcia had utilized to perfection in the $87,335 Manhattan Beach Stakes on June 5. The duo was sent postward as the 2-1 favorite in the nine-horse field of sophomore fillies assembled for the Flawlessly and they did not disappoint their backers, returning a $6.40 win ticket in a final time of 1:34.28.


“I rode her with a lot of confidence,” Garcia said of the half-length winner, who collected $60,000 for her second consecutive stakes triumph. “She broke real good and I took her back to make one run. When I asked her to go, she kicked home like a superstar.”


Strawberry Tart was bred in California by Valentine Farm LLC, and now races for owners George and Mary Clare Schmitt. A $13,500 graduate of the 2007 Barretts January Mixed Sale, she has earned $152,625 with four wins from six starts under the tutelage of trainer Jeff Bonde. Her dam is Mylittletart, by Strawberry Road (Aus).


Atticus, a Grade 1 winner on dirt and a world record-holder on turf during his distinguished racing career, currently resides at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California. The 17-year-old son of Nureyev has sired the collective earners of more than $9.7 million. — July 3, 2009


Private Gold filly dominates Emerald Downs juvenile race

Miss Cygogne, a second-crop daughter of the Washington stallion Private Gold, broke her maiden in a big way on July 2, when she romped to a double-digit victory at Emerald Downs in her career debut.


Sent postward at odds of 4-1 as one of only two fillies in the 10-horse field of 2-year-olds, Miss Cygogne was hustled along by jockey Gallyn Mitchell after she emerged from the starting gate, and the duo quickly got the better of an early speed duel to take the lead in the 4 1/2-furlong race. She set fractions of :22.20 for the opening quarter-mile and :46 for the first half-mile, increasing her advantage with every stride until she reached the wire 10 1/2 lengths ahead of her closest rival in a final clocking of :52.40.


The first-time starter earned a $3,658 winner’s check for the husband/wife team of owner Jeff Harwood and trainer Doris Harwood, but the couple lost the filly through a $7,500 claim by new trainer Bill Thompson and the ownership group of Al Adams, Gary Boreman and David Israel.


Miss Cygogne is the third foal out of the dual-placed Basket Weave mare Cygogne, a half-sister to six stakes horses. She was bred in Washington by Nina and Ron Hagen.


Nine-year-old Private Gold holds court at the HagensEl Dorado Farms in Enumclaw. The two-time stakes winner by Seeking the Gold led all first-crop Washington sires by progeny earnings and winners in 2008, and is represented by nine winners and progeny earnings of $145,881 overall. — July 2, 2009


Oregon’s Harbor the Gold notches first 2YO winner of 2009

Harbor the Gold, Oregon’s leading freshman sire of 2008, was credited with the first winner from his second crop of runners on June 28, when his 2-year-old son Koala Beach dominated a five-furlong dash at Emerald Downs.


Trained by Doris Harwood for her husband, Jeff Harwood, the Washington-bred gelding prepped for his initial race with a series of six works registered at the Auburn-area oval during May and June. For his career debut in the $30,000 maiden claiming test, he received the services of Emerald Downs’ leading jockey, Ricky Frazier.


Koala Beach was sent postward as the fourth wagering choice in the field of five non-winners, but he quickly made new converts with his deft, front-running tactics. After breaking sharply from the gate, he set a pressured pace of :22.20 for the opening quarter-mile and :45.60 for the first half-mile while enjoying a ground-saving trip along the rail. Although his inexperience led him to drift out through the lane, he reached the wire a length clear of his closest rival in a final time of :58.


The youngster collected $7,535 for his successful introduction to competition. He is the first foal out of Kittyzallwet, an unraced daughter of Distinctive Cat.


Koala Beach was bred by Bar C Racing Stables, the Hermiston nursery which offers Harbor the Gold on its four-horse stallion roster. The 8-year-old Seeking the Gold sire is represented by progeny earnings of $186,394 and a pair of multiple stakes-winning state champions from his two crops of racing age. — June 28, 2009


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