(Auburn, WA) What a birthday weekend for trainer Justin Evans. He trifecta’d the weekend with 1 win on Friday, 2 wins on his Birthday on Saturday and then finished the week winning 3, the final 3 races on Sunday including his 1st ever Stakes win at Emerald Downs with longshot Neiman in the Budweiser Stakes (see full report on the Bud below). The 6 wins in a week is the most by any trainer this season.

Jockey Luis Reyes got his 1st Stakes win at Emerald Downs as well after a bit of a rough start Reyes is settling in and beginning to reach the potential many believed he had coming into this season.

Sunday was a great capper to a strong week of racing and featured 9 races with 66 starters for an average of 7.3 per race. It paid off in handle as well with the 2nd straight Sunday of 1.3-million+ in wagers.

I apologize for not having more of our regular coverage this week but time was short this week and we will bounce back next week.

Let’s get to the Sunday racing!

8th Race Feature the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes

The Budweiser is the 1st step in the build up to the Longacres Mile set to be run on August 11. Although many of these had already met back on June 2nd in an allowance 5 1/2 furlong dash that saw the return of Papa’s Golden Boy. Prisoner made a great run in that race and the mighty Slew’s Tiz Whiz. Papa won that warm-up but Prisoner and Slew were screaming for more distance and even though it’s only a 1/2 furlong more in the Bud it might be enough to catch the speed of Papa.

Those 3 were back in the Bud along with Blaine Wright’s Perfect Dude shiping in from Oaklawn with several others who could suddenly wake up.


Papa’s Golden Boy owner Lusk Racing and trainer Vince Gibson also elected to start Company’s Dream in the Bud with Papa. The problem is they both run the same out on the front end with blazing early speed. So the question was would they both go or was their a plan to experiment with one of them to lay off. If they went at each other it may open it up for some coming off the pace which is where many of Sunday’s winners were coming.

Unfortunately for Papa’s connections and backers this is what happened as Papa’s Golden Boy with Carlos Montalvo and stablemate Company’s Dream and Alex Cruz went head and head for the 1st quarter in a brutal 21.80. 18-1 Neiman and Luis Reyes never far back got between the stable mates and added pressure to Papa on the turn as Company’s Dream began to back out.

Even with Company’s Dream backing off with Neiman pressing Papa the Golden Boy never got a chance for a breather down on the rail after breaking from the 1 hole. Prisoner and Karlo Lopez tried to engage on the turn but flattened out turning for home.

Slew’s Tiz Whiz broke well but quickly shuffled back to last. This did not concern Slew’s regular rider Jose Zunino who dropped over and saved some ground. Zunino earlier in the day got caught inside with a ride and maybe he was concerned about getting trapped in this one so Zunino angled Slew to the outside about halfway around the turn and at the top of the stretch the question was did he have enough to catch Papa and Neiman or maybe they would also slow down?

The answer was Slew kicking it into gear and flying on the outside but Neiman simply didn’t stop. Slew trailed by about 6 lengths turning for home and was able to slice 4 1/2 lengths but ran out of time as Neiman stunned the crowd and handicappers with a monster effort pulling away from Papa’s Gold Boy and holding off Slew’s Tiz Whiz in a blazing time of 1:07.98, the fastest 6 furlongs of the season.

Papa tired but kept battling and held on for 3rd with 48-1 Mongolian Memory and Leslie Mawing closing well for 4th. Coastal Kid and Juan Gutierrez ran and even 5th, Prisoner finished 6th, Cool Papa G and Kevin Krigger never threatened, Company’s Dream faded to 8th and Perfect Dude with Silvio Amador never fired at all.

Neiman had won a race at Emerald on June 1 in a 30k optional claimer and won handily from a stalking position with Karlo Lopez but Lopez stuck with Prisoner in this race both horses run for trainer Justin Evans. Evans was high on Neiman when he got shipped up to him by owners Mike Abraham and Leslie and Jr Amistoy telling them he thought Neiman would win a Stake up here in the NW. Evans said I wasn’t sure it would be the 1st one we ran in especially with the talent in this race but wasn’t completely surprised by his runner.

Neiman collected $27,500 and pushed his bankroll to $96,275. The 4-year-old Munnings gelding has only run 6 races in his career and is now 4-1-1 for a 67% win percent and 100% top 3 finish. We might just be starting to see the talent of Neiman, he will be scary to face in the Governor’s the next race in the Mile series.

However, the effort of Slew’s Tiz Whiz should have his connections smiling and don’t doubt this guy is gonna be trouble for the speedsters as the races get longer. At 6 1/2 Slew probably would have won and it, but came up short against a horse who ran just 1 second off the track record for 6 furlongs.

Questions will remain for Papa, Prisoner and even can Neiman do it again and how far can Neiman carry that speed? This road to the Mile is going to be fun to watch.

Neiman paid his backers well $39.86 to win, $16.74 to place and $8.52 to show. The $1 exacta to Slew was $86.12, the 50-cent trifecta $257.88 and the $1 superfecta $9,728.30.

The Budweiser Stakes Race Replay


The rest of Sunday’s races

1st Race

Juan Gutierrez

A field of 7 $5,000 maidens broke from the Emerald Downs gates to get the Sunday racing rolling. Winanywayucan with Juan Gutierrez went to the front to begin the 5 furlong sprint and set all the pace fractions of 21.95 and 45.82 but set the most important split, the final time in 59.18 winning by a clear length. 5-1 Dream Time and Luis Reyes would have loved a little bit more distance closing well for 2nd, 17-1 We Got Swag ran a big race for Javier Matias to just miss 2nd place and odds-on favorite Hatagasal and Kiaman McGregor settled for 4th.

Winanywayucan races for Rancho Viejo and Lisa Baze and trained by Rigoberto Velasquez. The 3 year-old filly by Harbor the Gold out of Winninginfashion by In Excess was bred here in Washington by Bar C Racing Stables. Winanywayucan was 7-2 and paid $9.72, $4.92 and $3.98, We Got Swag paid a nice $8.90 to show and triggered a 50-cent trifecta pay of $128.63 and a $1 superfecta of $525.20.

2nd Race

6 ran the mile and 70 yards and it turned into a procession by the stretch with 7-2 Oat Milk Latte and Kevin Krigger pulling away to win by 3 1/2 lengths, 6-1 Lemon Drop Kid and Carlos Montalvo were 2nd 6 1/4 in front of 6-1 Rafanelli and Alex Cruz who was 3rd and they held a 4 1/2 length lead over 4th place finisher Dansmetothendoflov and Karlo Lopez at 3-1.

Oak Milk Latte races for Emil Abrahamson and is trained by Hilario Perez who got his 1st win of the season. Oak Milk Latte paid $8.82 and the 1st daily double returned $45.98. The trifecta paid well again returning $91.65.

3rd Race

The field of 7 3 year-olds and up went 6 1/2 furlongs in this starter allowance but the front end was pretty good to start the day and a View From Above with Kevin Orozco sprinted clear to get out of the chute and suddenly was surrounded by contenders when he let Dark Bay gelding out a notch to clear by a length. View and Orozco set the pace with 22.32 and 44.16 times and had plenty to keep the field at arms length to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:15.42. A View From Above is owned by William Douglas Stenberg and trained by Kay Cooper. The 5 year-old is a Washington bred by Abraaj out of Deja Views by Forest Camp and bred by Mr and Mrs Frederick Pabst.

6-1 Club Mesquite with Kiaman McGregor closed well to be 2nd by a half length, the favorite Handr’sdream and Kevin Krigger was 3rd with Horse Doctor and Luis Reyes were 4th at 3-1. View paid a nice $13.76 to win and the 1st pick 3 paid $86.61.

Race Replay

4th Race

Joe Toye

The 4th race saw the 1st race with a closer would get up for the win as Son of Thunder with Juan Gutierrez weaved their way through traffic and once they found the opening at the top of the stretch quickly rolled over the top to win going away in a final tie of 1:36.55 going the mile distance. Son of Thunder races for Kara Lin Toye and trained by Joe Toye.

21-1 Gypsy Gun with Carlos Montalvo tried to pull the upset but fell just short with a big 2nd place run, 11-1 A Skip in the Park with Jose Zunino finished 3rd unofficially but was DQ’d and placed 4th for interference with 5-1 It’s Turbo and Isaias Enriquez about the 16th pole. The 1st pick 4 of the day paid $206.68.


5th Race

A 3-way finish with a mad dash to the wire is how the field of 7 going 5 1/2 furlongs would finish and 6-1 Welton had his neck extended the most for Luis Reyes in a quick time of 1:02.62. Reyes rated Welton off the pace early as favorite Run Snappy and 5-1 Code Charlie battled it out on the front end with crushing fractions of 20.95 and 43.58 neither would survive that pace and faded to second last and last.

Meantime, Welton and Reyes got 1st run and had to hold off deep closers Fantastic Day with Carlos Montalvo at 12-1 and Elevado with Neptali Ortiz at 6-1 who both launched from the back to just miss in that order. 4-1 Corn Pop with Juan Gutierrez ran an even 4th. Welton is owned by Jason Hall Stables and Custom Truck Accessories and trained by Jorge Rosales. Welton paid $14.66, $7 and $4.58.

Race Replay

6th Race

In another exciting finish a great and patient ride from one of the old pro’s and 3-1 Chai gave Kay Cooper her 2nd training win of the day. Chai broke 6th and was in traffic until an opening inside the 1/4 pole allowed Enriquez and Chai to angle out and find a hole between runners but was quickly engaged with 33-1 Veronica’s Delight with Jose Zunino and it wouldn’t be until the final strides that Chai pusahed forward just enough for a neck win. Rockit a Day with Juan Gutierrez showed some early speed and held well to be 3rd with the other early speed in Lapush with Carlos Montalvo placing 4th. 

Chai won for the 2nd time this season for owner’s Jill Fabulich and Lori Heist. Chai is a Washington bred by Race Day out of Find Your Spot by Nationhood and was bred by Mr and Mrs Frederick Pabst. Chai and Veronica’s Delight combined for a $52.62 $1 exacta, the 50-cent trifecta paid $155 and the $1 superfecta $1,274.80.

Race Replay

7th Race

9 went a mile in the pre-stakes battle and 7-2 Parco with Kevin Krigger had full control of this race right from the start and began Justin Evans’ late run on Sunday. Parco sat just behind Red Nova and Neptali Ortiz the 2-1 favorite and let them grind out the fractions. Parco sat patiently and they had separated themselves from the other 7 by 5 lengths heading into the stretch. Parco then eased up to duel with Nova and rolled to a nearly 2 length win in a time of 1:36.53. 5-2

Tiz for Real was 3rd with Carlos Montalvo and running 4th was 46-1 Realrealgood with Allyssa Morales. Parco runs for Austin Evans and trained by Justin Evans. Parco paid $9.92 on the $2 win.


9th Race

Last week Alex Cruz had 5 wins but was shut out on Sunday, this week he had 6 wins coming into Sunday but again was being shut out. Cruz decided this was not gonna happen again and went straight to the lead with Kaline and never looked back winning handily by 3 1/2 lengths. It didn’t fool the bettors either going off as the 6-5 choice. Kaline gave Cruz a season best 7 wins for the week and 3rd straight win for trainer Justin Evans and Evans’ 6th win of the weekend. Evans also owns Kaline who ran the mile in 1:36.83.

5-1 Surprise Fashion also owned and trained by Evans and ridden by Kevin Krigger was 2nd, 3-1 Socal Red and Karlo Lopez was 3rd, Marksman On Target and Silvio Amador 4th and in 5th to complete the Super High 5 was 10-1 Playoff Bound with Luis Reyes. The 50-cent pick 5 paid $3,960.88, the 50-cent pick 4 $637.76 and the Super High 5 paid $202.24.

Race Replay


6th Race
Grease Missle goes to Coastal Racing Stable and to trainer Frank Lucarelli for the claim price of $25,000.
9th Race
Kaline goes to new owner Eliana Thompson and Kevin Chavarria for trainer Jorge Rosales for $2,500.


By paulb

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