Trials for the lucrative divisions of the All West Futurity and the seventh running of the Playfair Breeders’ Cup will highlight the action this week as Playfair Race Course begins the second month of the Spokane horse racing season.
Seventeen colts and geldings and 15 juvenile fillies will go postward Wednesday when there will be two trials each for All West Futurity candidates. The top five from each trial advance to the finals and what are expected to be the most lucrative prizes of the season.
Saturday, 3-year-olds, many of them candidates for the Spokane Derby, will run 1 mile in the Playfair Breeders’ Cup. The 19 nominees include Big City Lights, upset winner of the Turbulator Handicap; Yakima Meadows standouts Sir Sibley and Chippewa Warrior; and Lingerhof, which outsprinted many of these rivals in the City of Spokane Handicap.
In addition to the usual weekly programs, Playfair will race next Monday, the Columbus Day holiday. Post time Wednesday and Friday, for the last two night programs this fall, will be 6. Saturday, Sunday and Monday racing will start at 1:30 p.m. Beginning Oct. 11, weekday programs will start at 3 p.m.
Each of the All West Futurity trials will be run at 6 furlongs. Colts and geldings will be matched in the second and third races, fillies in the fourth and fifth.
Finals for the filly division are scheduled for Oct. 14. Colts and geldings will square off the next day. Each division may gross as much as $35,000.
Brothers Greg Tracy and Ray Tracy Jr., both prominent Northwest horsemen, will saddle two starters apiece in the first colts and geldings trial. Larry Semenza’s Murray Creek Stable of Great Falls, Mont., will have three starters in the second.
Ray Tracy Jr. may have the filly favorite in Red Silver Hope, in Wednesday’s first trial. Murray Creek has two in the second, including Allihavonztheradio, a sister to two previous stakes winners.
After his conquest of the best older sprinters on the grounds last Sunday, Big City Light has been assigned top weight of 124 pounds for the Playfair Breeders’ Cup. Sir Sibley, pacesetter in the prestigious Eagle Hardware Derby at Yakima Meadows, has been pegged at 123, one more than Lingerhof and two more than Chippewa Warrior, which turned in a disappointing effort as a heavy favorite in the City of Spokane.
Eads increases lead
Jason Eads broke the race for the riding title wide open by winning four races last Wednesday and four more Saturday, increasing his total to 36 victories. Sixteen back are Lane Rennaker and Marty Wentz.
Former champion Bruce Wagar, who usually rides Eads, pulled clear in the trainer standings with nine wins, two more than another former champion, Kim Wright, and former jockey star Todd Stephens.
For what may have been the first time in track history, women jockeys finished 1-2-3 in Friday’s fourth race. Don’tforgettodance, ridden by Gina Berry, gained the victory for a $20.40 payoff. Pocketful of Bills, ridden by Teri Helgeson, ran second, and Two Caps, with Carmel Balcom aboard, placed third.
Helped by a Wednesday handle of $570,863, largest this season, average daily wagering climbed last week to $436,069. Daily average attendance stands at 3,849 after 16 days of the 50-day season. Both figures are for on-site and at the 16 satellite locations.
Eads accomplished a rare feat Saturday, riding all three winners in the daily triple for a $175.60 payoff. He took the third with Frosty Boy ($10.40), the fourth on Barbafire ($5) and the fifth on Holy Bud ($9.20).
Veteran jockey Bill Southwick, far and away Playfair’s top apprentice in 1986, when he rode 73 winners for fourth place, returns Wednesday.
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