One of the five largest twin trifecta jackpots in track history will be up for grabs Wednesday night when Playfair Race Course opens the fourth week of the Spokane horse racing season.
The pool carried over from previous racing days will be $66,527 when bettors try to select the first three finishers in the seventh and eighth races.
The pool is the largest since eight winners divided $129,091 last Sept. 4. The record payoff of $89,012.40 went to one winning ticket-holder on Oct. 9, 1993.
Racing is scheduled for Wednesday and Friday nights at 6 and Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
One of the season’s major sprint races, the $5,000 added Turbulator Handicap, will be the week’s major attraction on Sunday. Stakes races from major tracks around the country will be simulcast as part of the three weekend programs.
The Turbulator has attracted 11 nominees, including Halo Passer and Che Meza, which finished a neck apart in the Governor’s Speed Handicap. Nominees also include veteran stakes-winners Gotto Go Charlie and Mackee Deluxe, last season’s Spokane Derby runner-up No Small Buzz and Halo Passer’s stablemate, Secret Past, the likely favorite if he starts.
After 12 days of the 50-day, late-summer and fall season, Jason Eads has established a clear lead in the race for the jockey championship with 28 victories.
Eads rode three winners each last Wednesday and Friday then, for the second time this season, enjoyed a four-win day Saturday.
Lane Rennaker has strengthened his grip on second with 19 wins. Marty Wentz is third with 15.
Former champion Bruce Wagar has taken the training lead with six winners. Ray Tracy Jr., whose brother Greg won the 1993 title, edged into a share of second with Robert Warthen and Sam Tilden. Each has five victories.
As the season approaches its one-quarter mark, statewide crowds average 2,857 people while wagering turned upward by 2.5 percent last week and reached $411,863 per day.
In what might have been their most dominating performance in track history, Washington-bred horses won 26 of last weekend’s 29 live races, scoring in nine of 10 both Saturday and Sunday. For the season, homebreds have won 82 of 114 local races, 71.2 percent.
Favorites are performing above traditional levels with 46 victories in the 122 races for 37.7 percent. They have been third or better 74.6 percent of the time.
Bill Rima, 89, may have become the oldest owner or trainer in track history to send out a winner when Hope Springs took last Friday’s first race.
Vince Ward, who had been expected to finish among the leading riders, has headed for Bay Meadows, where he plans to spend the rest of the fall.