08/11/2017 11:50AM

Citizen Kitty in solid form for Emerald Distaff Handicap

Reed & Erin Palmer Photography/Emerald Downs
Citizen Kitty wins the Boeing Stakes on July 16.

Citizen Kitty took her game to another level when she won the $50,000 Boeing Stakes on July 16 and is clearly the one to beat in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff Handicap at Emerald Downs on Sunday.

The Distaff drew 10 horses including Washington Oaks winner Little Dancer. The 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares is one of three supporting stakes for the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile. Included in the stakes festival are the Pete Pederson Overnight and the King County Overnight for fillies and mares. Both races are worth $25,000 and will be contested over 6 1/2 furlongs.

Post time for the Distaff, the richest race for fillies and mares at Emerald, is 5:09 p.m. Pacific.

Citizen Kitty, trained by Jeff Metz, could not have been more impressive winning the one-mile Boeing. With Julien Couton aboard for the first time, she was reserved early while sitting sixth at the half-mile call. When Couton asked her to get into the race, she appeared to be moving effortlessly when she split horses on the stretch turn. By the time she reached the eighth pole she was in complete control and was under wraps in the final yards while winning by 4 1/2 lengths over Princess Katie. It was her first win at a middle distance.

Going into the Boeing, the 5-year-old daughter of Proud Citizen had forced the pace in her two previous races, a win going six furlongs in the Hastings Stakes at Emerald on May 20 and a runner-up finish in the 6 1/2-furlong Washington Legislators on June 17.

“Julien really did a great job in getting her to relax,” Metz said. “She sat in the pocket and had a solid kick coming home.”

Metz is expecting another strong performance Sunday following her five-furlong breeze in 1:00.40 on July 31.

“She’s coming into her own and is really good right now,” he said. “I am a bit concerned about her getting the extra furlong, but Julien was very happy with the way she relaxed in her work and he’s pretty confident she’ll be okay going that far.”

Citizen Kitty will break from post 3.

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Apprentice Evin Roman, currently the leading rider at Del Mar, will ride Plastered for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Roman will also be aboard Gold Rush Dancer for trainer Vance Belvoir in the Longacres Mile.

With Roman aboard, Plastered finished third as the favorite in her last start in a one-mile $62,500 optional-claiming race at Del Mar on July 27.

The versatile 4-year-old daughter of Wilburn will break from post 9. If she breaks alertly she could find herself sitting just off Pyscho Sister, who will likely be the one they have to run down leaving from the rail with Eswan Flores aboard.

Victress won’t be anywhere near the lead and will be looking for her first win away from Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 2016 British Columbia Oaks winner came from last to win the $75,000 Monashee in her last start at Hastings on July 2. Trainer Rob Gilker shipped her to Emerald on July 16 to see how she would handle the surface. With Amadeo Perez aboard, she worked five furlongs in 1:01.80.

“She loved it,” Gilker said. “I caught the last eighth in 10 and three. It was supposed to be an easy work with a strong finish and it worked out perfectly. She still has to prove she can win a race on a mile track, though.”

Little Dancer sat just off an extremely slow pace when she won the $75,000 Washington Oaks for trainer Doris Harwood and could get a similar trip Sunday.

Emmett Park and Blame It On Royce will be going for the hat trick for leading trainer Blaine Wright in the Pete Pederson.

Jerri to Carrie could get the right kind of a trip in the speed-laden King County. The Kay Cooper-trained daughter of Congrats will be ridden by Roman.