04/16/2009 11:00PM

Easy Going Cecil adds blinkers


On a rare Sunday without a stakes race, a pair of $7,500 claimers for older horses will serve as the featured attractions as Emerald Downs completes its first weekend of racing. First post time for the 10-race card is 2 p.m.

The features will go as the seventh and ninth races, with the latter restricted to fillies and mares. Each race will be contested at 5 1/2 furlongs for a purse of $8,900.

Northern California shipper Easy Going Cecil will be a popular choice among the seven runners in the seventh race. The Blaine Wright trainee finished fourth after setting the pace in an $8,000 claimer at Golden Gate Fields in his most recent start. Wright will add blinkers to Easy Going Cecil, who won a $40,000 claimer for 3-year-olds in wire-to-wire fashion at Emerald Downs last April and then finished a hard-luck second to Margo's Gift in the $56,000 Pepsi-Cola Handicap in June.

Diamond Indy will be Easy Going Cecil's primary adversary. An 8-year-old gelding trained by Joe Toye, Diamond Indy has won five races and $127,644 in his 38-race career. Though a mile is his preferred distance, Diamond Indy has enough tactical speed to be a factor Sunday.

Bolshoi Ballet is an intriguing horse in the ninth race. Overmatched at Lone Star Park last summer, she went 2 for 2 at Emerald Downs after shipping north in July. Bolshoi Ballet, trained by Vann Belvoir, paid $27.60 and $33.20 in her two victories. She'll be a much shorter price Sunday.

Bolshoi Ballet will have to contend with Oh Yes I Am, a 7-year-old mare who has finished second six times in her past 11 starts. Oh Yes I Am, who has been off since September, ran well fresh last season for trainer Bill Tollett. She lost by a neck in a $15,000 claimer in her season debut, and by a length in her next start, for $18,000. The class drop, coupled with the winter freshening, could put her over the top.

Dawnterri, a 4-year-old trained by Wright, also figures in the ninth-race mix. Dawnterri posted 2 wins and 3 thirds in 5 sprint races at Golden Gate over the winter. Unlike Bolshoi Ballet and Oh Yes I Am, Dawnterri has the benefit of recent racing.

Racing resumes Friday at Emerald Downs, and there will be three cards a week until late May. Thursday racing begins May 28 and continues through the balance of the meeting. Getaway day is Sept. 27.