08/24/2012 2:41PM

Emerald Downs: Barbara Shinpoch Stakes fails to fill


AUBURN, Wash. – A stakes race scheduled for Sunday – the $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch – fell by the wayside because of insufficient entries, Emerald Downs officials announced Thursday, leaving talented stablemates Goin to the Window, Blueberry Smoothie, and Stopshoppingdebbie on the sideline for what was supposed to be the meeting’s final non-restricted stakes race for 2-year-old fillies.

If owner Jerre Paxton and trainer Tom Wenzel want to tackle another added-money event at the meeting, it may have to be against males in the one-mile Gottstein Futurity on Sept. 23, the final day of the meeting. But Jack Hodge, Emerald Downs’s vice president, said the Barbara Shinpoch could be revived and rescheduled to be run on or near closing day.

Wenzel entered only one of his star fillies, Blueberry Smoothie, in the Shinpoch in the hope that other trainers would jump at the chance to earn stakes placings or perhaps upset the likely favorite. After an overpowering maiden victory in his first start, Blueberry Smoothie finished second, a length behind Goin to the Window, in the six-furlong Angie C Stakes on Aug. 5.

In entering only one horse, Wenzel set aside Goin to the Window, undefeated in two starts, and Stopshoppingdebbie, who won her debut by seven lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race Aug. 12.

“There were three horses in the stake,” Wenzel said. “I entered one, and we got two other entries, and that was it. I don’t know how many fillies are out there right now. We could have run all three of them if we wanted to. It’s no secret that these three fillies might be the three best fillies here, and I’m sure other people aren’t that interested in running against them. So we thought we’d just run one and get the race to go, but we couldn’t do it. It’s a bummer. I don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Hodge said he’ll make a decision on the future of the race after discussions with Debbie Pabst, who oversees the Northwest Race Series that funds 2-year-old stakes races.

“The plan is to discuss it and decide if we want to bring it back,” Hodge said. “If we do, it would be at the end of the race meet, and there would be sufficient time for other fillies to step up and graduate from maiden races. I think some horses have been pointing toward the races for Washington-breds. It seems like we’ve got a shortage of fillies, and we’ve got a better colt population. That race had a maiden and two winners, and we don’t let a three-horse race go.”