08/31/2012 4:52PM

Emerald Downs: Folly's Fast out to back up trial win in Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge


AUBURN, Wash. – Some of the story lines on a Sunday afternoon at Emerald Downs:

◗ For the first and only time during the 81-day meeting, Quarter Horses will be front and center in the $54,000 Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge at 440 yards. Emerald Downs introduced Quarter Horse racing in 2011, but has staged just two prior races this summer, a pair of qualifying heats for Sunday’s final.

The winner will earn a spot in the Grade 1, $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship on Oct. 27 at Prairie Meadows. Folly’s Fast recorded the fastest qualifying time, 22.09 seconds, in winning his trial two weeks ago and will be among the favorites. Others sure to attract wagering attention are Devon Dot Cash, who won the 2011 Emerald Challenge at 17-1, and A Royal Dervish, a close second behind Folly’s Fast in the trials after breaking slowly.

◗ Wasserman, one of the most popular horses in Northwest racing and winner of the 2008 Longacres Mile, will make his 61st start at Emerald Downs in the seventh race, an optional claimer at one mile. But the 10-year-old Wasserman, who captured a $17,500 claimer in his last start, will be a relative longshot in the five-horse field, with Rocky’s Quest, a three-time winner at the meeting, likely to be a short-priced favorite. Wasserman has earned $555,253 at Emerald Downs, more than any other horse.

◗ Seattle Game, the likely favorite in race 6, can further her bid for claimer-of-the-meeting honors with a victory over six rivals in a $5,000 claimer at six furlongs. Seattle Game has won four of her five starts at the meeting and is seeking to become the stand’s first five-time winner. Claimed for $5,000 on Aug. 3, she’ll be making her first start for trainer Vince Gibson.

◗ Six promising 2-year-old fillies will compete in the third race, a maiden special weight at six furlongs. Perhaps the most intriguing entrant is Inquiry Miss, a first-time starter trained by Frank Lucarelli.

Inquiry Miss, by Lawyer Ron, is a half-sister to the undefeated, Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old Thunder Moccasin, who posted a 97 Beyer Speed Figure at Gulfstream Park in his only start at 2 and then won the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes by more than six lengths in his first and so far only start at 3. Thunder Moccasin has been training at Saratoga for a possible return to the races. Meanwhile, Inquiry Miss has been training forwardly at Emerald Downs. If she’s anything like her big brother, she could have a bright future.