06/13/2012 4:32PM

Emerald Downs: Polish Dollar gets a 92 Beyer Speed Figure


AUBURN, Wash. – Some of the story lines at Emerald Downs, where a seven-race card Friday evening kicks off a three-day weekend capped by the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap on Father’s Day:

* While there is no “feature” race on the card – a $3,500 claimer is the highlight – the Friday program does feature the first 2-year-old race of the meeting. Six juvenile fillies, eligible to be claimed for $12,500, will compete over 4 1/2 furlongs in the first race. Post time is 6 p.m. Pacific.

The first stakes events for 2-year-olds are scheduled for July 1 – just 16 days away – assuring that most of the starters in the restricted Son of Briartic Stakes (for fillies) and the restricted Slewdledo Stakes (colts and geldings) will be first-time starters.

* Polish Dollar, a consistent but undistinguished claiming sprinter, was assigned a Beyer Speed Figure of 92 for his stunning effort in the ninth race last Saturday. Polish Dollar stormed to a 5 1/4-length victory in the $10,000 claiming sprint while covering 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.70.

Polish Dollar has won 8 of 23 career starts for owner Sharon Radke and has adjusted nicely to his new surroundings in trainer Bob Meeking’s barn. Debbie Van Horne trained Polish Dollar in 2011, and Brad Varner conditioned the horse in both 2009 and 2010.

Only two horses have run faster at Emerald Downs during the current meeting, which began April 13. Winning Machine earned a 94 Beyer for his victory in the Governor’s Handicap May 20, and Hollywood Harbor was assigned a 93 Beyer for his record-shattering victory in a 5 1/2 furlong allowance race April 22. Hollywood Harbor broke the North American dirt record with his 1:00.87 clocking, yet Polish Dollar, a hard-knocking 6-year-old gelding, was nearly as fast Saturday.

* Noosa Beach worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 last Wednesday in preparation for the Budweiser Handicap. The two-time Emerald Downs horse of the meeting captured the one-mile Budweiser in 2010 and went on to win the Grade 3 Longacres Mile. He repeated in the Budweiser last year before finishing second to Awesome Gem in the Longacres Mile.

Noosa Beach is Emerald’s all-time leader in stakes wins with 11, but comes off a rare defeat in the Governor’s, when he was fourth behind Winning Machine after an eventful trip. Noosa Beach has a 4-1-1 record in seven career starts at one mile and could start as the favorite Sunday.