07/13/2011 3:19PM

Emerald Downs: Showme Yourfriends still maturing


AUBURN, Wash. – Chris Stenslie is prospering this summer at Emerald Downs – fifth in the trainer standings and well on her way to a career season – thanks in no small part to her leading client, Jody Peetz.

Peetz seems to have mastered the art of buying fast horses instead of slow ones. Speedy front-runners Hollywood Harbor, Perfect Pie, and Roarified have all turned heads at Emerald this summer, and another Peetz find, Showme Yourfriends, is expected to be one of the favorites Sunday in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap for 3-year-olds.

Peetz became smitten with Showme Yourfriends, then a fledgling 2-year-old, after watching him in a training session. She made a beeline for Howard Belvoir, the horse’s owner, breeder, and trainer. Belvoir was reluctant to sell. Peetz was persistent.

“She just kept approaching Howard, they battled back and forth on the price, and he finally gave in and sold the horse,” Stenslie said. “He got a good price and he gets the breeder’s awards, so I’m sure he’s pleased.”

Stenslie started Showme Yourfriends just once in 2010. He finished a fast-closing second in a maiden race.

“Mentally, he’s very immature,” Stenslie said. “He’s a Delineator, so he spooks easily, he’s noise-sensitive, he bucks a lot, and plays a lot. We wanted to get a race into him to show him what it’s all about.”

Showme Yourfriends has been all business in 2011, following an impressive maiden victory with a 50-1 stunner in the Auburn Handicap on May 30. He ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.05, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 86, and then validated that effort with a terrific showing in the one-mile Pepsi Cola Handicap on June 26. Near the pace from the outset, Showme Yourfriends rallied to just miss in a five-horse blanket finish.

Overall, Showme Yourfriends has won 2 of 5 starts and earned $50,850 for Peetz and minority partners Tina and Scott Saxwold. He has trained forwardly for the 1 1/16-mile Seattle Slew. A good showing would place him in the thick of contention for the $65,000 Emerald Derby at nine furlongs on Aug. 14.

“A lot of times when he trains in the morning, I’ll take him two miles and he’ll two-minute clip two miles without any problems,” Stenslie said. “The extra distance shouldn’t hurt him at all. We’re hopeful that he’ll get the extra sixteenth and stay sound. One race at a time.”