06/24/2011 12:06PM

Emerald Downs: Showme Yourfriends won't sneak up on Pepsi Cola foes


AUBURN, Wash. – Showme Yourfriends won the Auburn Handicap at 50-1. He’ll be a far shorter price Sunday in the $50,000 Pepsi Cola Handicap at Emerald Downs. The one-mile Pepsi Cola is the first two-turn stakes race for 3-year-olds at the meeting, and the result could help clarify the divisional pecking order in advance of the Emerald Derby in August.

The Pepsi Cola is the ninth of 10 races on a card that also includes the Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies. First post is 2 p.m. Pacific.

Showme Yourfriends was an obvious oversight in the betting when he won the 6 1/2-furlong Auburn. He’s never been worse than second in four career starts and he won a maiden race with room to spare in his last start prior to the stakes race. Trained by Chris Stenslie, who is part of a large ownership group, Showme Yourfriends has the kind of tactical speed that plays well around two turns. If jockey Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo can work out a problem-free trip, Showme Yourfriends will be hard to beat in his first route attempt.

The list of challengers is long. Winter Warlock closed gamely to finish second in the Auburn, a half-length behind Showme Yourfriends, in his first start following a long layoff. Winter Warlock won a six-furlong stakes race at Emerald last summer and finished second in the one-mile WTBA Lads Stakes. Without a one-dimensional speed horse in the field to set an honest pace, Winter Warlock and jockey Joe Crispin could gain easy access to the lead after breaking from post 2.

Rainier Ice has won three consecutive starts for trainer Tom Wenzel. He’ll be making his first stakes appearance, and also his first start beyond 6 1/2 furlongs. His stablemate Seattle Sniper also should be popular in the wagering. Seattle Sniper has finished in the top three in each of his eight starts, and while he has yet to win a stakes race, he’s been stakes-placed on four occasions. Gallyn Mitchell has the call on Rainier Ice, and Juan Gutierrez will ride Seattle Sniper.

Others in the field are Come Away Home, who was second behind Rainier Ice in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race in his last start; late runners Landed On the Moon and Zayda, who finished a neck apart in the Auburn; and Avalon Beach, well beaten in two starts since winning a maiden race in April.