06/23/2013 9:35PM

Emerald Downs: Stopshoppingdebbie, Music of My Soul score in stakes


AUBURN, Wash. – Stopshoppingdebbie remained unbeaten with a sizzling victory Sunday in the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at Emerald Downs, and in running faster than males in a stakes race later in the card, she stamped herself as the fastest 3-year-old in the Pacific Northwest.

A homebred for Jerre Paxton’s Northwest Farms and co-owned by Debbie Paxton, Stopshoppingdebbie continued to live up to her flashy pedigree. She’s by Curlin from the Wild Again mare Taste the Passion, a multiple stakes winner at Emerald Downs in the late 1990s.

In taking the Irish Day by 6 3/4 lengths, Stopshoppingdebbie won for the third time in as many starts and recorded her second stakes victory. She had captured the Seattle Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs in her first start of 2013.

In the one-mile Irish Day, Stopshoppingdebbie went directly to the front under jockey Rocco Bowen, loped along while setting a moderate pace to the half-mile pole (47.49 seconds), and then kicked into another gear to sprint away from her five rivals. She covered the final half-mile in 47.25 and the final quarter in 23.75 to reach the wire in a stakes-record 1:34.74. She paid $3.40.

Two races later, Music of My Soul prevailed in the Coca-Cola Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings, running a mile in 1:35.07. Music of My Soul needed 24.44 seconds to complete the final quarter.

A pair of Paxton-bred and owned stablemates to Stopshoppingdebbie finished second and third in the Irish Day, as trainer Tom Wenzel swept the top three spots. Goin to the Window was the runner-up, three-quarters of a length in front of Blueberry Smoothie. Sunset Time, Polebound, and Stange Luck completed the order of finish.

Stopshoppingdebbie might be seen next July 14 in the 1 1/16-mile Kent Handicap, a stepping-stone to the $65,000 Washington Oaks on Aug. 10.

Later on the card, Music of My Soul, the leading 2-year-old at Emerald Downs in 2012, returned to the winner’s circle in an eventful Coca-Cola Handicap. Music of My Soul ($7) prevailed by a half-length over 18-1 outsider Cariboo Road, who subsequently was declared a non-starter for betting purposes because of an incident at the starting gate that left him flat-footed and several lengths behind the field at the start.

With the speedy Cariboo Road at the back of the pack, Music of My Soul, ridden by Isaias Enriquez for trainer Doris Harwood, was able to lead past every pole while Cariboo Road rallied from the tail of the field and was gaining late.

Emerald’s board of stewards removed Cariboo Road from the official order of finish for betting purposes – ruling that a member of the starting-gate crew had denied the horse a fair start. But owners Glyn Kelly and Anne MacLennan of Vancouver, British Columbia, still received the $10,000 second-place share of the $50,000 purse.

Worldventurer, a half-length behind Cariboo Road at the finish, was elevated to second for wagering purposes. He was followed by Valiant Flame, Finallygotabentley, He’s Not Bluffin, Mike Man’s Gold, and Carving.

Music of My Soul added $27,500 to a bankroll that has swelled to $98,832 from seven starts. Owned by Ken Alhadeff of Seattle, Music of My Soul captured the season-ending Gottstein Futurity in September. He is likely to start next July 14 in the Seattle Slew Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.