09/18/2013 3:56PM

Emerald Downs: Younger Belvoir sends dad talented filly in Say Say


AUBURN, Wash. – Trainer Howard Belvoir has had an eventful summer at Emerald Downs. His stable star, Wasserman, capped his career with a victory at age 11 before an injury sent the 2008 Longacres Mile winner into retirement, and on Aug. 17, Belvoir was inducted into the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

In recent weeks, Belvoir picked up a handful of horses from his son, Vann, a trainer based in Southern California, and on Friday, Belvoir will saddle one of those newcomers, Say Say, in the featured sixth race, a $12,500 claimer for older fillies and mares. First post for the seven-race card is 6:45 p.m. Pacific.

Say Say began her career at Emerald Downs last September and changed hands immediately. Claimed for $25,000 by Vann Belvoir and his wife, Sauci, out of her career bow, Say Say was a distant fourth in the restricted Diane Kem Stakes in her subsequent start before heading to California for a nine-month winter vacation. She returned to the races in June, winning an $8,000 maiden claimer at Golden Gate Fields, and then took a $16,000 claimer at Betfair Hollywood Park in her first try against winners.

A few weeks ago, Vann Belvoir shipped Say Say back to Howard Belvoir at Emerald Downs to run in the Sept. 8 Comcast SportsNet Stakes for statebred 3-year-old fillies, and Say Say responded with her best effort to date, a runner-up finish behind Madame Pele, who ran one mile in 1:35.69. Say Say will tackle an easier assignment Friday in a field of six, all non-winners of three races lifetime. Howard Belvoir will take care of the training end, and Juan Gutierrez has the riding assignment.

Say Say is likely to set the pace, with Inquiry Miss, who finished second in a Portland Meadows stakes race in her last start, in closest pursuit. If all goes according to form, they will have their hands full through the final furlong with Jaz Unlimited, an impressive winner Sept. 8 in her first start at Emerald Downs. Jaz Unlimited rallied strongly to win an open $10,000 claimer at one mile. She gets what could be an easier test Friday in a conditioned claimer. Anne Sanguinetti will ride for trainer Jeff Metz.

Others in the field are House of Hope, who a captured a $10,000 maiden claimer in her last start; Lumen Took It, a distant seventh in the Comcast SportsNet Stakes; and Sweet Saga, who captured a one-mile stakes race during her 2-year-old season in 2011 but hasn’t won since.