08/14/2006 11:00PM

Juvenile stakes winners will go a mile next


AUBURN, Wash. - Odds-on favorites are supposed to win, and that is just what Judicature and Immigration did in a matched set of restricted stakes for juveniles at Emerald Downs last weekend.

Judicature, who was sent off at 2-5 on the strength of a sensational score from off the pace in the open Angie C. Stakes, went to the front at the start in Saturday's Knights Choice Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, shrugged off pace rival Irenes Bonus Baby turning for home, and drew off without need of urging from rider Ricky Frazier to win by three lengths. The time was an ordinary 1:17.60 for 6 1/2 furlongs, but that didn't bother trainer Bill Tollett.

"She did what she needed to do, and she continues to impress me with how professional she is," said Tollett. "She's a gorgeous filly, and she just doesn't do a thing wrong."

Judicature, a daughter of first-year sire Tribunal out of Castle Bravo, gave Tollett his fourth stakes win at the meeting. He won the Federal Way Handicap with Diamond Dollars and the FSN Handicap with Spanish Highway, but neither of those runners is expected to start again at the meeting. The trainer hopes to get at least one more stakes win from Judicature, who will go next in the $100,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at a mile on Sept. 3.

"She should be fine going a mile," said Tollett. "I think the Tribunals will be better going longer, and this filly's dam was strictly a router. Castle Bravo was injured as a 3-year-old, but I really thought a lot of her."

Tollett trained Castle Bravo for David and Elaine Parks, who bred and own Judicature in partnership with Ramer and Clare Holtan. David Parks is excited about Judicature's prospects, but he is a breeder to the core. As such, he is looking well beyond his filly's next outing.

"We have a weanling full brother to this filly, and he is twice as nice," said Parks. "Just wait until he runs."

Immigration displayed a flair for the dramatic in Sunday's Strong Ruler Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Immigration had won both of his prior outings, including the open Emerald Express, in gate-to-wire fashion. He broke slowly on Sunday, however, throwing a scare into fans who had bet him down to 3-5. The fans weren't the only ones who were alarmed.

"I had a knot in my stomach when I was seeing horses' tails," said his jockey, Jennifer Whitaker. "He's not used to that."

Immigration was nonplussed, however. He moved up to get within a length of the pacesetting Yacht Spotter at the three-eighths marker, allowed that rival to open up two lengths on the turn, and moved to take the lead approaching the quarter pole before cruising home to score by 2 1/2 lengths over the fast-finishing Liberty for Al in 1:17.60 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

"I wasn't so worried when he broke slowly, because I thought he was such a nice horse he could compensate for that," said trainer Howard Belvoir. "I was more worried when Yacht Spotter put a couple lengths on him at the three-eighths pole. That's an old rider's trick designed to make everyone else move too early, and it can break the heart of a 2-year-old. It didn't bother Immigration, though, and that's a really good sign."

Belvoir purchased Immigration for $6,000 at last year's WTBA winter s ale, then sold shares in him to partners Harley Hoppe and Dan Corby. The trainer said the bargain price was probably due to the combination of two things: Immigration is by Delineator, who has a reputation for throwing troublesome offspring, and he had 16 stitches in his head.

"When people saw he was by Delineator and then noticed the cut in his head, they probably assumed he was crazy," said Belvoir. "Nothing could be further from the truth. He has a really good mind, and I think that is one of the best things about him."

Belvoir said Immigration will go next in the $55,000 WTBA Lads at a mile on Sept. 2, then contest the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 30.

Grafton drills five furlongs for Mile

Trainer Bill Tollett put the finishing touches on Grafton's preparation for Sunday's Grade 3 Longacres Mile with a five-furlong move in 1:01 on Tuesday morning.

"He went really well," said Tollett. "The rider said he went around the turn like a sports car. I don't think there is any question that he can handle the track."

Tollett said Grafton, who has raced exclusively on turf, will be ridden by Ken Tohill in the Mile. Tohill also has the mount on the Tollett-trained Bardy Woman in Sunday's $100,000 Emerald Breeders' Cup Distaff at a mile.

Other locally based horses expected to contest the Mile are Flamethrowintexan, Starbird Road, R. Associate, and Norm's Nephew. Quiet Cash, Alexandersrun, and Beau Soleil are expected to invade from Canada, and Southern Africa is booked on a flight that is expected to arrive on Thursday from Southern California. Several other California-based horses were on the fence as of Tuesday.