08/27/2001 11:00PM

'Pacific' retires without record


AUBURN, Wash. - Fleet Pacific, who was to have sought a record 10th stakes win at Emerald Downs in Monday's $60,000 Belle Roberts Handicap, was instead retired and sent home to owners Mike and Marie Bradley's farm on Vashon Island last Saturday.

"The owners decided they didn't want to run her back in two weeks," said trainer Steve Bullock. "They also wanted her to retire on a winning note."

Fleet Pacific won the $100,000 Emerald Breeders' Cup Distaff on Aug. 19, boosting her career record to 15 wins from 30 starts for $313,060 in earnings. All 15 of her wins came at Emerald, making her the track's winningest horse. Her nine Emerald stakes wins tie her for the lead with Ropersandwranglers and Handy N Bold, and her $307,060 in Emerald earnings are second only to Kid Katabatic's $322,350. A

7-year-old mare, Fleet Pacific was named Emerald's champion older filly or mare after winning her final four starts last season, and she extended her string to six straight stakes victories when she won her first two races this year.

Fleet Pacific will be bred next spring to an undetermined stallion.

Early simulcast trends encouraging

Emerald's first week of offering multiple full-card simulcasts on race days resulted in an increase in simulcast wagering that more than offset the expected decline in wagering on the track's live racing. When all was said and done, roughly $1,000 more was generated for the purse account on Thursday and Friday than on the same two days of the previous week, and roughly $5,000 more was generated on Saturday. The two Sundays were not comparable, since the previous Sunday was Longacres Mile Day.

"It's really too early to draw conclusions, but the initial figures are a little better than we expected," said MaryAnn O'Connell, executive secretary for the Washington Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "However, the national experience has been that full-card simulcasting produces a spike in handle that eventually levels off, with the increase in simulcast handle being balanced by a decline in live handle. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

While the purse account may benefit from full-card simulcasting, the track's bottom line probably will not. Morning, afternoon, and night full-card simulcasting means the track must remain open for up to 13 hours on live race days, which substantially increases labor costs and other expenses.

Devil's Enemy keeps nose in front

Devil's Enemy took command of Emerald's 2-year-old colt and gelding division with his second straight stakes win in Sunday's $36,000 WTBA Lads Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs, but just barely.

Under Kevin Radke, Devil's Enemy led through a fast half-mile in 44.80 seconds, then held on to win by a desperate nose over 47-1 shot Star of Rehaan in 1:17.20. Melcapwalker, the 5-2 second choice in the field of 11, got up for third after being bothered early by King Lex, who lost his rider at the break.

Devil's Enemy, a Devil on Ice colt who races for Bill Feeley, won the colt and gelding division of the Northwest Stallion Stakes in much the same fashion, leading through a half-mile in 44.80 before finishing up 6 1/2 furlongs in a slow 1:18.20. The pattern suggests he may have difficulty getting the 1 1/16 miles of the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity on Sept. 15, and he might not get the chance.

"I'm not real sure if we'll run him in the Futurity," said trainer Tim McCanna. "He has run some really hard races, and I don't want to put him in the Futurity just to be in the race. We'll see how he comes back."

Road Afleet won't stretch out

Road Afleet won last Saturday's 6 1/2-furlong Backstretch Chapel Stakes the hard way, getting the distance in 1:16 to prevail by a length over Alfurune despite wearing unconventional footwear.

"He had a bar shoe on his right front, then he lost one of his back shoes during the race," said trainer Dan Markle. "He didn't let it bother him, though. He gives you everything he has every time he runs. He is really a nice colt to be around."

Markle said Road Afleet, a 3-year-old who races for B and B Stable and George Axtel, will probably not contest the $125,000 Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby at nine furlongs on Sept. 9.

"It's too far for him," said the trainer. "I don't want to ask him to do something he can't do."