08/28/2016 10:42PM

Stryker Phd collects third Muckleshoot Tribal Classic win


Stryker Phd was the star of the show going into the Washington Cup Day card at Emerald Downs on Sunday, and he lived up to his billing with a 5 3/4-length win over 45-1 longshot Grinder Sparksaglo in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic. He paid $3.60.

The Classic headlined six $50,000 stakes that were mostly restricted to horses bred or sired in Washington or British Columbia. The two races for 2-year-olds were restricted to Washington-bred or sired horses.

It was a record third win in the Classic for Stryker Phd, and it gave his trainer, Larry Ross, his sixth win in the race.

With Leslie Mawing aboard, Stryker Phd was closer than usual during the early stages of the race, and when Mawing moved him into contention while going five-wide at the three-eighths pole, the outcome was pretty clear. He took the lead heading into the stretch and drew off to win in hand. Grinder Sparksaglo rallied to finish second. Westley forced the early pace before setting for third.

“He was running in good order going down the backstretch, so I just let him do what he wanted to do,” Mawing said.

It was the first win for the 7-year-old son of Bertando since he won the Classic last year. He was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, a race he had won the two previous years.

“It was a bit of a class drop for him,” Ross said. “He’s a bit older, so it has taken him a little longer to come around. He is doing very well now, though.”

The final time was 1:41.30

In a ceremony before the races Ross, along with his his wife and assistant trainer, Sharon, were inducted into the Washington Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Stryker Phd is owned by Jim and Mona Hour. The win brought his career earnings to $559,841.

Five of the six stakes were won by less than even-money favorites and four were dominated by front-runners.

Most impressive was So Lucky, $2.40, who toyed with his rivals in the 2-year-old colts and geldings race. With Rocco Bowen aboard, he broke like a rocket and quickly opened up a clear lead while posting interior fractions of 22.00 and 44.69 seconds in the six-furlong dash. He took a four-length lead into the stretch, and, without being urged, drew off to win by nine lengths.  Keller’s Gold chased the winner most of the way to finish second. Don’tbeshywillie rallied to finish third.

The final time was 1:09.02.

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Bowen could have opened up a bigger lead early, but he took a big hold of the son of Coast Guard and allowed Satellite Storm to get within a length at the first call.

“When he broke so well I was pretty confident, Bowen said. “I just wanted to see how he would react when other horses got close to him.”

Trainer Howard Belvoir was impressed with the performance.

“You don’t get horses like that come your way very often,” he said.

It was the fourth straight win for So Lucky, and he really hasn’t been tested in any of his races.

So Lucky is owned by Pegasus Too and Rising Star Stable.

Risque’s Legacy also paid $2.40 for her win in the 2-year-old filly race.

Bowen put Risque’s Legacy on the lead coming out of the gate in the 6-furlong sprint; she was never seriously threatened by the runner-up No Talking Back, who rallied late. San Juan Star finished third. The final winning margin was three lengths.

In her only other start, Risque’s Legacy won a maiden special weight race by nine lengths Aug. 13. The daughter of Atta Boy Roy is trained by Tom Wenzel. She was bred by her owner Karl Krieg.

Ethan’s Baby paid $2.80 for her 2 3/4-length win in the Fillies and Mares race. With Leslie Mawing aboard she held a six-length lead at the eighth-pole and easily held off Maggie’s Special in the 1 1/16-mile race. Knight Club finished third. The final time was 1:43.80.

The homebred daughter of Offlee Wild is trained by Blaine Wright and owned by Todd and Shawn Hanson.

The Press was the only non-favorite to win a stakes on the 10-race card and he was the second choice behind Mach One Rules in the 3-year-old race. He paid $7.60. Mach One Rules was game in defeat in the one-mile race; he lost by a neck despite going very wide around the first turn. Face Valued finished third.

The final time was 1:36.03.

The Press, ridden by Javier Matias, gave trainer Howard Belvoir his second stakes win on the day. The son of Harbor the Gold is also owned by Belvoir.

My Heart Goes On led at every call in the 3-year-old filly race. She paid $3.60 for her game one-length win over Three Forks Gold in the one-mile race.  She was ridden by Juan Gutierrez.

It looked like Three Forks Gold was going past My Heart Goes On mid-stretch, but the daughter of Albertus Maximus fought back bravely and was pulling away at the wire. Trinni came from a stalking position to finish third.

The final time was 1:35.99.

My Heart Goes On is trained by David Martinez and is owned by her breeder Coal Creek Farm.