05/28/2007 11:00PM

Westsideclyde proves he belongs


AUBURN, Wash. - Westsideclyde couldn't have made a more dramatic entrance into the handicap ranks at Emerald Downs. Matched against divisional kingpins Starbird Road and Flamethrowintexan in Monday's $45,000 FSN Handicap, Westsideclyde dogged the pace of The Great Face through a blistering half-mile in 43.40 seconds, took command at the top of the stretch, and drew away under rider Ricky Frazier to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:13.40, the second-fastest clocking for 6 1/2 furlongs in track history.

The Great Face held second, a neck to the good of the fast-finishing Norm's Nephew, while Starbird Road finished seventh at 8-5 and Flamethrowintexan was eighth of nine at 9-5.

Flamethrowintexan's performance was understandable, as he is a front-runner who didn't get the lead after breaking a step slowly, and raced in traffic for the first time in his 27-race career. Starbird Road's effort was more puzzling. He stalked the pace from the inside in third, swung out for room at the top of the stretch, and steadily lost position.

"It just wasn't his day," said rider Debbie Hoonan-Trujillo. "He just didn't have that kick."

Westsideclyde, a 5-year-old son of Old Topper who races for Linda Elledge and Dr. James Riedinger, completed a rise to prominence in a career that began most inauspiciously. In the second start of his career he injured a tendon, an injury that horsemen dread because it normally prevents horses from reaching their potential.

Asked how unusual it is for a horse to win a stakes after suffering a tendon injury, trainer Craig Roberts had a ready answer.

"I guess the word would be 'very,' " he said. "Those injuries come in all proportions, though, and it all depends on how you manage the horse and how he tolerates it. This horse missed his whole 3-year-old season, but I have to say that he hasn't had a single bad day since he returned to training at 4."

All the same, Roberts brought Westsideclyde back in a $10,000 maiden race, and he was for sale for $17,500 in his first race against winners. After winning those two races and three of his next four in impressive fashion, Westsideclyde was under consideration for last year's Grade 3 Longacres Mile, which was won by Flamethrowintexan.

"I thought he could at least be visible in last year's Mile, but Dr. Riedinger wanted to take a more cautious approach," said Roberts. "Maybe it will pay off this year."

Queenledo finished for the meet

Queenledo, who suffered what trainer Tim McCanna called a soft-tissue injury when training earlier this month, has been turned out on the trainer's farm in Yakima and will not race at Emerald Downs this season.

"It's too bad, but I need to let her have as much rest as she needs," he said. "If we stop on her now, the injury will remain minor."

McCanna said Queenledo, a 5-year-old daughter of Slewdledo who was named the top older filly or mare on the grounds last season, will return to training later this summer and may be sent to the Midwest with trainer Grant Forster in the fall.

"The idea would be to give her a few races in the Midwest this fall, then keep her there to be bred in Kentucky next year," he said.

Karis Makaw bred to Bernardini

Karis Makaw, who won the King County and Boeing handicaps at Emerald Downs in 2005, has been bred to three-time Grade 1 winner Bernardini.

Karis Makaw, who finished second to Queenledo in last year's $100,000 Emerald Downs Distaff, raced locally for owner Evelyn Filler and trainer Bob Meeking. Filler sold her for $150,000 at last November's Fasig-Tipton sale, and she is now owned by Anthony Mangero and James Keough's Limerick Road Bloodstock, a company managed by Keough.

Limerick Road Bloodstock purchased a season to Bernardini, who stands for $100,000 at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky, at an auction benefiting the Thoroughbred Charities of America, and Keough selected Karis Makaw to be bred.

"We just think she is a very classy mare," said Keough. "She never put a foot wrong on the racetrack or in the breeding shed."

Karis Makaw, who is by Charismatic and out of the Danzig mare Elhasna, is from a distinguished female family. Her second dam, Gold Beauty, is the dam of the brilliant sprinter and sire Dayjur, and also of Maplejinsky, who is the dam of champion Sky Beauty.

Karis Makaw has seven winning siblings, with the most recent being Mandy's Purse, a Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Street Cry who won her debut on the maiden special weight level at Belmont on May 3.

Contest winner selects Leslie Mawing

Shawn Horst of Covington, Wash., won Monday's Win-A-Jockey Sweepstakes when the horse he was paired with in the seventh race, Gadget Queen, won under jockey Leslie Mawing. Appropriately enough, Horst selected Mawing to represent him through the 2007 season at Emerald Downs.

Horst will receive 1 percent of Mawing's purse earnings, which have already reached $241,998 through the first 19 days of the 91-day meeting. Mawing ranks second in the jockey standings with 23 wins from 111 mounts. Ricky Frazier is the leading rider with 27 wins and $285,716 in earnings.