06/15/2010 11:00PM

Winning Machine still under radar


AUBURN, Wash. - Apparently, Winning Machine is easy to overlook. He paid $14 upon exiting the maiden ranks as a 2-year-old in 2008, $34.20 when he won an allowance in his first start at 3, and $19.60 when he took the British Columbia Derby at Hastings in his final outing last summer.

Bettors have been slow to catch on, and Winning Machine again was cold on the board in his most recent start, May 16 in the Seattle Handicap at Emerald Downs. He got away at 8-1, and while he didn't win, the diminutive 4-year-old put forth his typical game effort, splitting horses in deep stretch to finish second, a length behind Doris Harwood-trained stable-mate Noosa Beach.

The latter ran six furlongs in a track-record-tying 1:07, and Winning Machine was gaining. That bodes well for his scheduled start Sunday in the one-mile Budweiser Handicap. And with Noosa Beach, Assessment, and Peaceful Reign likely to attract the lion's share of the betting, Winning Machine could get away at a price yet again.

"He couldn't be doing any better," Harwood said Tuesday. "He's a little horse, barely 15 hands, but he's like that little engine that could. The hole he went through in that last race, it didn't bother him a bit. This horse is brave. He'll do anything you ask him to do."

Winning Machine won the one-mile Tacoma Handicap last June, finished third behind Peaceful Reign and Noosa Beach in the 1-1/16-mile Seattle Slew Handicap, and then won the Emerald Derby and the BC Derby, both at nine furlongs, during a three-week span in September. That late flurry pushed his career earnings to $288,151 for owners Paul Goldberg of Westport, Conn., and Raymond Kwik of Spokane, Wash.

After two sprint preps to begin 2010, Winning Machine gets another chance to go long Sunday.

"He can run as far as they write races, and he's coming into this mile perfectly," Harwood said. "He's such an athletic horse; it's incredible the way he moves. That's the key to any racehorse, really. They took one look at Northern Dancer and said he wasn't big enough, but then they started training him. This horse has big attitude and big movement, which is why he's made so darn much money."

The larger goal for Winning Machine, Harwood said, is the Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile on Aug. 22. To get there, he'll probably start next in the 1 1/8-mile Mount Rainier Handicap on Aug. 1.

Marvin's Magic to Hollywood

After a stylish victory in his racing debut June 6, Marvin's Magic will tackle the big boys in start No. 2. The Frank Lucarelli-trained 2-year-old colt has been shipped to Southern California and will run next in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 5 at Hollywood Park.

Bred by his owner, Chris Randall, Marvin's Magic is by Aptitude, a son of A.P. Indy. His dam is Marva Jean, a three-time stakes winner at Emerald Downs in 2005. Like his mother, who also raced for Randall, Marvin's Magic has a nose for the front end.

"I tried working him from behind horses, and he stayed behind them for about 30 jumps," Lucarelli said of Marvin's Magic. "He's pretty fast."

Trainer Ed Moger Jr. is handling Marvin's Magic in California, while Lucarelli tends to a large stable at Emerald. Moger also oversees Gallant Son, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on the turf at Hollywood Park in his last start. Lucarelli said Gallant Son would start next in the $75,000 Wickerr Stakes on the turf at Del Mar on July 28 and then ship north for the Longacres Mile.

Meanwhile, Feeling Fancy, who was forced to miss the June 6 Irish Day Handicap because of an abscess in an ankle, was scheduled to return to training this week, Lucarelli said.

The 3-year-old filly, unbeaten in three starts at Emerald Downs and an easy winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Federal Way Handicap on May 9, did virtually nothing for 11 days while undergoing treatment for the abscess, which finally broke last Sunday, Lucarelli said.

The next stakes for 3-year-old fillies is the $50,000 Washington's Lottery Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 11.

No Flies On Doodle shipping out

No Flies On Doodle, the top older female at Emerald Downs after consecutive victories in the Hastings Handicap and Washington State Legislators Stakes, will start next in the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes at Prairie Meadows on June 25, owner Keith Swagerty said. If all goes as planned, No Flies On Doodle would then compete in the $75,000 Glass Slipper at Canterbury Park on July 24.

Trainer Vann Belvoir said No Flies On Doodle does her best running around one turn, but there are no more sprints on the Emerald Downs stakes schedule. The races in Iowa and Minnesota are at six furlongs, and Belvoir said he may try No Flies On Doodle on the turf at Remington Park later this year.