Sis’s Sis heads feature race on opening night at Emerald Downs | Horse Racing

Sis's Sis, Emerald Downs' champion 3-year-old filly last year, is among five older fillies and mares entered in Friday's $21,000 allowance feature at 5 ½ furlongs. Sixty-six horses are entered on the eight-race card with trainers Howard Belvoir and Tim McCanna leading the way with six and five horses, respectively.

  • Tuesday, April 12, 2011 10:08pm
  • Sports

Sis’s Sis, Emerald Downs’ champion 3-year-old filly last year, is among five older fillies and mares entered in Friday’s $21,000 allowance feature at 5 ½ furlongs. Sixty-six horses are entered on the eight-race card with trainers Howard Belvoir and Tim McCanna leading the way with six and five horses, respectively.

In the feature race, Mike and Amy Feuerborn’s Sis’s Sis faces older fillies and mares following a sensational 2010 campaign in which she won four races, two stakes and honors as champion sophomore filly. The 4-year-old Washington-bred by Cahill Road is one of two horses in the race trained by Washington Hall of Fame trainer Jim Penney.

Sis’s Sis also ran on opening night last year, winning a race for non-winners of two races lifetime, and tipping her hand for the bigger things to come. She would win two one-mile stakes- Irish Day Handicap and John & Kitty Fletcher Stakes-and edge Zenovit for Top 3-Year-Old Filly honors.

Penney also sends out Sweet Nellie Brown, a swift 4-year-old Cape Canaveral filly that won two allowance races last year, both on the front end.

Frank Lucarelli also has a pair of 4-year-old fillies entered: stakes winners Feeling Fancy and Rewritten. The former captured the 2010 Federal Way Handicap while the latter flew home for an 8-1 upset over Sis’s Sis in the 2010 Washington’s Lottery Handicap.

“This race looks to have some very good competition,” said Kay Cooper, daughter and assistant trianer for Penney. “It feels a lot like a mini stakes race. It’s a tough field.”

Sue and Tim Spooners’s Crocodile Tuff is the other entrant. Trained by Dan Markle, the 5-year-old Petionville mare finished second to Clair Annette in the 2010 King County Handicap, and often packs a wallop in the lane.

The field from the rail out: Feeling Fancy, Leslie Mawing, 119 lbs; Crocodile Tuff, Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo, 119; Sis’s Sis, Juan Gutierrez, 119; Sweet Nellie Brown, Pedro Terrero, 119, and Rewritten, Joe Crispin, 119.


Tim McCanna winning 60 races and the Emerald Downs training title is part of the Northwest sporting fabric. It’s sort of like Ichiro slapping 200 hits or the opening day of boating season. You can just count on it happening every year.

But while McCanna is the front man of the Northwest’s most successful training outfit and the one credited with the victories in the official statistics, it takes a team to consistently get horses to the winner’s circle. And for Team McCanna, being second in command also frequently means running the entire show, as McCanna typically spends a day or two each week at his farm in Yakima. And when that happens, Robert Sodergren, the big guy with the ball cap, has proven adept at assisting the 10-time Emerald Downs training champion.

“Robert has done a tremendous job for me in the past four years,” McCanna said. “When I’m gone, he is the eyes and ears of the barn.”

Sodergren, who owned his first horse at age 12, apprenticed under veteran trainer Roy Lumm at Longacres in 1989. After working at several different barns Sodergren landed a job with Don Munger, working 10 years for the octogenarian trainer before moving on in 2006.

“I decided it was time to find another job or get off the track,” Sodergren said. “I thought to myself, ‘the only way I’m coming back to Emerald Downs is if I worked for a top trainer.’ “

The 42-year-old native of Hobart thought that he would never work at the track again. But one phone call changed everything.

“Tim called me out of the blue.” Sodergren said. “If he hadn’t called me, I would have been completely out of the sport. Now, I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Since hiring Sodergren in 2007, McCanna shattered his previous season record of 55 wins (tied, Frank Lucarelli) with 66 scores in 2008, and notched 63 victories the following two seasons. During that stretch, McCanna has won 242 races at Emerald Downs; 64 wins more than the next trainer. He captured his 10th Emerald Downs training title in 2010. And with help from Sodergren, McCanna will enter the 2011 season with hopes to break his own record of four straight title victories (2000-03; 2007-10).

“It’s a blast,” Sodergren said. “Tim runs a great barn and there’s lots of action, lots of horses. Hopefully we’re going to have another good year.”


Comcast Sports Net has produced a half-hour pre-season special previewing the

2011 season at Emerald Downs. The program airs twice Friday (6:30 and 10:30 p.m.) and once Saturday (1:30 p.m.)

Perennial top trainer Tim McCanna provides an in-depth look at his daily operation, and leading stakes trainer Doris Harwood and veteran conditioner Margo Lloyd also share their training expertise with viewers.

The documentary also features the track’s winningest jockey Gallyn Mitchell, owner Duane Hopp and media relations employee Jacob Pollowitz. The show’s first five minutes can be viewed online at:


  • Leslie Mawing, who last rode regularly at Emerald Downs in 2008, is named on horses in all eight races Friday. The 37-year-old South African ranks 15th all-time with 269 wins at Emerald Downs*Sunland Park won’t finish its 2011 meet until Tuesday, but Robert Geller-announcer at both Emerald Downs and Sunland Park-will be in the booth Friday to begin his 16th season at Emerald Downs*McCanna, who has nearly 30 juveniles stabled at Emerald Downs, also has some 2-year-olds in California including My Flying Corona, a California-bred filly by Jet West entered in a $22,000 maiden special weight Thursday at Golden Gate Fields
  • Vann Belvoir, who saddled three winners on opening night last year, sends out four horses on opening night-all with new stable rider Javier Matias named as jockey.
  • Martin Kenney, leading trainer at Longacres in 1974, ’77 & ’79, sends out first-time starter Just Life for owner and wife Sylvia Kenney in Friday’s opener.
  • 9-year-old Chickasaw Park attempts to win his 13th Emerald Downs race in Friday’s fourth race for 3-year-olds and up at 5 ½ furlongs. West Seattle Boy with 18 wins and Skyrider with 13 wins are the only active runners with more local wins than Chickasaw Park.
  • Joe Crispin, 2010-11 Portland Meadows riding champion with 97 wins, rides six horses opening night including 2010 stakes winner Rewritten in the $21,000 allowance feature for fillies and mares.
  • Rewritten blew out three furlongs in :34 4/5 Tuesday for trainer Frank Lucarelli.
  • 2010 Washington Oaks winner Zenovit worked a half-mile in a bullet :46 Tuesday for trainer Larry Ross.
  • Vic Cozzetti’s Vic-Tory Stables were out in force Tuesday led by He’s All Heart breezing five furlongs in a bullet :58. “The Predictor” and trainer Larry Wolf also worked Highdleburg five panels in 1:02 3/5 and Chaching Pete five furlongs in :59 3/5.
  • Crispin and jockey A.L. Gutierrez are both represented by agent Boone McCanna, who also will book rides for Ricky Frazier once the five-time Emerald Downs champion receives medical clearance from his doctor.
  • Trainer Valorie Lund said that Atta Boy Roy came out of his last race well, despite finishing 10th in the $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes (GII) on April 3 at Santa Anita. According to Lund, Atta Boy Roy could still ship to Kentucky to defend his title in the $300,000 Churchill Downs (GII) on Kentucky Derby Day-Saturday, May 7.
  • KJR Sports Radio 950 AM will broadcast live from Emerald Downs 3-10 p.m. on opening day night.
  • Entries for Saturday’s and Sunday’s races will be taken Wednesday morning. 2010 Horse of the Meeting Noosa Beach is expected to run in Sunday’s $21,000 allowance feature at six furlongs.








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