Field of 12 to go in the Route Claiming Series Finals
Twelve runners will line up in the gate to compete over the one mile and one quarter distance in the $25,000 Route Claiming Series Final on Wednesday March 14, which is closing day at Portland Meadows. The Final is the third and final event of a series that started on February 1st with 3 divisions of Leg 1, all at a mile and 70 yards and all featuring a $2,500 claiming price. The competitors then went onto Leg 2 on Presidents Day, February 20th, which were $4,000 events at a mile and an eighth. The top twelve point earners who ran in both Legs 1 and 2 qualified for the Finals.
Headlining the cast is Swiss Exploit who went wire to wire in both of his divisions of the first two legs of the competition. Swiss Exploit will be ridden by leading jockey Javier Matias who takes over for trainer Dave Runyon, who claimed the horse for $4,000 out of Leg 2. Swiss Exploit drew out in the 11 hole, but with his speed and over a quarter of a mile to the first turn, he should have no problem securing a good spot and not losing ground. His main nemesis on the front end could be Castle Pines who went unclaimed in both legs and comes off a smashing wire to wire win, under red-hot jockey Eliska Kubinova. Castle Pines is a 9 year old veteran who for years was exclusively a sprinter, but he’s taken to the route game in this series and could be dangerous if left alone.
The race is chalk full of interesting story lines including the appearance of the 13 year old West Seattle Boy. The veteran has won 27 races in his career and although he hasn’t found much success so far in this series, the extra distance suits him and if he fires his best shot, he’s always dangerous. Plus an intriguing addition to the West Seattle Boy team, defending Emerald Downs riding champ and Golden Gate Fields regular Leslie Mawing who will come up to ride for trainer Jesse Velazquez. Also Simperio was claimed back by trainer Jim Fergason in Leg 2, so clearly he thinks that he’s ready to fire a big one in the Finals.
The Route Claiming Series Final will be run as Race 8 on the Closing Day program which will feature 11 total races, many with full 12 horse fields. Post time for the 8th race is 3:09pm (Pacific) and the race is the first leg of the Mandatory Payout 14% takeout late Pick 4. Portland Meadows will also be offering $.10 Superfecta wagering on all 11 races.
Here is the field for the Route Claiming Series:
(post position, horse, rider)
1. Doctor Pav, Debbie Hoonan
2. Turntable Bay, Juan Gutierrez
3. Simperio, Mark Anderson
4. Castle Pines, Eliska Kubinova
5. Meshuguna, Luis Torres
6. Watch Your Money, Jose Zunino
7. Capella Etoile, Leonel Camacho-Flores
8. Tribute To Sissy, Ruben Camacho
9. Little Mordi, Luis Gonzalez
10. West Seattle Boy, Leslie Mawing
11. Swiss Exploit, Javier Matias
12. General Joe, Joe Crispin