Making horse sense of it all

It's back to the old grind, folks, as your reporter returns from a month off from the keyboard. Now it's back to action with a vengeance as prep sports coverage begins this Friday with the

Sequim Wolves going against Forks and Port Angeles going to North Mason to get the gridiron season started.

It was quite a month of August for your scribe, with camping, the big horse race, a chance to see the Mariners and Yankees and a trip to New Jersey and Philadelphia just to cap off a busy vacation.

Big race

I spent two days in Auburn mid-month to watch and wager on the Longacres Mile and I have to tell you a story about the reporter who went brain dead.

Several years ago I was at Emerald Downs and sat next to horse owners and trainers Sue and Tim Spooner. I watched as they entered three horses in three different races and watched them collect first-place owners' money.

I made a vow that each time I went to the track I would bet on a Spooner horse, no matter what.

On Aug. 15, I visited the track to practice handicapping for The Mile and, sure enough, the Spooners had a horse in the second race, a 2-year-old filly named Greenback Forest that never had been a starter before.

I decided to bet that horse, but first I went for a daily double (first-place horse in first and second race before first race starts) with Shezarollingstone in the first race to Forest in the second.

I bet Shezarollingstone win, place and show in the first race and the Greenback Forest in the second race, or, so I thought.

Well, the 2-2 daily double was ruined when the one horse won the first race, so, I said to myself ... "Self, you still have the No. 2 in the second ...."

As I pored over the third race trying to pick a winner, the second race started and Spooners Greenback Forest came out of the last turn and blew the six-horse field away to pay $14.80, $6.60 and $3.40 to show.

I went to the pay window only to discover that I had forgotten to bet Greenback Forest to win, place and show after the first race was over ....

The mile

Mile day came and I was prepared after handicapping most of the night. I went with the local horses, Atta Boy Roy to win, ridden by leading jockey Ricky Frazer. I bet last year's winner Wasserman and Assessment, ridden by the all-time leading jockey Gallyn Mitchell in a 9-2-12 trifecta box with the nine horse across.

The huge crowd was excited and roared at the start as Atta Boy Roy went to the lead and led down the backstretch, into the last turn and headed for home four lengths in front of the 12-horse field.

Lo and behold, Roy then ran out of gas and was passed by California intruder Awesome Gem and Canadian horse Tiede and then by Assessment who won the race, with Gem and Tiede second and third, Wasserman fourth and Roy fifth.

No win, no place, no show, no trifecta box. It was great to be there, however.

Let's try and talk 7 Cedars Casino to returning Emerald Downs racing next season as it's a long, long drive home from Auburn.

Follow the preps

In high school football action, Sequim entertains the Forks Spartans while Port Angeles opens at North Mason.

You can listen to all Port Angeles games on 1450 AM or 102.1 FM on your dial or live on All Sequim games will be on and the Sequim-P.A. game next week will be on the AM and FM dial as well.

Reach Scooter Chapman via e-mail at

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