AUBURN — Trainer Tom Wenzel figured once Stopshoppingdebbie took the lead entering the stretch, she wasn’t going to be beaten.
But, of course, she never is.
The 4-year-old filly made it 7 for 7 to begin her career by winning Sunday’s $50,000 Washington Legislators Handicap at Emerald Downs by a half-length over Goin to the Window. With the win, Stopshoppingdebbie has the longest streak by an undefeated horse in the country.
“I had a lot of horse,” said jockey Rocco Bowen. “You don’t have to win by 10 (lengths) every time. You just have to get the job done.”
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Stopshoppingdebbie stalked the leaders while running quite wide, then showed her characteristic burst of speed to grab command by 1½ lengths at the top of the stretch. Unlike many of her races, she was fully extended to hold on for the win.
Wenzel had little to be nervous about, because he also trains Goin to the Window and the third-place finisher, Blueberry Smoothie. The three are owned and bred by Northwest Farms. He said he would not have been disappointed if Goin to the Window had ended his star filly’s winning streak.
“Like I’ve said before, they’re going to do what they’re going to do (when they race),” Wenzel said. “Even last year, I wasn’t sure who was going to be the better filly, Window or Debbie. Window ran a great race, and she kept coming, but Debbie gutted it out.”
Stopshoppingdebbie, who is being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup in the fall if everything continues to go well, ran the 6½ furlongs in a stakes-record 1 minute, 14.20 seconds. She paid $2.60 to win on a $2 bet.
Wenzel said it’s unfortunate for Goin to the Window and Blueberry Smoothie that they have to deal with such a talented stablemate. Five times those two have finished second or third to Stopshoppingdebbie in stakes races.
“I’m fortunate to have all three of them,” Wenzel said.
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943