HORSE FOR COURSE DIAMONDS DENA WINS AGAIN, GETS CLAIMED BY EMERALD RACING CLUB
Diamonds Dena overtook Ronda Rocks and Seeking the Light past mid-stretch and rolled to a 1 ½-length victory Friday in the $13,600 feature race for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Erick Lopez—celebrating his 29th birthday with two wins—Diamonds Dena ran one mile in 1:36.97 and paid $8, $3.80 and $2.20. Manny Ortiz is the winning trainer and co-owner with Ezra Lee Craig and Thomas Glasgow.
However, Diamonds Dena was claimed Friday for $15,000 by trainer Larry Ross for the Emerald Racing Club.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Northern Afleet-Wild Cure, Diamonds Dena thrives over the Emerald Downs strip, compiling a sparkling 6-1-0 record in eight starts with earnings of $48,675. Her lifetime record is 8-3-1 in 24 starts with earnings of $71,107, including $7,480 for Friday’s triumph.
Diamonds Dena sat in third place as Ronda Rocks and Seeking the Light led through fractions of :24.43, :47.47 and 1:11.66, rallied three deep into the lane and collared the leaders in the final furlong to win going away.
Ronda Rocks, ridden by Leslie Mawing, held second and paid $4.40 and $3.20, while Seeking the Light, ridden by Juan Gutierrez, finished third and paid $2.40 to show. The 9-to-5 betting favorite, Seeking the Light was compromised by a tardy break.
Cup of Soup, also trained by Ortiz, rallied from last to finish fourth and was followed by S U M Racer and Showcase Winner. Among the Stars was scratched and reentered in Sunday’s eighth race.
NOTES: Owner Heidi Nelson said Friday that her brilliant 2-year-old The Chilli Man will run in the $50,000 Emerald Express at 5 ½ furlongs on Sunday, July 17. The 2-year-old son of Trappe Shot was the talk of the track after his 11 ½-length debut victory last month, running 4-½ furlongs in :50.22 under jockey Joe Steiner for trainer Monique Snowden. . .Friday’s $0.20 Pick 7 paid $6,698 to tickets with all seven winners. Buds a Flyin ($49) capped the sequence with a gate-to-wire victory under Leonel Camacho-Flores for trainer Vince Gibson and owners Barbara Schmid and Pam Gibson. Gibson also saddled third-place finisher Simply Sharp, a 50-to-1 outsider, and the $0.10 superfecta paid a whopping $1,617. . . Rocco Bowen rode two winners and stretched his lead to 54-42 over Leslie Mawing in the jockeys’ standings. . . Possible Spider ($7.80) and Thermal Wave ($8.20) produced the meet’s second dead-heat for win in Friday’s second race, both hitting the wire in 1:38.81 for one mile. . . Trainer Wilfrido Montano posted his first two-win day at Emerald Downs, scoring back-to-back with Possible Spider in race two and Analysis Paralysis ($9.20) in race three. Both horses were claimed in their previous start, and Montano is 55 percent (5-for-9) first off the claim this season at Emerald Downs. . .Old pro Southern Solution ($33.40) made it two straight wins and 11-for-34 lifetime with a 15-to-1 upset in race five under apprentice Osvaldo Gonzalez for trainer Roy Lumm. The winner is a 6-year-old Washington-bred owned by Go Go Racing Stable. .Live racing continues Saturday with the first of four twilight Saturday programs in July. First post is 6:30 p.m.