LIFE IS A JOY TAKES FEATURE IN THREE-WAY THRILLER, FRANCISCO DURAN RIDES FOUR LONG SHOT WINNERS
Life Is a Joy and hot-riding Francisco Duran teamed up for an enormous upset Sunday in the $11,500 feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
In a three-horse battle to the wire, Life Is a Joy prevailed by a neck over Private Boss with Hoody a head back in third place. Archie Graham, owned by Emerald Racing Club, finished 2 ½ lengths farther back in fourth place.
The longest shot on the board, Life Is a Joy ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.56 and returned $87, $44.80 and $18.40 to his scattered backers. The $2 place and show prices are the largest of the meet and the $2 win price is second largest, topped only by Original Avenue’s $92 payout on April 9.
Private Boss, a 20-1 long shot ridden by Eswan Flores, nearly led gate-to-wire and paid $16.60 and $11.60.
For Duran, the victory was his third of four Sunday, and all were aboard long shots—Seeking a Mystery ($16) in race five, Winninginfashion ($16.60) in race eight, Life Is a Joy in race nine, and For Pitys Sake ($20.40) in race 10. The $1 late Pick 3 on Duran’s natural hat trick returned a whopping $2,110.20.
Life Is a Joy and Seeking a Mystery are both trained by Robbie Baze and owned by Valentin Picho Garcia.
Duran and Rocco Bowen—who had three wins Sunday—dominated the 10-race card. For Bowen, it was his third straight multiple win day and stretched his lead to 59-44 over Leslie Mawing in the jockeys’ race.
NOTES: Juan Gutierrez on April 23 is the only other jockey with a four-win day this season at Emerald Downs. . .Broodmare Carrie’s a Jewel had a big weekend with 2-year-old California Diamond (Harbor the Gold-Carrie’s a Jewel) winning Saturday’s $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile and 4-year-old Huckleberry Ridge (Raise the Bluff-Carrie’s a Jewel) breaking his maiden in the Sunday opener at Emerald Downs. A Washington-bred by Slewdledo, Carrie’s a Jewel earned $151,840 in a 30-race career that included a second to Halonator in the 2005 Belle Roberts Stakes. . .Myrna Lou ($20.20) sprang a $20.20 upset under Jorge Rosales in race seven to give trainer F.C. Frazier his first win of the meet. . .Sunday’s mutuel handle of $1,783,683 is up 10.1 percent from the corresponding day last year. . .Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m. There are carryovers of $9,119 in the $0.50 Pick 5 and $1,765 in the $0.20 Pick 7.