Emerald Downs Wrap-Friday, August 19

Firewalker and jockey Javier Matias


AUBURN, Wash. (Aug. 19, 2022) – Firewalker rallied inside and scored a major upset in Deb’s 70th Birthday Purse for 3-year-olds and up Friday at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by Javier Matias, Firewalker rallied from last place for a 2 ¼-length victory while running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.50. Washington Hall of Famer Howard Belvoir is the winning trainer for Rising Star Stable X headed by Vicki Potter of Auburn, Wash. Friday’s race was named after Debbie Connell, a longtime member of the Rising Star syndicate.

Second longest price in a field of six, Firewalker paid $29.60, $12.20, and $4.60. A 3-year-old Washington-bred by Daredevil, Firewalker is 2-0-3 from nine lifetime starts with earnings of $41,390 including $13,750 for Friday’s come from behind triumph.

Book Smart, a 7 to 2 shot ridden by Leslie Mawing, raced in contention throughout, outfinishing March On Linch for second and returning $6.40 and $3.80.

March On Linch, a slight 8 to 5 favorite ridden by Alex Cruz, finished third and returned $2.40 to show, while Me B Bubba T, also off at 8 to 5, finished fourth.

Tig and Decimate rounded out the order of finish; Trumped was scratched earlier in the day.

In the $0.50 Pick 5 which included a $28,927 carryover and $208,089 money wagered Friday, tickets with five winners returned a whopping $37,668.85—third largest in track history. All five winners in the sequence paid double digits: Stepup ($22.60), Mo Connelly ($12), Prospera ($12.40), Firewalker ($29.60), and Upper Room ($10.80).

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,192,648 on a seven-race card. . .First-time starter Stepup debuted with a $22.20 upset in Friday’s third race for maiden 2-year-old fillies. Francisco Diaz-Lopez rode the winner, the first mount of the season for the veteran rider whose last Emerald Downs’ victory was in 2020. . ..Washington-bred Brilliant Bird ($12.60) scored her 11th lifetime victory in the second race, a $25,000/$20,000 claimer for older fillies and mares. A 7-year-old Einstein mare, Brilliant Bird ran six panels in 1:09.49. . .Kevin Radke was unseated by Swing First in the stretch of Friday’s first race and taken to the hospital for precautionary X-rays. . . Prospera ($12.40) gave owner John Parker his 19th win of the season, edging 4 to 5 favorite Enchanting Way in race five. Parker has all but clinched his fifth leading owner title and is fourth all-time with 169 wins at Emerald Downs. Prospera also gave trainer Candi Cryderman her 20th win of the season. . .Javier Matias and Juan Gutierrez each rode two winners. . .Live racing continues Saturday with free admission to all ladies on Ladies’ Day. First post 2:15 p.m.                                          –##–