ROMAN RUSH SHARP IN FRIDAY FEATURE RACE
AUBURN, Wash. (August 9, 2019) – Roman Rush took command into the stretch and powered home for a 1 ¼-length victory in the $15,000 feature race for 3-year-olds and up Friday at Emerald Downs.
Winning his second straight, Roman Rush ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.23 and paid $9.40, $4.40 and $2.60 as third choice in the wagering. Kevin Orozco, aboard his second winner of the night, rode Roman Rush for trainer Blaine Wright and owners Below The Rim Stables and David Staudacher.
A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred, Roman Rush was stepping up in class following a six-length maiden win last month, but was easily up to the task. Swooping past Lobaness and Battle Point Red into the lane, Roman Rush opened by 2 ½ lengths in mid-stretch and held 6 to 5 favorite Vicente’s Shadow and 5 to 2 second choice Rocket Power safe to the wire.
Roman Rush is 2-2-1 in nine starts lifetime with earnings of $26,160.
Vicente’s Shadow, ridden by Kevin Krigger, finished strongly for second and paid $2.80 and $2.10, while Rocket Power finished third and paid $2.40. Great Eagle, Samurai Jack and Battle Point Red completed the order of finish.
The winning trainer, co-owner and jockey are all involved in Sunday’s 84th Longacres Mile. Wright saddles 8 to 5 morning line favorite Anyportinastorm along with Oh Marvelous Me, Staudacher owns the 5 to 1 second choice Solid Wager, and Orozco rides Mt. Rainier Stakes winner More Power to Him.
PEACH OF A PIE PREVAILS IN FILLY & MARE MARATHON
Friday also featured the first leg of the $17,325 Equal Pay Distance Series for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, and it produced a frantic finish with Peach of a Pie rallying from last and tagging Choteau in the final stride for a head victory.
Ridden by Kevin Orozco, Peach of a Pie ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:53.27 and paid $20.40 to win while earning a $9,529 winner’s share. Chris Stenslie is the trainer and co-owner with Jody Peetz.
The series continues Friday, August 30 at 1-¼ miles and concludes September 20 at 1-½ miles. However, a horse must have run Friday to remain eligible and four horses were claimed from the first leg: runner-up Choteau, third-place finisher Constant Craving, fourth place finisher Tomorrow’s Mine and sixth place finisher Staracrossthewater.
A male marathon series begins Saturday, featuring with two divisions of the WHBPA & WTBOA “Horsemen Helping Horsemen Distance Series at 1 1/8 miles. Each division is worth $13,062.
NOTES: Apprentice Lorenzo Rivera scored his first professional victory Friday with a nine-length score aboard Das Bear ($5) in race four. A 4-year-old Atta Boy Roy gelding, Das Bear became only the second four-time winner at the 2019 meeting. . .Former Emerald Downs and current Golden Gate announcer Matt Dinerman is visiting this weekend and called Friday’s third race won by Hold That Smile ($4.40) in a blanket finish. . .Gary Wales rode two winners Friday, victories 72 and 73 for the meet’s leading rider. . .Live racing continues Saturday with a twilight card at 5 p.m., followed Sunday by the inaugural Championship Sunday with four stakes races worth $350,000 in purses. A special $0.50 All Stakes Pick Four will be offered featuring the $50,000 Washington Oaks, $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, $50,000 Emerald Distaff and $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3), and The Mile and Distaff compose two legs of Sunday’s $0.50 NYRA Cross Country Pick 5. First post Sunday is 2:05 p.m., with the 84th renewal of the Longacres Mile going as Race 7 at 5:30 p.m.