Emerald Downs Wrap-Friday, July 28

Dirt Road Red with jockey Alex Cruz


AUBURN, Wash. (July 28, 2023) – Dirt Road Red added another chapter to his amazing 2023 season at Emerald Downs Friday, exploding late for a 1 ½ -length victory over Brady Boy in the $24,000 Rosalie Lea Memorial Purse for 3-year-olds and up.

With Alex Cruz aboard for owner/trainer Justin Evans, Dirt Road Red covered six furlongs in 1:09.65 and paid $6 as the second choice in the wagering. It marked the fifth straight win for Dirt Road Red, whose only defeat this season was a second by a nose to Polacco on opening day May 6.

Dirt Road Red’s 2023 Emerald Downs totals include a 5-1-0 record in six starts with earnings of $64,680—ranking him first in wins and second only to multiple stakes winner Aloha Breeze in earnings. A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred by Clubhouse Ride, Dirt Road Red is 11 for 48 overall with earnings of $203,698. The chestnut gelding raced in New Mexico before shipping to Emerald Downs this spring.

Brady Boy, with Kevin Radke riding, maintained a one-length lead into the stretch, running the opening half in :44.12, and fought gamely through the lane but Dirt Road Red wouldn‘t be denied.

Coastal Jazz finished well for third place while Gold Crusher, the 9 to 5 favorite, finished fourth. Holiday Hustle and Hard to Deny rounded out the order of finish.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $807,624 on a seven-race card. . .Dirt Road Red was claimed for $25,000 Friday by owner John Parker and trainer Candi Cryderman, tying for the largest claim this season at Emerald Downs (Starry Beach was claimed for $25,000 June 3). The track record claim is $50,000 on four occasions, most recently Elliott Bay in 2019. . .Spire ($5) caught Iron Rob in the final strides to give trainer Ed Kereluk his first victory at Emerald Downs. . .Playoff Bound ($5) broke two streaks with a four-length romp in race two. The 8-year-old gelding had been 0 for 16 lifetime in mile races and 0 for 10 at Emerald Downs. . .Alex Cruz rode two winners and is only two behind Luis Negron in the standings. Through 32 days, Negron leads with 44 wins while Cruz is next with 42. . .Justin Evans led the trainers with two wins and owns a 36-20 lead over Blaine Wright and Jorge Rosales. . .Live racing continues Saturday with first post 5 p.m.