Emerald Downs Wrap-Friday, June 23

Dirt Road Red with jockey Luis Negron


AUBURN, Wash. (June 23, 2023) – Dirt Road Red took command into the lane and powered to a 2 ¾-length victory over Muncey in Friday’s $24,000 Kona Brewing Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by Luis Negron and trained by Justin Evans, Dirt Road Red covered 6 ½ furlongs in a blistering 1:13.80 over a very fast surface, returning $4.60 as the public betting choice.

With the victory, Dirt Road Red became the meet’s first three-time winner and gave the Negron/Evans combination their 22nd victory in the first 17 days of racing.

Since losing by a nose on opening day, Dirt Road Red has reeled off victories at 6 furlongs, 1 mile & 70 yards, and 6 ½ furlongs and is 3-1-0 in four starts with earnings of $36,120. The 6-year-old Clubhouse Ride gelding improved to 9-14-8 in 46 starts overall with earnings of $175,138.

Muncey, a 15 to 1 long shot ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, rallied late to snatch second, the second straight runner-up finish at long odds for the 6-year-old son of Munnings. Provost, also trained by Evans, finished third under Carlos Montalvo while Firewalker, Cody’s Choice and Clayton Delaney completed the order of finish.

Negron, the meet’s leading rider with 29 wins, rode three winners Friday and moved seven ahead of three-time defending champion Alex Cruz, who doubled Friday and ranks second with 22 wins.

Evans saddled two winners and owns a 26-10 lead over Blaine Wright and Jorge Rosales in the trainers’ race.

Exclusive Speaker

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $860,580 on a seven-race card. . .Matt McCormick of the Emerald Downs gate crew sang a wonderful rendition of the national anthem before Friday’s races. . .Gold Crusher ($4) made a triumphant return to Emerald Downs with a meet-best 1:07.41 clocking for six furlongs in a gate to wire score for Negron and Evans. . .Speaking of fast, Exclusive Speaker ($6.40) broke the track record for one mile & 70 yards with a 1:38.20 clocking in race three under Cruz for trainer Jorge Rosales. The record-breaker is a 6-year-old gelding by Mr Speaker. . .Trainer Candi Cryderman and owner John Parker combined for wins with Rampatious ($4.40) and Big Fashion ($7.60). Bidding for his sixth owners’ title in eight years, Parker ranks third all-time with 180 wins at Emerald Downs. . .Teachersbugsaroo kept his streak intact Friday, finishing second for the fourth time in as many starts at the meet for trainer Nick Lowe. . .Belated birthday wishes to Washington Hall of Fame trainer Larry Ross and Washington racing icon Jon White. . .Live racing continues Saturday at 2p.m.