CITIZEN KITTY EDGES MAGIC LILY IN BETAMERICA PURSE
Citizen Kitty held off Magic Lily in a driving finish and notched a 1 ¾-length victory Friday in the $16,600 BetAmerica Purse for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Juan Gutierrez, Citizen Kitty covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.85 on a fast track and paid $4.20, $2.60 and $2.10. Jeff Metz, the leading trainer at the meet with 20 wins, saddled the winner for Bruce and Cass Maller (Highlander Racing Stable) of Incline Village Nevada.
Breaking sharply from the No. 1 post-position, Citizen Kitty waged a three-horse speed duel with Ronda Rocks and Magic Lily through fractions of :22.26 and $44.71. Citizen Kitty held a short lead into the stretch, with Magic Lily challenging from the outside, but Citizen Kitty wouldn’t be denied and edged clear for the victory.
A 4-year-old Washington-bred by Proud Citizen-No Constraints, Citizen Kitty is 3-1-5 in 17 starts with earnings of $68,628 including $9,130 for Friday’s triumph.
No Constraints, dam of Citizen Kitty is enjoying a big meet as 3-year-old filly Invested Prospect (Abraaj-No Constraints) captured the $50,000 Seattle Stakes in May.
Magic Lily, the 9-5 second choice ridden by Joe Steiner, paid $3 and $2.20. Perhaps a Pie, ridden by Eswan Flores, rallied for third place and paid $2.60, and was followed by Alli Leigh, Ronda Rocks and Among the Stars.
Wickedizaswickeduz was scratched earlier in the day.
PICK 7 FEVER FRIDAY AT EMERALD DOWNS
In Friday’s $0.20 Pick 7, buoyed by a $27,717 carryover, tickets with all seven winners paid $14,948 to four winning tickets.
Moby ($15.60) and Excessivelyblessed ($15.20) were the toughest horses in the sequence, which also included Tiny Tribe ($7.60), Dance With Effie ($3.80), It’s My Knight ($6.60), Citizen Kitty and Agate Beach ($3).
Incidentally, Agate Beach was the only horse covered in the seventh race, meaning if any other horse had won the finale there would have been a carryover of more than $56,000 to Saturday.
NOTES: Trainer Kevin Eikleberry saddled his first Emerald Downs’ winner Friday as Excessivelyblessed ($15.20) led gate-to-wire in race two for $15,000 maiden claimers. Perennially among the leaders at Turf Paradise, Eikleberry is in his first season at Emerald Downs. . .Incidentally, Professor Pollowitz continued his torrid streak by tabbing Excessivelyblessed his Play of the Day in Friday’s program. . .Trainer Terry Gillihan saddled the first and second place finishers—Moby ($15.60) and Hot Bobby in Friday’s third race. . .Eswan Flores and Juan Gutierrez each rode two winners on the seven-race card. . .Gutierrez is No. 2 all-time with 1,248 wins at EmD, and is 171 wins behind all-time leader Gallyn Mitchell who retired last year with 1,419 wins. . .Bidding for a fourth straight training title, Jeff Metz leads Blaine Wright 20-17 in the trainers’ standings. Coincidentally, with Citizen Kitty’s victory Metz passed Blaine Wright’s father, Richard Wright, for No. 27 all-time with 177 wins at Emerald Downs. . .Live racing continues Saturday with a nine-race card at 2 p.m.