Emerald Downs Wrap-Friday, June 7

Executive Chef holds off Ko Samui in deep stretch


AUBURN, Wash. (May 25, 2024) – Executive Chef overtook Capital Expense into the lane and held off long shot Ko Samui for a neck victory in Friday’s $24,500 Muckleshoot Casino Purse at Emerald Downs.

With Juan Gutierrez handling riding duties for trainer Blaine Wright, Executive Chef ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.84 and paid $5.78 as the public betting choice.

A 5-year-old Virginia-bred gelding, Executive Chef has five wins in 16 career starts with earnings of $123,230 for owners John and Janene Maryanski and Gerald and Gail Schneider. For Executive Chef, Friday’s outing was his first since last September.

Gutierrez and Wright are among the most formidable jockey/trainer combinations in track history—two for two 2024 and 101 for 308 all-time. Gutierrez is No. 1 all-time with 1,571 wins at Emerald Downs while Wright is 22 wins away from becoming only the sixth trainer with 500 wins at Emerald Downs.

Ko Samui, longest shot on the board at 26 to 1, rallied inside to take second while Smiling Goodbye finished third. Itsallabouttheride, Capital Expense, Boss of Themoss, and Dutton rounded out the order of finish.

NOTES: Friday’s mutuel handle totaled $867,048 with over $108,000 wagered into the $0.50 Pick 5 which had a carryover of $15,307. . .The $0.50 Pick 5 paid $1,084.99. . . Nice work by Emerald Downs bugler Dan Harrington, tossing a ringer as the celebrity thrower in Friday’s weekly Horseshoe Toss. Alas, it was just for pride as only official contestants are eligible for the $1,000 prize for a ringer. . .Jose Rodriguez rode his first Emerald Downs winner aboard Nomi Lackee ($27.16) in the seventh race finale. . .Chuckanut Bay ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet, 1:08.22, while leading gate to wire in race four. The 4-year-old Abraaj gelding finished second as the betting favorite in the 2022 Gottstein Futurity. . .Trainer Justin Evans had another big night, posting two wins and a second from three starts and boosting his meet-leading total to 12 wins. Evans already has four doubles this season. . .Razor-sharp Crème de Menthe ($6) scored in a $25,000 claimer under Karlo Lopez for Frank Lucarelli and owner Mike Hill. The 4-year-old Curlin to Mischief filly is the meet’s third two-time winner. In the same race, Our Lyla Grace was claimed for $25,000 by Candi Cryderman and owner John Parker. It’s the sixth claim for $25,000 or more in the first 11 days. . .Lopez and Alex Cruz each rode a winner and remain tied for top spot with 11 wins apiece. . .Live racing continues Saturday on Belmont Stakes Day with first post 1:30 p.m.