Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, Aug. 19

Affirm Chief with jockey Silvio Amador


AUBURN, Wash. (August 19, 2023) – Affirm Chief, the odds-on favorite, rolled from behind for a one-length victory in Saturday’s $16,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Patiently handled by Silvio Amador, Affirm Chief covered a mile in 1:38.46 and paid $3.60 as the strong favorite in a field of six. Luciano Medina Gabriel is the winning owner and trainer.

With the victory, Affirm Chief became only the sixth horse to win at least three races this season at Emerald Downs, joining a group that includes Dirt Road Red, Nan Elizabeth, Tribal Impact, Stand To, and Aloha Breeze.

A 4-year-old California-bred by Affirmative, Affirm Chief debuted last January at Golden Gate Fields, compiling a 5-1-2 record in 11 starts including a 3-1-0 mark in six starts at Emerald Downs. His earnings are $50,480 including $9,280 for Saturday’s triumph.

Forty Smooches, a 13 to 1 long shot ridden by Kevin Orozco, finished a strong second while Provost, ridden by Alex Cruz, rallied for third. Rounding out the order of finish were Hey Sequoia, Hard to Deny, and Decimate.

A stable mate of Affirm Chief, Decimate set fractions of :22.48, :45.29, and 1:10.76 before fading through the stretch.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,074,232 for an eight-race program. . .Apprentice Welfin Orantes scored his first Emerald Downs victory aboard Secret Life Style ($62.40) for trainer Don Roberson in the Saturday opener. Orantes now has four career wins, the first three coming in California. . .Lafonda at $63.40 is the largest $2 win mutuel of the meet. . .Luciano Medina Gabriel owns the majority of his horses and is second in the owners’ standings with 13 wins. Justin Evans is first with 14 wins, followed by Medina Gabriel, and John Parker with 11. . .Subito Slew ($8.60) took the nightcap to give trainer Steve Koler his first win of the meet. . .Kevin Radke was the lone jockey with two wins, his 39th and 40th of the season. . .Live racing continues Sunday with an 11-race program featuring two Quarter Horse stakes—$40,000 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge and $30,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge. In Sunday’s top Thoroughbred race, Dirt Road Red seeks his meet-leading sixth victory in a $25,000 allowance vs. Tax Code, Coastal Kid, El Alto Hombre, Prayer of Jabez, and Jin Tong. First post 2 p.m.