Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, July 20

Grinder Sparksaglo and Juan Gutierrez


AUBURN, Wash. (July 20, 2019) – The classy Grinder Sparksaglo took command into the stretch and scored a 1 ½-length victory Saturday in the $18,500 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up.

Scoring his 14th career victory, Grinder Sparksaglo covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.40 and paid $6.80, $3.40 and $2.60. Juan Gutierrez is the winning rider for trainer Robbie Baze and owner Richard Sena of Federal Way, Wash.

Grinder Sparksaglo powered past Boundary Bay into the stretch, quickly opened a two-length lead, and held off Upo and The Press for the victory. A Washington-bred 8-year-old, Grinder Sparksaglo finished third and fourth to Anyportinastorm in the Governor’s Stakes and Budweiser Stakes and was dropping in class Saturday.

Baze, who has conditioned Grinder Sparksaglo throughout a 55-race career, said the gelding would be nominated to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, August 11.

Upo, ridden by Franklin Ceballos, finished strongly and edged The Press for second place and paid $3.80 and $2.80. The Press, ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, finished third and paid $4.60 to show, while Boundary Bay, Trump Itz and Leroy rounded out the order of finish.

A dark bay by Grindstone-Cule Flyer, Grinder Sparksaglo is 14-11-12 from 55 starts with $234,192 in earnings. His wins are distributed evenly between Portland Meadows and Emerald Downs, scoring seven victories at each track, including a triumph in the 2018 Portland Meadows Mile.

Cross Creek edges Golden Cowboy


In his first try at establishing a new track record for most wins, Mike Man’s Gold finished sixth as the 9 to 5 favorite in Saturday’s sixth race. It was the first out of the money finish in four starts at the meet for the 9-year-old gelding, and he also was claimed for the fourth straight time and goes back to trainer Joe Toye and Greg and Chuck Conley for $25,000.

For now, West Seattle Boy and Mike Man’s Gold remain tied at 21 wins apiece.

Cross Creek, ridden by Javier Matias, prevailed by a head in 1:09.50 and paid $19.20 to win. Trainer Frank Lucarelli and owner Chad Christensen finished first and second with Cross Creek and Golden Cowboy.

Frank Lucarelli

NOTES: Lucarelli had his fifth three-win day of the season and opened a 40-26 lead on Blaine Wright in the trainers’ standings. The track’s all-time leading trainer, Lucarelli is 16 wins from reaching the 1,000 mark at Emerald Downs. . .Jockey Ryan Barber had his first riding triple at Emerald Downs, scoring with Angelofmontgomery ($4.80) and Scout Patrol ($5) in races four and five, and Vietoria Secret ($23.20) in race eight. . .Gary Wales stretched his consecutive winning days streak to 28 with a victory on Fortune in Silk ($3.40) in race three. The meet’s leading rider with 61 wins, Wales is on pace to tie Kevin Radke’s track record of 30 straight winning days Friday, July 26. . .For the fourth straight time and sixth in seven career starts at Emerald Downs, 3-year-old filly Jadey At the Bar finished second, this time runner-up to Fortune in Silk in a $15,000 maiden claiming race. . .At Sacramento, Alliford Bay was beaten a head by Shasta Star ($27.80) in the $50,000 California Governor’s Handicap for older fillies and mares. . .Live racing continues Sunday with Fiesta Premio Esmeralda and Mile Preview Day, featuring four $50,000 stakes races: Mt. Rainier, Boeing, King County Express and Angie C. First post 2 p.m.