DAFFODIL SWEET, HARD TO DENY SHARP SATURDAY NIGHT
AUBURN, Wash. (July 24, 2021) – Chris Stenslie, Jody Peetz and Juan Gutierrez played a winning hand Saturday at Emerald Downs.
The trainer, owner and jockey combined to sweep both $24,750 allowance races on the twilight card, taking the third with 5-year-old gelding Hard to Deny ($16.60) and the seventh with brilliant 4-year-old filly Daffodil Sweet ($3.40).
With Gutierrez saving ground inside, Hard to Deny rolled to a 1 ¾-legnth victory over odds-on Unmachable in 1:37.07 for one mile. A Kentucky-bred by Hard Spun, Hard to Deny has two straight mile allowance wins and improved to 3-3-1 in 14 starts overall. He earned $13,613 to boost his bankroll to $53,569 for co-owners Peetz (One Horse Will Do Corporation) and Stenslie.
Unmachable, bet down to 2 to 5, closed ground while drifting in twice in the stretch run and settled for second place. The state and track champion 3-year-old of 2020, Unmachable has two seconds and a fourth in three starts at the meeting. Oh Marvelous Me and Spittin Image dead-heated for third and Elliott Bay finished fifth.
Using her tactical speed to perfection, Daffodil Sweet overhauled Pyscho Sister into the stretch and drew off to win by 2 ¾-lengths in 1:37.72 for the mile. A two-time stakes winner at Emerald Downs, Daffodil Sweet is 3-0-0 in four starts at the meet and 6-1-0 in eight career starts. She earned $13,613, boosting her career total to $105,158 for Peetz and co-owner Steve Shimizu.
A California-bred by Ministers Wild Cat, Daffodil Sweet is 1-1-0 in two career routes and the top local threat for the $50,000 Emerald Distaff on August 15.
Gettin Sideways, ridden by Julien Couton, rallied to finish second while Squan’s Kingdom, Miss Important, Dontkissntell and Pyscho Sister completed the order of finish.
NOTES: Total mutuel handle on the eight-race card was $1,274,225. . .Fifth race winner Raphael returned a meet-high $57.80 for a $2 win ticket. Jose Zunino was aboard the 6-year-old gelding for trainer Roddina Barrett and co-owner Robert Buston. . .Float On ($15.80) and Diction gave owner John Parker a one-two finish in the Saturday opener—the John Parker Racing Purse. . Now with 10 wins this season, Parker is within one victory of Greg Conley, Chuck Conley and Terra Firma Farm for first in the owners’ standings. . .Trained by Candi Cryderman, Float On is one of eight three-time winner at the meet. . .The jockeys’ race has tightened considerably. Alex Cruz leads with 41 wins, followed by Julien Couton with 40 and Juan Gutierrez with 38. . .Gutierrez is 9 for 21 in routes. . .Couton doubled Saturday and is 10 wins shy of 1,000 for his career. . .Daffodil Sweet was the lone favorite to win Saturday. . . 2-year-old filly Wegottodrinking ($21.60) rallied from last for a five-length victory in race two, giving trainer Jennifer Nunnally her first winner of the season. . .Nunnally is two for two lifetime at Emerald Downs. Her previous victory was by Rojo Bou Peep on May 28, 2018. . .Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. program includes Corgi Races and a pair of $50,000 stakes—Irish Day Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings and Kent Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.