DIAMONDS R ALL THE WAY IN SATURDAY FEATURE
AUBURN, Wash. (July 27, 2019) – Diamonds R exerted her class Saturday evening at Emerald Downs. A stakes winner at age 3, the 4-year-old filly R scored her first win as a 4-year-old, leading gate to wire for a five-length victory in the $18,500 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for older fillies and mares.
Ridden by Eddie Martinez, Diamonds R covered one mile in 1:35.93 and returned $9, $4.60 and $3.20. Routing for the second time this year, Diamonds R controlled the pace setting fractions of :23.67, :47.43, 1:11.45 and 1:23.55, kicking clear for her first victory since a 13 to 1 upset in the 2018 Irish Day Stakes.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred by Alternation, Diamonds R has a lifetime record of 4-1-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $87,050 for owners George Todaro of Seattle and David Cordova of Bellevue. Saturday’s victory was worth $10,175.
Boomerang Miss, ridden by Gary Wales, chased the winner throughout but settled for second and paid $5.20 and $2.80. Toni Ann’s Miracle, the 8 to 5 favorite ridden by Kevin Orozco, finished third and paid $2.40, while Jerre to Carrie, Yukon Belle and Gazing completed the order of finish. In an unusual mishap, Brilliant Bird was declared a non-starter after the blanket used to protect the horse in the starting gate did not come off when the gate opened.
Under Par, the 8 to 5 morning line favorite, was scratched earlier in the day.
KATO FINISHES SIXTH IN RETURN TO EMERALD
Riding at Emerald Downs for the first time in 13 years, jockey Akifumi Kato finished fifth aboard Cats Gulch in Saturday’s fifth race—“Welcome Back Akifumi Kato Purse.”
Kato rallied Cats Gulch into third place into the stretch but they faded from contention late as Assets Included ($4.60) prevailed under Gary Wales.
One of two 67-year-olds still riding competitively in America, Kato has 2,031 career victories in a 48-year career that featured over 1,100 wins at Playfair Race Course in Spokane. Saturday he combined with 95-year-old Arturo Arboleda for a combined age of 162 years between jockey and trainer.
NOTES: Trainer Frank Lucarelli and owner Chad Christensen combined for two more wins Saturday—Freiburg ($2.40) and Bellamo ($3.20)—while padding their leads atop the trainers and owners standings. Lucarelli has five straight multiple win days, and with 46 wins is on pace to break the single-season record of 66 wins shared by Tim McCanna (2008) and Jeff Metz (2015). Lucarelli is 10 wins away from 1,000 wins at Emerald Downs. Christensen is 4 for 4 this week and now leads three-time defending champion John Parker 16-12 in the owners’ race. . .After blanking two straight days, Gary Wales resumed his winning ways with a three-bagger and leads Kevin Orozco 63-45 in the jockeys’ standings. . .Stay in Grace ($5) improved to 7 for 12 lifetime and became a triple winner at the meet with a gate to wire victory under Jose Zunino in the Saturday opener. A 4-year-old Oregon-bred, Stay in Grace is trained by Linda Northam and co-owned by Northam and Wayne Williams. . .5-year-old California-bred mare Tesla ($5.20) won her third straight under Ryan Barber in race six for trainer Alan Bozell and Helios Stables. . .Nominations close midnight Saturday for the $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby and $50,000 Washington Oaks, and midnight Sunday for the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) and $50,000 Emerald Distaff. All four stakes will be run on Championship Sunday, August 11. . .Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2 p.m.