Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, July 8

Dirt Road Red with jockey Alex Cruz


AUBURN, Wash. (July 8, 2023) – Razor-sharp Dirt Road Red held off all challengers and rolled to his fourth straight victory this season at Emerald Downs, drawing off for a 2 ¼-length score in Saturday’s $24,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up.

Ridden by Alex Cruz, Dirt Road Red covered six panels in a brisk 1:08.37 and paid $6.40 as the second choice in a field of seven. Justin Evans, who also saddled second-place Gold Crusher, is the winning owner and trainer.

After dropping a nose decision to Polacco on opening day, Dirt Road Red has reeled off four straight wins, the last two at the $25,000 claiming level, and is 4-1-0 in five starts at the meet with earnings of $50,760. He ranks first in both wins and earnings.

Breaking from the No. 1 post, Dirt Road Red led through splits of :21.87, :43.91, and :55.75, and had plenty left to hold off stable mate Gold Crusher for the victory.

A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred by Clubhouse Ride, Dirt Road Red is 10-14-8 in 47 starts overall with earnings of $189,778.

Gold Crusher, a slight favorite in the wagering, overcame a poor start to finish second and is 3-3-0 in nine career starts at Emerald Downs.

Coastal Jazz disputed the early pace with Dirt Road Red and held third, while Holiday Hustle, Executive Chef, Cobra Jet, and Cody’s Choice rounded out the order of finish.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $739,981 on an eight-race card. . .One winning ticket cashed for $15,897.96 in the $0.20 Jackpot Pick 6. . .Hottest jockey/trainer combo is Neptali Ortiz and Luciano Medina Gabriel. They improved to 6-1-1 in 10 starts including Saturday wins by Nomi Lackee ($6) and Lago de Oro ($24). . .Ortiz finished with three wins overall winners, his second straight Saturday night riding triple. . .Alex Cruz also tripled and pulled within six of Luis Negron in the jockeys’ standings. Through 24 days Negron leads Cruz 37-31, with Kevin Radke third with 22 wins. . .Cruz and wife Jaymie Pearman Cruz clicked with Rousing Rubble ($6.20) in race eight, the second straight winning night for the Cruz’. . .Justin Evans leads trainers with 31 wins. . .Five Star General finished second at 13/1 in Saturday’s $100,000 Michael Schaefer Memorial at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Owned by Elttaes Stable (Ken Alhadeff), the 7-year-old full horse finished third in the 2022 Longacres Mile and is possible for this year’s Mile on August 13. . .Reincarnate ($4) prevailed in the $125,000 Los Alamitos Derby while the Blaine Wright-trained Prince Anbu Dhabi finished third at 23/1. . .Live racing continues Sunday with a stakes doubleheader for 2-year-olds—$50,000 King County Express for colts and geldings, $50,000 Angie C for fillies. First post 2 p.m.