Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, June 10



AUBURN, Wash. (June 10, 2017) – Distortedatthebar gained the lead into the stretch and edged clear for a 2 ¾-length victory Saturday in the $20,500 feature race for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs.

With leading rider Rocco Bowen aboard, Distortedatthebar covered six furlongs in 1:09.18 and paid $4.20, $2.60 and $2.20. Charles Essex is the winning owner and trainer.

A Washington-bred by Preachinatthebar-Fully Distorted, Distortedatthebar appears to have a bright future for his connections. The gray gelding is 2-1-1 in four career starts with earnings of $29,260, including $11,275 for Saturday’s win. His two defeats were both great efforts, a second against champion So Lucky in the 2016 WTBOA Lads Stakes and a third vs. Coca-Cola Stakes winner Riser in a May 6 allowance race.

Essex also is enjoying a sensational season, compiling a 14-for-40 record (35 percent) starts and a No. 2 rank in the trainers’ standings. Essex and Bowen have been nearly invincible, combining for 11 wins in 28 starts including Saturday’s triumph by Distortedatthebar.

Sitting just off the pace as Shot Gun Gary set fractions of :22.24 and :45.13, Distortedatthebar moved up to challenge at the quarter-pole, gained the lead entering the lane and drew away in the final furlong.

Shot Gun Gary, with Javier Matias riding, was easily second and paid $3.80 and $2.60, while Candy for Three, ridden by Jose Zunino, was 4 ½ lengths back in third and paid $2.60 to show.

Valid Prince, Uzta Have Money, Uncle Ackie and Double A. Prospect completed the order of finish.

Lil’ Badger prevails in Heat 3


Saturday was Day 2 of the Muckleshoot Gold Cup extravaganza featuring 21 of the nation’s finest Indian Relay Racing teams.

In Saturday’s races, Carlson Relay of Browning, Mont., Lakota Warpath of Oglala, SD, and Lil’ Badger of Browning, Mont. all were victorious and earned berths in Sunday’s championship event. Lil’ Badger recorded Saturday’s fastest time, 3:39.21, in Heat 3 and defeated all three winners from Friday—Abrahamson Relay, Starr School and Grizzly Mountain Express.

Saturday’s qualifying heats:

Heat 1: 1st-Carlson Relay (Browning, Mont.), 3:41.69; 2nd-Teton Team (Blackfoot, Ida.), 3:50.67; 3rd-Wolf Mountain Express (Lodge Grass/Lodge Pole, Mont.), 3:55.38.

Heat 2: 1st-Lakota Warpath (Oglala, SD), 3:48.93; 2nd-Umatilla Express (Pendleton, Ore.), 3:54.64; 3rd-Northwest Express (Omak, Wash.), 3:58.03.

Heat 3: 1st-Lil’ Badger (Browning, Mont.) 3:39.21, 2nd-Abrahamson Relay (Omak, Wash.), 3:39.59; 3rd-River Road Relay (Crow Agency, Mont.), 3:41.81.

Indian Relay Racing concludes Sunday with three races including the championship heat:

3:07 p.m. First Consolation (between Emerald Downs 3rd and 4th races)

4:54 p.m. Second Consolation (between Emerald Downs 6th and 7th races)

6:45 p.m. Championship Heat (after Emerald Downs 9th race)

NOTES: Owner John Parker and trainer Candi Tollett combined for two wins Saturday with 3-year-old fillies San Juan Star ($10) and Yakima Gray ($4.20). . .Parker is the meet’s leading owner with seven wins. . .Sire Preachinatthebar swept the late daily double with wins by Distortedatthebar and Yakima Gray. . .Eight different riders rode winners on the eight-race card including one apiece by Rocco Bowen, Kevin Orozco and Juan Gutierrez, the meet’s top three riders with 51, 27 and 21 wins. . .Augie Meyer ($40.60) and jockey Luis Gonzalez scored the biggest Quarter Horse upset of the season with a 1 ¼-length victory in the Saturday opener. . . Emerald Downs’ track record-holder Kaabraaj finished seventh in Saturday’s $50,000 Albany Stakes won by Krysto Skye ($126.40) in a mammoth upset at Golden Gate Fields. Claimed two races back for $8,000, the winner ran five furlongs on turf in :56.70. . .Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2 p.m. 2015 Gottstein Futurity winner Gold Rush Dancer returns from a layoff in the $100,000 Thor’s Echo Stakes for California-breds in Sunday’s third race at Santa Anita.