CLASSY MIKE MAN’S GOLD WINS A THRILLER
AUBURN, Wash. (June 9, 2017) – Mike Man’s Gold held off a surging Trick Or Retreat and prevailed by a nose in Friday’s $16,600 Ken McLeod Memorial Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Rocco Bowen, Mike Man’s Gold ran 6 ½ furlongs in a meet-fastest 1:14.37 and paid $4.20, $2.60 and $2.20. Joe Toye is the trainer and co-owner with Greg Conley and Chuck Conley.
For Bowen, it was his third win of the night and 50th in 27 days this season. Last year Bowen recorded win No. 50 on July 3 in the 38th day of racing.
A 7-year-old Washington-bred by Liberty Gold-Chedoodle, Mike Man’s Gold is 14-for-35 lifetime at Emerald Downs including stakes wins at ages 2, 3 and 4. Although no longer a stakes horse, the veteran gelding retains a touch of class, so that when headed by Grinder Sparksaglo and Trick Or Retreat, he was able to save just enough for the victory.
“I want to give all the credit to Joe (Toye) and the horse,” Bowen said. “This is a nice old horse with lots of class.”
Breaking from the No. 1 post, Mike Man’s Gold led through fractions of :21.96, :44.32 and 1:08.08, and repelled Grinder Sparksaglo from the outside and Trick Or Retreat from the inside for the victory. Mike Man’s Gold is 14-5-5 in 43 overall starts with earnings of $259,512, and Friday’s win moved him into the top 100 all-time Washington-bred earners.
Trick Or Retreat, meanwhile, has fired back-to-back big efforts while finishing a half-length back of Its Allabout Jerry and a nose behind Mike Man’s Gold. Ridden by Javier Matias, Trick Or Retreat paid $4.40 and $2.80.
Grinder Sparksaglo, with Juan Gutierrez riding, was a neck back in third and paid $2.20, while Golden Moon and Del Rio Harbor completed the order of finish.
Face Valued was scratched earlier in the day.
In the $0.20 Pick 7, which included a carryover of $42,633, fans wagered $53,576 new money and six winning tickets paid $14,693 each.
MUCKLESHOOT GOLD CUP INDIAN RELAY RESULTS
Friday night also opened the three-day $50,000 Muckleshoot Gold Cup, featuring 21 of the nation’s finest Indian Relay Racing teams from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and South Dakota.
Abrahamson Relay of Omak, Wash., Starr School of Browning, Mont., and Grizzly Mountain Express of Omak, Wash. all won qualifying heats Friday.
Results form Friday’s qualifying heats for Sunday’s championship race:
Heat 1: 1st-Abrahamson Relay (Omak, Wash.), 3:33.20; 2nd-Omak Express (Omak, Wash.), 3:37.45; 3rd-River Road Relay (Crow Agency, Mont.), 3:40.63.
Heat 2: 1st-Starr School (Browning, Mont.), 3:44.44; 2nd-Northwest Express (Omak, Wash.), 3:50.78; 3rd-DeRoche Relay (Browning, Mont.), 3:55.36.
Heat 3: 1st-Grizzly Mountain Express (Omak, Wash.), 3:49.59; 2nd-Lil’ Badger (Browning, Mont.), 3:49.95; 3rd-Carlson Relay (Browning, Mont.), 3:50.87.
Indian Relay Racing continues Saturday with three races:
2:42 p.m. Relay Heat 1 (between Emerald Downs 2nd and 3rd races)
4:11 p.m. Relay Heat 2 (between Emerald Downs 4th and 5th races)
5:29 p.m. Relay Heat 3 (between Emerald Downs 6th and 7th races)
NOTES: Riser with a 1:15.26 in last Sunday’s Coca-Cola Stakes had the previous fastest 6 ½ furlongs this season. . .Bowen and Toye also connected with Citizen Sam ($5) in race three and are 40-for-170 combined the last four years. . .Trainer Donna Hjort notched her first win of the meet as Ahaseuerus ($11.80) rallied under Lorenzo Lopez to win Friday’s fourth race. Hjort, 6-for-38 this winter/spring at Turf Paradise, last trained at Emerald Downs in 2000. . .For Lopez, the victory on Ahaseurus was his first Thoroughbred win of the meet, although he did win a Quarter Horse race last month. . . After finishing last in his Emerald Downs’ debut last week, Nice Guys Finish ($3.60) finished first in Friday’s second race. . .Live racing continues Saturday with an eight-race card at 2 p.m., and also features simulcast wagering on the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes between races 3 and 4 at 3:37 p.m. (PDT).