Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, Sept. 16

Mosquito Fleet and jockey Alex Cruz


AUBURN, Wash. (Sept. 16, 2023) – Mosquito Fleet wore down Cobra Jet in the final strides for a three-quarter-length-length victory in Saturday’s $16,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by Alex Cruz and owned and trained by Justin Evans, Mosquito Fleet ran one mile in 1:36.68 and paid $8.80 as third choice in a field of eight.

For Cruz it was his second win on the card, 65th of the season, and the 29-year-old Puerto Rican has officially clinched an unprecedented fourth straight Emerald Downs’ riding title, eclipsing the mark of three previously set by Rocco Bowen from 2016 to 2018. In fact, Cruz is the first rider to ever win four consecutive riding titles at the same track in the near 100-year history of Washington racing.

For Evans, it also was his second win on the card, boosted his season total to 49 wins, and Evans officially locked up his first Emerald Downs’ title in his inaugural season in the Northwest. In addition, Evans also has clinched leading owner with 21 wins through Saturday.

A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred by Midshipman, Mosquito Fleet won for the eighth time in 38 lifetime starts, boosting his earnings to $111,088. The 6-year-old gelding has finished first in his last three starts, although only two were official victories as he was disqualified for interference on Aug. 13.

Cobra Jet, the 9 to 5 favorite, shook off A View From Above in mid-stretch and just failed to last on the front end. A View From Above held third while Mahi Mahi, Leprino, March On Linch, Sproston, and Rip City rounded out the order of finish.

Cody’s Choice was scratched earlier in the day.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,101,733 on an eight-race card. . .After Saturday’s third race Alex Cruz was presented the 2023 Lindy Award and Jill Soranno and Howie Gibson received the 2023 Durkan Award as part of closing weekend festivities. Voted by the jockeys, the Lindy honors a rider for sportsmanship and accomplishment throughout the meeting while the Durkan honors leadership, cooperation, and sportsmanship on and off the track. . .Cruz, Rocco Bowen, and Isaias Enriquez rode two winners each Saturday. . .Pirate Red paid $59.20, third highest win mutuel of the season, in winning a $25,000 maiden claimer under Enriquez for trainer Bonnie Jenne. . .2021 leading apprentice McKenna Anderson notched her first win of the season aboard Saint Sista ($8.40) in race five. . .Washington Oaks winner Jamies Inheritance finished fourth under Jose Zunino in the $75,000 British Columbia Oaks at Hastings Racecourse. . .Live racing continues Sunday with closing day featuring three stakes including the $70,000 Gottstein Futurity. First post 2 p.m.