Emerald Downs Wrap-Sunday, Sept. 10

Young Life Laura with jockey Alex Cruz


AUBURN, Wash. (Sept. 10, 2023) – Young Life Laura continued her winning ways Sunday at Emerald Downs, holding off Pepper Mill for a 1 ¼-length victory in the $25,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for older fillies and mares on Fan Appreciation Day.

Riding his third winner on the card, Alex Cruz is the winning jockey for trainer Hilario Perez and owners Sergio Perez of Fresno, Calif., Joe Abrahamson of Wellpinit, Wash., and Nick Leisos of Bellevue, Wash.

Young Life Laura covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.34 and paid $12.20 as third choice in a field of six. With the victory, Young Life Laura joined Dirt Road Red (five wins) and Nan Elizabeth (four) as the only four-time winners at the meet.

Young Life Laura set fractions of :22.74, :45.15, and 1:09.65, holding enough in reserve to fend off Pepper Mill and Donne Cattive in the drive to the wire.

A 3-year-old Washington-bred by Mr. Rancho Vista, Young Life Laura is 4-0-1 in 10 starts—all the 2023 Emerald Downs meet—with earnings of $68,100. Her current connections claimed her for $15,000 on June 10.

Pepper Mill, coming off a third in the Washington Oaks, chased the winner gate to wire, settling for a solid second, while Donne Cattive finished third. Rounding out the order of finish were Nan Elizabeth, Cause She’s a Lady, and Avanti Leah.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,385,798 on a 10-race card. . .Rocco Bowen rode three winners including career win No. 1,200 on Square Fun ($2.20) in the Sunday opener. . .Alex Cruz also tripled and leads Luis Negron 63-55 in the standings. . .Silvio Amador had two wins and is third with 48 wins. . .Justin Evans had three wins and owns a 47-31 lead on Blaine Wright in the trainers’ standings. . .Spire ($7.40) gave trainer Robbie Baze his first win of the season in race four. Baze is 14th all-time with with 382 wins at Emerald Downs. . .Miss Bella ($9.60) won her third of the meet, gate to wire under Amador in a $25,000 claimer for older fillies and mares. . .Only two days left in the 2023 season: Saturday, Sept. 16, 5 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m.