Emerald Downs Wrap-Sunday, September 20

Stay in Grace and jockey Juan Gutierrez


AUBURN, Wash. (Sept. 20, 2020) – Stay in Grace would not be denied Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Winning for the ninth time in 21 starts, Stay in Grace turned back betting favorite Spot On for a 1 ½-length victory in the $15,600 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for older fillies and mares.

Ridden by Juan Gutierrez, the winner ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.28 on a muddy track and paid $8.20 as second choice in the wagering. Rigoberto Velasquez is the winning trainer for owners Jerry Carmody and John Sneesby.

Breaking from the No. 1 post-position, Stay in Grace set fractions of :22.17, :44.15 and 1:09.45 while notching her second win of the meeting.

Spot On, ridden by Eddie Martinez, engaged Stay in Grace into the stretch, and the 5-year-old mares slugged it out to the wire. Bidding for her third straight win at the meet and fourth straight victory overall, Spot On settled for the runner-up position Sunday.

Magical Spell, ridden by Gary Wales, was 3 ½ lengths back in third place, while Close the Show Lo, Suddenly Awesome, Casino Games and Perfect Blossom, rounded out the order of finish.

An Oregon-bred by Understatement, Stay in Grace is 9-2-2 in 21 starts with earnings of $68,997. She has five wins from 12 starts at Emerald Downs.

Gutierrez, second overall with 36 wins, is 10 wins from tying Gallyn Mitchell’s all-time track record of 1,419 wins.

NOTES: Total mutual handle was $1,345,478 on the 10-race card. . .Fantastic Day ($3.60) prevailed in the $19,000 co-feature for 3-year-olds, running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.48 under Cerapio Figueroa for trainer Jorge Rosales and owner Alan Peterson. . .Alex Cruz, Eddie Martinez and Jose Zunino rode two winners each. . .Through 26 days, Cruz tops the standings with 44 wins. . .Frank Lucarelli leads the trainers with 32 wins, including a victory Sunday with 3-year-old filly She Owns the Paynt ($2.40). . .2017 Washington Oaks winner Little Dancer ($5.80) was back in the winner’s circle Sunday, holding off She Began Again for a nose victory over $7,500 claiming fillies and mares. . .Live racing resumes Wednesday with first post 2:15 p.m.