Emerald Downs Wrap-Wednesday, September 23

Shoe Game (inside) holds off Semi Sweet (No. 2) for the victory.


AUBURN, Wash. (Sept. 23, 2020) – Shoe Game held off stablemate Semi Sweet and scored a head victory Wednesday in the $13,600 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for older fillies and mares at rainy Emerald Downs.

Ridden by Alex Anaya, Shoe Game ran a mile in 1:37.42 on a sloppy track and paid $23 as sixth choice in a field of seven. Manny Ortiz—who also saddled the runner-up—trains Shoe Game for owner/breeder John McCulloch.

A 6-year-old Arizona-bred by Distorted Reality, Shoe Game has won two straight at big prices—8-to1 and 10-to-1—and is 8-10-4 in 37 lifetime starts with earnings of $11,724.

Semi Sweet, the 8-to-5 betting favorite, rallied strongly in mid-track to just miss the victory. The 5-year-old Fort Larned Mare is a picture of consistency this season with a win and three seconds from four starts at the meeting.

The Ortiz trainees dominated the race; it was 8 ½ lengths back to Lady Campbell, the early pacesetter, in third place, while Judicial, Gazing, Fortune in Silk and Anna Lee Encore completed the order of finish. Tesla was scratched earlier in the day.

In Wednesday’s $0.50 Pick 5, there were no tickets with five winners and the carryover to Thursday is $21,172.

NOTES: Alex Anaya swept the final three races Wednesday—his second career triple—and boosted his season total to 18 wins. . .Alex Cruz rode two winners, his third straight multiple win day, and has ridden at least one winner on 14 straight cards overall. Cruz owns a 46-37 lead on Juan Gutierrez atop the riders’ standings. . .Omache Kid ($4.60) became the meet’s first four-time winner with a narrow victory over Dreamcatcher in race five. A 6-year-old Washington-bred by Polish Miner, Omache Kid has two wins each this season for trainers Sam Dronen and Tena Birdwell. . .Owner-breeder Tim Floyd posted a one-two finish in Wednesday’s third race as Riggski ($8.20) edged Coleinator by a head for the victory. . .Gray Admiral ($76.60) roared from behind to post a 37 to 1 upset in race six, third largest $2 win mutuel of the season. . .The $0.50 Pick 4 on races four through seven paid a whopping $25,667, second largest Pick 4 of the meeting. . .The late Pick 4 also was substantial, returning $10,921. . .Jockey Francisco Diaz-Lopez notched his first victory of the season aboard Peace Prince ($22) in race four for trainer Jose Raudales. . .The handle on the 9-race card was $1,546,051… Live racing continues Thursday with an 11-race card at 5 p.m.