MINER LEAGUE PREVAILS IN $60,000 GOTTSTEIN
AUBURN, Wash. (Sept. 17, 2023) – The team of trainer Tom Wenzel, owner George Todaro, and racing manager Bob Cappelletti capped off a Gottstein Futurity natural hat trick Sunday on closing day of Emerald Downs’ 28th season of live racing.
With Carlos Montalvo riding, Miner League surged ahead of stablemate Lapush into the lane, holding a late surge by Bourbon Dancer for a neck victory in the track’s signature race for 2-year-olds. The winner covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.77 and returned $8.40 as second choice in a field of 12.
The victory gave Wenzel and Todaro their third straight Gottstein victory, following triumphs by Midnight Mojo in 2021 and Lloyds Logic in 2022. A Kentucky-bred sired by 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, Miner League improved to 2-0-0 from three starts with earnings of $48,910 including a first prize check of $33,550 for the Gottstein victory.
Miner League spurted 2 ½ lengths clear in mid-stretch but was forced to dig deep for more to hold off an onrushing Bourbon Dancer for the victory.
Bourbon Dancer, ridden by Silvio Amador, made a long and sustained bid at the leaders, before coming up just short at the wire. A New York-bred by Bayern, Bourbon Dancer was stakes-placed three times at the meet, finishing third in the King County Express and runner-up in the WTBOA Lads Stakes and Gottstein Futurity.
General Crook, a 60 to 1 long shot ridden by Kenneth Deonauth, outran his odds to finish third, while rounding out the complete order of finish were Whiskey Harbor, Lapush, Parker’s Fifteen, Rimrock Lake, Lonesome Boy, Digital Soldier, Well Imagine That, Allante, and Chancellors Boom.
Rimrock Lake, winner of last month’s WTBOA Lads Stakes, was a slight favorite at 3.00 to 1, while Misner League was 3.20 to 1.
NOTES: Closing day mutuel handle totaled $2,720,587, second largest of the season. . .2023 Horse of the Meeting will be announced Tuesday at emeralddowns.com. . .Alex Cruz capped his unprecedented fourth straight Emerald Downs’ riding title in style, riding four winners including Blazingbellablu in the Washington Cup Filly & Mare Stakes. . .Jose Zunino and Rocco Bowen rode two winners each. . .Tom Wenzel was the meet’s leading stakes trainer with seven stakes wins and now has 56 stakes victories all-time at Emerald Downs. . .Carlos Montalvo and Zunino led jockeys with four stakes wins each. . .Tribal Impact ($25.80) became the meet’s fourth four-time winner with a victory in race three. . .Muncey ($53.20) had his season-long consistency rewarded with a victory in a $25,000 claimer with Jennifer Whitaker up for Howard Belvoir. . .That’s a wrap for 2023!