SECRETLY FAST SCORES STUNNER IN BANK OF AMERICA
AUBURN, Wash. (Aug. 20, 2017) – Secretly Fast—the longest shot in the 11-horse field—rolled to a stunning gate-to-wire victory Sunday in the $59,670 Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge for Quarter Horses at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Leonardo Gonzalez at 124 lbs, Secretly Fast covered 440 yards in 22.10 seconds and paid $123, $25 and $7.40. Ernesto Olmos is the winning trainer for owner Ernesto Ruiz of Auburn, Wash.
The winner had clear sailing throughout, avoiding some serious bumping and jostling from the inside, and prevailed by a head over Lebron 6.
“My horse felt really strong going to the gate,” Gonzalez said. “He broke well and said ‘bye-bye’ to everyone.”
A 4-year-old Oregon-bred gelding by No Secrets Here, Secretly Fast earned $26,852 to raise his career total to $38,796. Sunday’s race was his first since a sixth in a $10,000 handicap last December in Portland, and raised his record to 3-1-2 in 14 starts overall.
“We gave him six months off, and he’d been training very well,” Olmos said. “We said, let’s give it a shot and see what happens.”
The $123 win mutuel is the largest of the meet and fifth largest in track history—Thoroughbreds or Quarter Horses. It also broke No Giveaway’s stakes mark of $122 set in the 2005 Longacres Mile.
Lebron 6, the second-place finisher, was disqualified and placed last for veering out severely shortly after the break.
Los Alamitos shipper Air Force Won, the 1-to-2 betting favorite, was promoted from third to second, and L Bar D Genuine Red was promoted from fourth to third.
Defending champion Sorelli finished fifth, but was only beaten three heads and a nose for all the money.
Rounding out the official order of finish were Tic Tac Attack, Flyin Rocks, Jesses Claim Ta Fame, Separatefromdarest, Surf N Turf Dude, Gone Fast and Lebron 6.
In Sunday’s other Quarter Horse stakes:
In the $18,720 Distance Challenge, odds-on favorite Rare Ed overcame a poor start and scored a neck victory over Hes a Bugin, covering 870 yards in :45.82 seconds. Ridden by Osvaldo Gonzalez at 124 lbs, Rare Ed paid $2.80 and earned $9,360 for owner Martin Marin. A 6-year-old Illinois-bred trained by Roddina Barrett, Rare Ed has a career record of 6-9-5 in 30 starts with earnings of $102,797.
In the $20,160 John Deere Juvenile Challenge, Cm Boom Shakalaka drew clear for a one-length victory over I Deliver in :17.95 seconds for 350 yards. Ridden by Luis Gonzalez at 125 lbs for owner/breeder Randy Dickerson and trainer Nick Lowe, Cm Boom Shakalaka paid $6.40 as the favorite A 2-year-old Oregon-bred, the winner is 3-0-0 in four starts with earnings of $13,681.
NOTES: Frank Lucarelli became the second trainer in Emerald Downs’ history with 900 wins as Grace Bay ($7.60) scored her maiden victory in Sunday’s fifth race. . . Tim McCanna is No. 1 at Emerald Downs with 924 wins. . .Betting On Dr Bow at $103.80 on June 18 was the previous high for a $2 win pay this season. . .Erick Lopez and Julien Couton rode two winners apiece Sunday. . .Al & Sandee Kirkwood’s Blackjackcat scored a $19.60 upset in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile (G2) on the turf at Del Mar. . .Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m., including carryovers of $15,260 in the $0.20 Pick 7 and $10,063 in the $0.50 Pick 5 . .The Emerald Downs’ grandstand is open 9-11 a.m. Monday for the great Solar Eclipse. Admission is free but patrons must provide their own protective sunglasses.