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Makors Finale holds off Rocky's Quest to take feature | Emerald Downs
Makors Finale played his favorite game again Saturday at Emerald Downs.
The talented 4-year-old colt used his tremendous speed and tenacity to hold off a wall of closers in the $22,575 feature race for 3-year-olds and up. Under regular rider Rocco Bowen, Makors Finale ran six furlongs in a swift 1:08.27 and paid $6.80, $3.40 and $2.80. Tom Wenzel is the trainer for owner/breeder Karl Krieg of Oak Harbor.
Rocky's Quest, ridden by Juan Gutierrez, offered a bold challenge in deep stretch, but was rebuffed by the winner and finish second beaten a half-length. It was an encouraging season debut for last year's Top Claimer, who like Makors Finale used Saturday's outing as a possible prep for the one-mile Budweiser Handicap on June 16.
Rocky's Quest paid $3.60 and $2.10, while Polish Dollar, ridden by Cassie Papineau, was another neck back in third and paid $3 to show.Jebrica, Liberty Cap and Edge Forward.
The 2012 Washington Horse of the Year, Makors Finale is unbeaten in two starts this year - his first two races against older horses - and is 8-4-0in 14 lifetime starts with earnings of $179,891.
By Makors Mark-Coup de Foudre, Makors Finale was the only horse to win four stakes at Emerald Downs last year, capped by wins in the championship Emerald Derby and a record 15-length triumph in the Chinook Pass Stakes.
But after a neck victory over Winning Machine in an April 28 allowance race, Makors Finale was shelved temporarily by a foot ailmentand sat out the May 19 Governor's Handicap won by Hoist.
Makors Finale was good as new Saturday, however, rocketing to a 1½-length lead while setting fractions of :22.17 and :44.49, all the while chased by a dogged Polish Dollar. Makors Finale straightened for home with a 1½-length lead, and at that point Bowen said the colt might have relaxed momentarily to await another challenge. And those challenges would come, as Rocky's Quest, Jebrica and a determined Polish Dollar all offered late bids, but to no avail.
"There's not much to say about him, you saw how he ran today," said Bowen, four-for-four when riding Makors Finale. "It's an honor to ride ahorse like this one."
Wenzel also paid tribute to Makors Finale, but the trainer knows more challenges lie ahead. Considering Makors Finale is unbeaten in two starts at one mile, it's easy to guess what the main objective might be.
Debbie Hoonan enjoyed a big day with three wins - two Thoroughbreds, one Quarter Horse - and jumped into fifth place overall with 12 wins. ... Congratulations to jockey Nathan Chaves for his first Emerald Downs victory since 2007, as the 37-year-old jockey rode Reliable Ema ($21.20) to a gate-to-wire victory in Saturday's ninth race. ... The $0.50 Pick 5 carryover to Sunday is $3,893. ... Owners/breeders Rich & Ann Richardson appear to have another fine prospect as Tinkerbelle Tops ($7.60) blitzed a field of eight 2-year-old fillies in the first juvenile race of the season. Ridden by Hoonan and trained by Charles Essex, Tinkerbelle Tops ran 4½ furlongs in :51.57 - just .07 off the fastest clocking at the distance all last season - to defeat runner-up Mz Dyno by five lengths. The winner is the first foal out of $100,000 earner Butterfly Belle, perhaps best known as the horse on which Russell Baze eclipsed Laffit Pincay as North America's all-time wins leader. Butterfly Belle and 2009 Washington Horse of the Year Reba Is Tops are both out of Miss Kyama. ... Perfect Night ($12.20) rallied to edge even-money favorite Belt in race four, a maiden/optional claimer with a $17,850 purse. Ridden by Jennifer Whitaker for owner-trainer Howard Belvoir, Perfect Night (Cahill Road-Share the Knight) is a full brother to Emerald Downs' all-time leading earner Wasserman. ... Chicks Special Angel ($3.20) extended her winning streak to nine with a runaway two-length victory under Hoonan in the Saturday opener. A 5-year-old Oregon-bred owned by Miguel Sanguino and trained by Don Sanguino, Chicks Special Angel ran 400 yards in a track record :20.00. ... Showmethemoneyjim ($6.20) ran the fastest mile of the meet in race five, 1:36.72, and moved Jeff Metz into a first-place tie with Chris Stenslie at 15 wins each atop the trainers' standings.