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Strawberry Dawn captures feature | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
The classy 3-year-old filly Strawberry Dawn rallied for an impressive 8½-length victory Sunday in the featured $18,900 Muckleshoot Tribal Purse at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Emerald Downs' newcomer Felipe Valdez at 118 lbs, Strawberry Dawn ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.08 and paid $5.40, $2.20 and $2.20. Dan Markle is the trainer for owners/breeders Sue and Tim Spooner of Olympia.
For Valdez, a 35-year-old native of Mexico City, the victory was his first since suffering a fractured vertebra December 19, 2010, at Hollywood Park.
"I want to thank Dan Markle, the Spooners, and everybody else who made this possible," Valdez said. "It means a lot to be able to come back and win a nice race on a good filly like (Strawberry Dawn)."
One of the track's top 2-year-old fillies last year while placing in two stakes races, Strawberry Dawn appears destined to write headlines again in 2014. A Washington-bred by Tribal Rule-Ruby Dawn, Strawberry Dawn rallied boldly in Sunday's race, going from last to first around the turn before drawing clear late for the easy victory. Her overall record is 2-2-0 in five starts with earnings of $39,113.
The Spooners perennially rank near the top of the track's owners' standings. In fact, they have four straight top-10 finishes and rank No. 2 all-time with 157 wins at Emerald Downs.
Charismata, the 7-to-10 wagering favorite ridden by Isaias Enriquez at 118 lbs, held second place and paid $2.20 and $2.20.
K K's Wonderman, ridden by Juan Gutierrez at 119 lbs, finished third and paid $4.60. See My Tail Lites and Simba's Sis completed the order of finish.
After a record-tying five-win day Saturday, Jeff Metz "only" had two winners Sunday and finished the weekend with a 7-3 lead over Frank Lucarelli in the trainers' standings. ... Lucarelli also had two wins Sunday. ... Rocco Bowen had a second straight riding triple and owns a 6-4 lead over Eliska Kubinova and defending riding champion Isaias Enriquez in the jockeys' standings. ... Surprise Sale ($4.60) might not appear in the richest races on the card, but there's no denying the gelding's will to win. A 4-year-old California-bred by Don'tsellmeshort, Surprise Sale is 7-1-0 in 10 lifetime starts after a win in the third race for older $5,000 claimers. Surprise Sale was claimed Sunday by trainer Sam Dronen. ... Congrats to trainer Howie Gibson for a one-two finish in race six with Hip Hop City ($12.80) and runner-up One Lucky Hoss. ... Professor Pollowitz, off to a great start again in 2014, selected One Lucky Hoss as his Play of the Day. ... Stormy Lucy, whose career debut was at Emerald Downs in 2011, won her second straight graded race Sunday with a victory in the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (G3) for older fillies and mares on turf. ... 10-time Emerald Downs' training champion Tim McCanna broke into the 2014 win column as Ron Crockett's 5-year-old mare Once Upon a Song ($3.20) cruised to victory under Eliska Kubinova in race eight. ... Crockett, No. 1 all-time among owners with 235 wins at Emerald Downs, added a second victory Sunday as 4-year-old filly Spot On Babe ($4.40) prevailed in Race 10. ... Leslie Mawing's win on Spot On Babe was the 40-year-old rider's 496th victory at Emerald Downs. He needs four wins to become only the seventh rider to win 500 races here.