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Belt prevails in Saturday's feature race | Emerald Downs
Belt rallied past Follow My Tracks and notched a 2 3/4-length victory Saturday in the $14,375 Rhodes & Associates Purse for 3-year-olds and up at rainy Emerald Downs.
With Rocco Bowen up for his meet-leading seventh win, Belt ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1-minute, 3.50-seconds on a sloppy track and paid $4.20, $2.20 and $2.10. Tom Wenzel is the trainer for owner Ron Crockett Inc.
Belt stalked the three leaders through four furlongs in 44.84-seconds, rallied wide into the lane, collared Follow My Tracks past mid-stretch and drew clear late.
A 4-year-old Washington-bred by Cahill Road-La Mariah, Belt is 2-3-0 in seven lifetime starts, earning $33,052.
Follow My Tracks dueled for the lead between horses, edged to the lead on the turn, but was overtaken by Belt in the stretch. Ridden by Juan Gutierrez, Follow My Tracks paid $2.60 and $2.20.
Dogleft Left rallied to finish third, paid $3.80 to show, and was followed by Bound to Win and Direct Cost.
NOTES: Leslie Mawing rode three winners Saturday and needs one win to become the seventh rider to win 500 races at Emerald Downs. . .Jim Penney, trainer of Follow My Tracks, notched his 600th Emerald Downs victory when first-time starter Wedgey Time scored a 4 1/2-length victory in race three. Penney joined Tim McCanna (876 wins), Frank Lucarelli (763) and Howard Belvoir (629) as the only trainers to win 600 races here. . .Lucarelli had four wins Saturday*three at Emerald Downs, one at Santa Anita. At Emerald, Tsarina Haven scored in race one while La Pearla ($3.60) and Songandabullet ($5.20) prevailed in races six and seven. At Santa Anita, Ronda Rocks ($10) led gate-to-wire in the $30,000 Pennies From Heaven Starter Handicap. A 5-year-old mare, Ronda Rocks is no stranger to Emerald Downs, winning 3-of-5 starts here including a pair of victories last year. . .Trainer Preston Boyd and jockey Louis Zacherle are one of the track's better under the radar combinations. They teamed for three wins here last year, all with Chaching Pete, and connected again Saturday with first-time starter My Chief in race two. A 3-year-old Harbor the Gold colt, My Chief is related to $261,000 earner Slewsbox, whose six stakes wins included the 2002 Desert Stormer Handicap (G3) at Hollywood Park. . . Montelena ($24.80) rallied under Ronald Richard for the victory in race four to deny Seattle Game her 13th career win at Emerald Downs. An 8-year-old Washington-bred mare, Seattle Game was claimed Saturday by trainer Jeff Metz. . . The sloppy racing surface was the first off-track at Emerald Downs since September 29, which was closing day of the 2013 season. . . Trainer Arturo Arboleda celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday. Arboleda's lone starter on the card, first-time starter Regazze Cat, finished fifth in race three. . .Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2:15 p.m. The $21,000 allowance feature at six furlongs has 11 runners with Mr. Bowling the 3 to 1 morning line favorite. . .Santa Anita concludes its 69-day winter/spring meet Sunday with a nine-race program at 12:30 p.m. Breeders' Cup Distaff champion Beholder makes her 2014 debut as the 2-5 morning line favorite in the $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes at 1 1/16 mile. . .Santa Anita's first spring/summer meet opens Friday with a special 3 p.m. post time.