Elusive Horizon rises for Lottery Handicap triumph
July 21, 2008 · Updated 5:24 PM
Elusive Horizon hit the jackpot in Sunday’s $60,000 Washington’s Lottery Handicap at Emerald Downs.
With Juan Gutierrez riding at 118 pounds, Elusive Horizon poured it on down the stretch and notched a convincing 6 ¼-length victory in the race for 3-year-old fillies She covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:35 4/5 on a fast track, and paid $25.40, $11.80 and $5.
“The plan was to get her out to the lead and let her relax,” Gutierrez said. “I thought there might be a couple of horses out there with her, but she went on by herself. Everything went easy for her today.”
Sweetheart Deal, a 32-to-1 long shot, rallied for second place, while Enumclaw Girl, the prohibitive 3-to-10 betting favorite, faded in the stretch and finished third.
A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Elusive Quality, Elusive Horizon has three wins in seven starts and $60,965 in earnings, including $32,450 for Sunday’s triumph. Doris Harwood is the trainer for owner/breeder Jerre Paxton of Yakima.
Paxton, who races under the nom de course Northwest Farms LLC, now has a record 21 stakes wins at Emerald Downs.
Elusive Horizon was hustled to the early lead by Gutierrez, and the chestnut filly maintained a clear advantage while clicking off fractions of 23 1/5, 46 4/5 and 1:11. She widened the gap on the last turn and straightened into the stretch with a five-length cushion.From there, the rout was on as none of her eight competitors posed a threat in the lane.
Sweetheart Deal, ridden by Seth Martinez at 120 pounds, closed from last to finish second and returned $25 and $5.60.
It was another 4¾-lengths back to Enumclaw Girl, Gallyn Mitchell riding at high-weight of 121 pounds, and a $2.20 show payoff.
Enumclaw Girl was bidding for her third stakes wins of the season, having already captured the U.S. Bank Stakes and Irish Day Handicap.
“At the quarter pole, she was empty for some reason,” Mitchell said.
Gallant Son captures the Premio Esmeralda
Gallant Son tenaciously fended off Zagreus down the stretch and scored a length victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Premio Esmeralda Stakes for 2-year-old colts and gelding.
The Premio Esmeralda Stakes – the centerpiece of the track’s annual salute to Hispanics in thoroughbred racing – is the first stakes event of the season for juvenile colts, and the first step toward the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity on Sept. 27.
Ridden by Leslie Mawing at 120 pounds, Gallant Son ran 6 furlongs in 1:10 4/5 and paid $19.60, $8.80 and $4.
Fear No Evil romps
Fear No Evil opened a long early lead and cruised to a 4½-length victory over 7-to-10 favorite Margo’s Gift in the $22,500 Univision Purse, a companion feature for 3-year-old colts and geldings on Saturday.
Fear No Evil – winner of the Auburn Stakes on May 11 – ran one mile in 1:36 2/5 and paid $7.40, $3 and $2.40. Gary Baze rode the winner.