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He's a Cruiser does it again, wins fifth straight Saturday race | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
He's a Cruiser continues to fly high at Emerald Downs.
The razor-sharp 5-year-old gelding made it five wins in a row Saturday, rolling from behind under regular rider Leslie Mawing for a half-length victory in the $12,700 Les Schwab Purse for 3-year-olds and up.
Trained by Vince Gibson and owned by Pam Gibson and Maureen Hallett, He's a Cruiser ran six furlongs in 1:09.07 and paid $5, $2.80 and $2.40.
In addition to being an obvious contender for Top Claimer, He's a Cruiser is on pace to break the track's single-season mark of eight wins set by Halonator in 2005. In fact, He's a Cruiser already has equaled the total of last year's leading winners, Kind of Naughty and Grand Solution, who each totaled five wins in the 2013 meet.
Saturday was only the 29th of 74 live racing days in 2014, meaning He's a Cruiser is on pace to both break the wins record and also become the track's first ever double-digit winner.
He's a Cruiser's latest victory was accomplished in typical style – stalk, pounce, win. This time he overhauled Hard Slider and Ryans Argument, taking the lead into the stretch. He opened a comfortable lead past mid-stretch and had plenty in reserve to hold off a fast-closing Assessment.
During the win streak, He's a Cruiser has won for claiming prices of $5,000, $7,500, $10,000 and $15,000 twice. And his victories are occurring every two weeks like clockwork – May 2, May 11, May 24, June 7 and June 21. For the meet,, He's a Cruiser is 5-0-1 in six starts with earnings of $29,900, including $6,985 for Saturday's triumph. His overall record is 8-5-7 in 28 starts and earnings of $73,024.
Assessment, ridden by Gallyn Mitchell, rallied from last to finish second and paid $3.80 and $2.80. Hard Slider, ridden by Juan Gutierrez, held third and paid $4.20 to show.
Ryans Argument, Leadership and Doctor Bruce S. completed the order of finish. Freedomofthehills was scratched earlier in the day.
Emerald Racing Club's Anelina just misses
Anelina nearly registered the first victory for the fledgling Emerald Racing Club and its 128 members in Saturday's sixth race.
The 5-year-old mare unleashed a strong late surge, but came up a head short as Once Upon a Song held on for the victory in 1:09.07 for six furlongs. Ridden by Eliska Kubinova, the 8-to-5 betting favorite paid $5.20 to win.
Anelina, ridden by Felipe Valdez, rallied strongly along the rail and almost reeled in the front-running favorite. A New York-bred by Lion Heart, Anelina earned $1,870 for her runner-up effort. She previously raced in California, where she was claimed for $6,250 by trainer Larry Ross on behalf of Emerald Racing Club.
In two starts to date, ERC has a third-place finish by Dancing Yodeler and a second by Anelina.
Mawing rode three winners and extended his lead to 41-34 on Rocco Bowen in the jockeys' standings. Mawing already has even days this season with at least three wins. ... After three out of the money finishes, Kiss Em ($54.80) raced to a gate-to-wire victory in race five for owners Dean & Judy Anne Essex and trainer Charles Essex. The 5-year-old mare was a double winner here in 2012, but missed all of last year and was off to a slow start in 2014 before Saturday's win. ... Amazingly, Once Upon a Song's head victory was the first photo finish for win since the sixth race on May 26, when Lady Aragorn scored a head victory, a span of 92 races. ... Eliska Kubinova rode both Kiss Em and Once Upon a Song and climbed into fourth place with 19 wins. ... Argyle Cut, nominated to Sunday's Coca-Cola Handicap at Emerald Downs, rallied from last place to finish second at 13-to-1 in the $75,000 Singletary Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf at Santa Anita. Home Run Kitten ($5.80) won the race in 1:34.89 for one mile. ... Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2:15 p.m. The $50,000 Coca-Cola Handicap for 3-year-old colts & geldings goes as race nine on a 10-race program.