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Leadership seizes feature victory | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
Leadership passed a resilient Mr. Top Kat in the final strides for a half-length victory in Friday's feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Rocco Bowen, Leadership ran six furlongs in 1:09.40 and paid $7.60, $4.40 and $2.60. Howard Belvoir is the winning trainer for owner Pegasus Too (Ray Loftis).
Last early, Leadership rallied inside on the turn, angled out into the lane and wore down Mr. Top Kat in the final yards.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Jump Start, Leadership had been competitive but winless in seven starts this season, compiling three seconds and a third. Leadership is 4-10-8 in 33 starts lifetime with earnings of $74,026.
Mr. Top Kat led through fractions of :22.47, :44.95 and :56.93, shook 1½-lengths clear into the stretch, and just missed winning his fifth race of the meeting. Ridden by Isaias Enriquez, Mr. Top Kat paid $7.20 and $2.40.
Rainier Ice, the 1-to-1 betting favorite ridden by Gallyn Mitchell, was three lengths back in third place and paid $2.10 to show. The 6-year-old gelding also was claimed in a three-way shake, going to owner Wayne Williams and trainer/co-owner Roddina Barrett for $5,000.
Chaching Pete and Popular Pick completed the order of finish.
Bowen, Leslie Mawing and Ronald Richard rode two winners each on the seven-race card. For Mawing, the meet's leading rider with 73 wins, it was his 20th multiple-win day of the meet. ... Trainer Neil Knapp and owner Lisa Russell are 2-for-2 with Preachinatthebar 2-year-olds this season at Emerald Downs. Preachinmerit ($20.20) nailed 6-to-5 betting favorite Twelfth Fan to win Friday's second race for $25,000 maiden claiming fillies, and 2-year-old gelding Preachinattheforum rallied from last to win the meet's first 2-year-old race on May 24. ... Trainer Diane Garrison got her first win of the meet when Jimmeny Creek ($10.60) rallied from last to win Friday's first race under Mawing. ... Live racing continues Saturday with unbeaten Trackattacker in the $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings at 6 ½ furlongs. First post is 2:15 p.m.