Baja Sur remained undefeated with his latest impressive victory in the $50,000 Coca-Cola Stakes for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs.
Scoring his third stakes win and fourth victory overall, Baja Sur held off Runningwscissors for a 1¾-length victory in 1:15.60 for 6½ furlongs. Ridden by Franklin Ceballos at 124 pounds, Baja Sur paid $2.60 as the 3-to-10 betting favorite.
Baja Sur set fractions of :22.58 and :45.12, shook off Perfect Dude into the stretch and held sway to the wire.
Runningwscissors was clearly second best, 5¼ lengths clear of Perfect Dude in third, while Verynsky and Fuzzy Dolphin rounded out the order of finish. Baja Sur, Runningwscissors and Perfect Dude also finished first, second and third in the Auburn Stakes last month.
Baja Sur improved to two for two this year with wins in the Auburn and Coca-Cola Stakes, and also was two for two last year with wins in a maiden special weight and the King County Express. He now has wins at 5 furlongs, 5 ½ furlongs, 6 furlongs and 6 ½ furlongs – all gate to wire – by a combined 22½ lengths.
A Washington-bred gelding by Smiling Tiger-Premo Copy, earned $27,500 and increased his overall ledger to $87,450 for the ownership of John and Janene Maryanski and Gail and Gerald Schneider, all of Auburn.
The $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes at 1 1/16 miles is next for 3-year-olds on Sunday, July 14.
River road relay prevails in Indian relay racing
River Road Relay of Crow Agency, Montana, captured the championship heat of Sunday’s fourth annual Muckleshoot Gold Cup at Emerald Downs. Ridden by Darren Charges Strong Jr., River Road Relay covered two miles in 3:33.91.
Other members of River Road Relay: muggers Tim Bird In Ground and Clay Bird In Ground, and holders Coty Brown, Trampus Bird In Ground and Tvonnes Bird In Ground. Brown also is team captain.
Abrahamson Relay, the defending champion, finished second in the championship heat, and Pikunii Express finished third.
In other races Sunday:
S/M Express with Dustin Kruger riding won the first consolation in 3:42.59, and Tissidimit with Mious Teton riding captured the second consolation in 3:35.11.
Muckleshoot Gold Cup ($25,000 purse): 1st-River Road Relay (Darren Charges Strong Jr.), Crow Agency, Mont., 3:33.91; 2nd-Abrahamson Relay (Scott Abrahamson), Omak, 3:336.26; 3rd-Pikunii Express (Narsis Reevis), Browning, Mont., 3:37.76.
Consolation 1 ($6,000 purse): 1st-S/M Express (Dustin Kruger), Lodge Grass, Mont., 3:42.91; 2nd-Cayuse Express (Jaylin Rides At The Door), Nespelem, 3:46.59; 3rd-Mountain Crow Relay (Francis Plenty Hawk), Pryor, Mont., 3:49.48.
Consolation 2 ($12,000 purse): 1-Tissidimit (Mious Teton), Fort Hall, Idaho, 3:35.11; 2nd-Black Rock Relay (Blayne DeRoche), Browning, Mont., 3:42.78; 3rd-Amskapi Pikuni (Terrance Bird Rattler), Browning, Mont., 3:44.64.
Gary Wales posted another riding triple and extended his lead to 34-20 over Javier Matias and Kevin Orozco atop the riders’ standings. … Ceballos, Patrick Henry Jr. and Jose Zunino all rode two winners Sunday. … Wright was the lone trainer with two wins and is second overall with 16 wins. …Wright has saddled four of the first six stakes winners of the meet – Baja Sur (2), Mucho Amor and Anyportinastorm. … For the second straight year, 95-year-old trainer Arturo Arboleda won on Father’s Day as Cats Champ ($6.20) prevailed in race three. … Compelling Smile ($8.60) – the lone filly in the race – rallied to take Sunday’s $18,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds. The winner is a $22,000 Constitution filly trained by Mike Puhich and owned by Dr. Mark Dedomenico. … Sassafrass paid a meet-high $38 to place in Sunday’s sixth race. … Hastings Stakes winner Ima Happy Cat worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 4/5 for next Sunday’s $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes for older fillies and mares. … Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m.