For the Reporter
Julien Couton provided the early fireworks Tuesday evening at Emerald Downs.
The 37-year-old Frenchman rode six winners on the nine-race card, tying the track record previously set by Kevin Radke in 2002 and Seth Martinez in 2008.
Couton compiled a 6-1-1 mark in nine mounts, and tied the record with a gate-to-wire victory aboard Blackford ($3) in the ninth race finale.
Afterward, Couton revealed that he accomplished the feat while riding with a broken toe, sustained in the final race Sunday.
“I managed the pain OK, and I rode for good trainers who had their horses in the right spots,” Couton said. “It all came together tonight.”
A 37-year-old native of Aizenay, France, Couton twice previously rode five winners on a card at Emerald Downs.
Couton began the night with a victory aboard Bye Bye Sal in race one, which also was his 200th career win at Emerald Downs. He also won race two with Per La Bella ($3.40), race five on Better in Leather ($3.60), race six aboard Outa Here($9), race eight on Freedom Hill ($4.80) and the nightcap on Blackford.
Couton nearly bagged a seventh winner Thursday, but Levitation missed by a neck to Kota Copy in race seven. Couton’s other two mounts were a third on Camano Comet in race three, and a fourth aboard That’s Good in race four.
In the featured $15,600 Muckleshoot Casino Purse, Couton swept Freedom Hill from behind for a two-length victory in 1:14.92 for 6½ furlongs. The winner, owned by Dr. Rodney Orr, is a 5-year-old Summer Bird gelding with a 4-0-2 record in 13 career starts.
Radke compiled a 6-1-2 record in 10 mounts on Sept. 2, 2002, and Martinez was 6-1-1 in eight mounts on July 27, 2008. … Blaine Wright saddled three winners Tuesday and Jeff Metz had two, increasing his meet-leading total to 27. … Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m., including a $21,354 carryover in the $0.20 Pick Seven.