Sports

Free Beer flys to the winner's circle in Friday feature | Emerald Downs

Free Beer (No. 3) and jockey Rocco Bowen splash to a come-from-behind victory at 9-to-1 odds in the Emerald Downs feature race for 3-year-olds and up. June 8, 2012.  - Photo courtesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs
Free Beer (No. 3) and jockey Rocco Bowen splash to a come-from-behind victory at 9-to-1 odds in the Emerald Downs feature race for 3-year-olds and up. June 8, 2012.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs

A horse with a popular name*Free Beer*flew home for a thrilling 1-¼-length victory over Shamundi in the $11,100 feature race for 3-year-olds-and-up Friday night at Emerald Downs.

Rallying from some 12 lengths back under Rocco Bowen, Free Beer rallied furiously in the final furlong, passing six horses, for the victory in 1:37.74 for one mile on a sloppy track.

Free Beer paid $20.40, $8.20 and $4.40. Joe Toye is the trainer for owners Bill Jensen and Don Crow.

Shamundi, ridden by Jose Zunino, took the lead briefly in the final sixteenth-of-a-mile, but had to settle for second place and paid $4.40 and $3.40. The consistent 4-year-old gelding has finished first, second or third in 15 of 16 career starts.

Ricky Ricky, ridden by apprentice Eliska Kubinova, finished in third place and paid $4.60. Emancipated, the early leader, finished fourth, and was followed by Advancement, 5-to-2 betting favorite Win Photos Will Do and Touch the Sun.

Free Beer lagged in last place as Emancipated and Advancement dueled for the lead through fractions of :22.99, :46.01 and 1:24.04. The eventual winner raced far wide through the last turn, responded to brisk urging and wore down the leaders late.

A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Medaglia d’Oro, Free Beer has a lifetime record of 4-3-4 in 32 starts with earnings of $56,272.

The $0.50 Pick 5 (6-1/5-7-3/6-4/5/7/10) paid $5.434.10.

NOTES: The 10-year-old gelding Chickasaw Park ($4.60) notched his 13th career Emerald Downs’ victory in the seventh race finale under Leonel Camacho-Flores. Chickasaw Park is second to Noosa Beach (14 wins) for most wins by an active horse at Emerald Downs, and has a career record of 14 wins in 64 starts for trainer/co-owner H.R. Pat Mullens*Mullens and Joe Toye led the trainers with two wins each Friday*Seven different jockeys rode winners including Juan Gutierrez, who ranks first with 29 wins through 26 days*Live racing continues Saturday at 2:15 p.m. The featured ninth race is the $10,000 Stella Artois Purse for 3-year-olds and up at 6-½ furlongs. The evenly-match field of eight includes Polish Dollar (3-to-1), Buddy Dave (7-to-2) and Who’s Your Next Ex (4-to-1), who have a combined 22 victories at Emerald Downs.

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