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Rezar wins Friday feature | Emerald Downs

Rezar (No. 3) and jockey Javier Matias prevail in a close finish in the feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Songandaprayer ran six furliongs in 1:08.57. July 6, 2012 - Photo courtesy Emerald Downs-Erin Palmer
Rezar (No. 3) and jockey Javier Matias prevail in a close finish in the feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Songandaprayer ran six furliongs in 1:08.57. July 6, 2012
— image credit: Photo courtesy Emerald Downs-Erin Palmer

Rezar overcame traffic problems and scored a major upset Friday in the $12,700 feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by Javier Matias, Rezar finished a head in front of Advancement in a blanket finish, as 8-to-5 betting favorite Hard Slider weakened in the final furlong.

Rezar ran six furlongs in 1:08.57, and paid $26.60, $8.60 and $3. Blaine Wright is the trainer for Nelson Family Racing, the nom de course for Heidi Nelson of Bothell, Wash.

It was a heartbreaking week for Nelson, whose husband Scott died suddenly Monday at age 51. A private service was held Friday morning, and family friend Karen Worthington represented Ms. Nelson at Friday’s race.

Shuffled back to last place into the turn, Rezar rallied valiantly through the stretch and was up in the final stride. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Songandaprayer, Rezar has been a steady performer in the middle claiming ranks, compiling a 2-1-1 record in four starts this season at odds of 9-to-1, 5-to-2, 23-to-1 and 12-to-1.

Rezar has an overall record of 3-4-4 in 19 starts with earnings of $41,275.

Advancement, a 10-1 long shot ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, rallied strongly to just miss the victory and paid $10.60 and $3 for place and show.

Davos and Chaching Pete finished in a dead-heat for third place and both paid $2.20 for show.

Hard Slider and Ontheshadyside finished fifth and sixth after dueling through fractions of :22.11 and :44.42.

HORSE RACING WORLD GRIEVES LOSSES

Thursday, jockey Jorge Herrera died of injuries sustained in a spill in the eighth race at Pleasanton on the Northern California fair circuit. Herrera, 33, rode 23 winners at Emerald Downs as an apprentice jockey in 2005. The Emerald Downs’ jockey colony observed a moment of silence for Herrera in the paddock before Friday’s third race.

NOTES: Apprentice jockey Eliska Kubinova was taken to Valley Medical Center for precautionary measures after being unseated by Golden Fireball on the turn in the fourth race. A first-time starter, Golden Fireball lugged out on the turn, stumbled at the five-sixteenths pole and unseated Kubinova*Connie Doll, substituting for Kubinova, guided Boise Creek ($6.80) to an easy victory in the fifth race for owner-trainer Don Munger. It was the first Thoroughbred victory for Doll at Emerald Downs since 2010, but she was the track’s leading Quarter Horse rider in 2011*Munger, meanwhile, continues his excellent season. As a trainer, the 88-year-old Enumclaw native already has a career-high 11 wins, and Don and Wanda Munger rank No. 1 among owners with 11 wins*Juan Gutierrez rode two more winners, his 14th double at the meet, and extended his lead to 48-43 over Leslie Mawing in the jockeys’ standings*Live racing continues Saturday with a nine-race program at 2:15 p.m.

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