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Dance Chief rallies for victory in Thursday feature | Emerald Downs

Dance Chief rallied four-wide to the lead and held off Dynamalt late for a head victory Thursday in the featured Fiji Rush Party Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by apprentice Eliska Kubinova, Dance Chief ran 1 and 1-16miles in 1L43.59 and paid $4.60, $2.80 and $2.20. Tim McCanna is the trainer for owners Hern/LePley Racing.

It was the second straight victory for Dance Chief, a 7-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding, and the second win of the night for the trainer and owner, who combined with Win Photos Will Do ($4.40) to win the fifth race.

Dynamalt, ridden by Juan Gutierrez, rallied from last to make the outcome close, but came up a head short at the wire. Dynamalt paid $2.40 and $2.40.

Sarganis, ridden by Gallyn Mitchell, finished third and paid $2.80. I Am Thor and Tobiah’s Journey completed the order of finish; Doctor Pav and Koala Beach were scratched earlier in the day.

Dance Chief is two-for-two at Emerald Downs, and nine-for-46 lifetime with earnings of $233,440. The gelding’s other wins were in Northern California, Bay Meadows and Pleasanton.

In both victories at Emerald Downs, Dance Chief prevailed by a head with Kubinova riding.

McCanna’s two wins pulled him to within two wins, 32-30, of Frank Lucarelli’s top spot in the trainers’ standings.

NOTES: Kubinova swept the late double with Dance Chief and seventh race winner Mile Easy ($2.60) and boosted her season total to 54 wins in 53 days. She needs 18 wins in the final 28 days to set a single-season track record for wins by an apprentice rider*William Antongeorgi also rode two winners*Leslie Mawing remains three wins shy of 2,000 after his lone mount Thursday, Koala Beach, was scratched from the feature race. Mawing is named on six horses Friday and five of them are 5-to-1 on the morning line. The other is Seattle Game, the 1-to-1 morning line favorite in the fourth race. Mawing has had at least one win on the last 19 cards he has ridden at Emerald Downs, but remains behind Juan Gutierrez 67-63 in the jockeys’ race*Live racing continues Friday with first post 6:15 p.m.

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