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Class Included wins the $65,000 Emerald Distaff | Emerald Downs

Class Included swept past Carrabelle Harbor into the stretch and cruised to a five-length victory Sunday in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by regular rider Juan Gutierrez at 122 lbs, Class Included ran 1-1/8 miles in a very fast 1:47.78 and paid $2.60 and $2.10. There was no show wagering.

With the victory, Class Included clinched honors as the track’s Top Older Filly or Mare for 2012 and will become the first horse since Shampoo in 2007 to win back-to-back honors as Top 3-Year-Old Filly and Top Older Filly or Mare.

Class Included compiled three wins and one second in the four-race Older Filly and Mare series, and her overall record is a remarkable 8-6-0 in 14 starts.

“She’s a really nice filly, I feel like she’s one of the best I’ve ridden in my life,” Gutierrez said. “She tries hard all the time.

“Today she pulled a little in the first part of the race, but then she relaxed on the backside and could tell we were getting to the leaders. I was thinking ‘I got, I got it, I got it.’ It’s a pleasure to ride a filly like this because she does everything right.”

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Include-A Classic Life, Class Included is owned and bred by Michael and Amy Feuerborn of Maple Valley, Wash. The $25,750 first prize increased the filly’s earnings to $292,573 for owners-breeders Michael and Amy Feuerborn of Maple Valley, Wash.

Washington racing Hall of Fame trainer Jim Penney, meanwhile moved past the late Bud Klokstad into second place all-time with 44 stakes wins at Emerald Downs, including five in two seasons by Class Included.

Carrabelle Harbor, ridden by David Flores at 115 lbs, held on well to finish second and paid $3 to place. The 4-year-old Oregon-bred carved out fractions of :22.50, :45.56 and 1:08.80, fast splits for a six-furlong race let alone 1-1/8 miles.

It was 5-¾ lengths back to Private Fortune, ridden by Eliska Kubinova at 113 lbs, in third place, and Sweet Nellie Brown finished fourth.

Penney and daughter/assistant trainer Kay Cooper saddled three of the four starters: Class Included, Private Fortune and Sweet Nellie Brown.

E Z Kitty, a double stakes winner and 5-to-1 third choice on the morning line, has been sold privately and was scratched from the Emerald Distaff.

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