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Rainier Ice takes the Saturday feature | Emerald Downs

Rainier Ice and jockey Juan Gutierrez power to a 1-½ length victory Saturday in the feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs. September 15, 2012.  - Photo courtesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs Photo
Rainier Ice and jockey Juan Gutierrez power to a 1-½ length victory Saturday in the feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs. September 15, 2012.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs Photo

Rainier Ice overhauled long shot Midda’s Gold Touch past mid-stretch and scored a 1-½ length victory Saturday in the $14,800 Skullcandy Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by the red-hot Juan Gutierrez, Rainier Ice ran six furlongs in 1:08.22 and paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.40. Tom Wenzel is the trainer for owners Northwest Farms LLC & C & M Racing.

The winner was claimed, however, for $20,000 by trainer Doris Harwood for new owner Santa Maria Stable.

Midda’s Gold Touch, a 30-to-1 long shot ridden by Rocco Bowen, nearly stole the race, setting fractions of :22.19, :44.55 and :56.33, before yielding to Rainier Ice in the final furlong. Midda’s Gold Touch paid $20.60 and $8.40.

It was 2-½ lengths back to Ugottabcatty, ridden by Javier Matias, and a $6 show payoff. Tribaltique, Wasserman, Seminole Brave and Zagreus completed the order of finish.

Wasserman, far back early, rallied late to finish fifth and earned $370 to push his track record bankroll to $558,458.

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Forestry out of Clear in the West, Rainier Ice has won five of 11 career starts with earnings of $61,551. He finished first in the 2011 Coca-Cola Handicap, but was disqualified and placed fourth for interference in the stretch. His best race this year was a second to Winning Machine in the Budweiser Handicap at one mile. Saturday’s race tied a career-low claiming price for Rainier Ice; he ran for a $20,000 tag twice as a maiden in 2010.

Gutierrez, meanwhile, continues to pile up the victories en route to his first Emerald Downs’ riding title. He rode three winners Saturday to boost his season total to 110, and he has 33 multiple-win days including 10 with three or more wins. It’s a long shot, but Gutierrez needs 12 wins in the final four days to become only the second jockey with 1,000 wins at Emerald Downs.

Wenzel is tied for fifth overall in the training standings with 28 wins, and ranks first with seven stakes wins.

NOTES: Spiker ($9.40) got off the schneid with a victory in Saturday’s opener for owner/trainer Allen Gideon. It was career start No. 14 for the 8-year-old gelding. For an encore, Maggie’s Special*sired by Spiker*finished third in the second race, which was won gate-to-wire by Include the Baby ($3.80) in 1:14.79 for 6-½ furlongs*With the victory aboard Spiker, Kubinova upped her single-season apprentice mark to 74 wins. Sunday is Kubinova’s final day at Emerald Downs this season, however, as she begins riding Thursday at Stockton on the California fair circuit*Favorites were five-for-eight Saturday including back-to-back winners for trainer Blaine Wright: Ballistic Blonde ($3.80) in the fifth and Amazing Legacy ($3.60) in the sixth. A 4-year-old gelding by Cahill Road-Irish Toast, Amazing Legacy is a full brother to The Great Face and a half-brother to Atta Boy Roy*Live racing continues Sunday with a 10-race card at 2 p.m.

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