Bartab wins Sunday feature | Emerald Downs

 Bartab and Jennifer Whitaker teamed up for the victory Sunday in the feature race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs. September 16, 2012. - Photo courtesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs Photo
Bartab and Jennifer Whitaker teamed up for the victory Sunday in the feature race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs. September 16, 2012.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs Photo

Bartab overcame a slow start to record a 1-¼ length victory over Sunny Drive in the featured Purina Feed Purse for older fillies and mares Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Patiently ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, Bartab ran one mile in 1:38.01 and paid $11.40, $4.20 and $3.20. Howard Belvoir is the winning owner and trainer.

Bartab’s victory was the fifth straight double-digit payoff and helped trigger a $0.50 Pick 5 carryover of $5,851 to Friday, when Emerald Downs begins the final week of live racing in 2012.

In last place after hopping at the start, Bartab closed steadily on the last turn, rallied past Sunny Drive in mid-strech and drew off for the victory. The 3-year-old Washington-bred filly by Matty G-Knight of Cups has three wins at the meet and an overall mark of 3-2-4 in 13 starts with earnings of $26,086.

Sunny Drive, the 3-to-5 betting favorite ridden by Leslie Mawing, took command on the last turn, settled into the stretch with a short lead but had no answer when Bartab came calling in the lane. Sunny Drive paid $2.40 and $2.20.

It was three lengths back to My Secret Weapon, ridden by Juan Gutierrez, and a $3.20 show payoff. Grab the Goods, She’s Tops and Goin Out Tonite completed the order of finish.

Belvoir is No. 3 all-time with 596 wins at Emerald Downs, and No. 3 with 35 wins in 2012. Frank Lucarelli tops the standings with 43 wins followed by Tim McCanna with 40, including a maiden victory by Train Freeze ($4.80) in Sunday’s fourth race.


NOTES: Owner/trainer Alan Bozell accomplished a rare feat Sunday by saddling a pair of $39.60 winners*Mr. Top Kat in the fifth race and Cheeza Kay in the eighth*Cheeza Kay is developing into a long shot specialist. The 4-year-old Nacheezmo filly has back-to-back scores at 18-to-1 and 36-to-1, and also won earlier this year at 16-to-1*With a victory in the seventh race, Cresent McGain ($36) became the 16th horse to win four races at the 2012 meeting. Obviously, the Ashbaugh Beal Claiming Challenge next Sunday will be vital in deciding the meet’s Top Claimer*Apprentice Eliska Kubinova scored her 75th and final win of the meet with a 9*¼ length victory on Touch the Sun ($6) in race three. Kubinova begins riding this week at Stockton, Calif*Touch the Sun was claimed for $7,500 by trai8ner Frank Lucarelli for owner Roy Schaefer*Debbie Hoonan was the only jockey to ride two winners*Cheeza Kay and One Lucky Hoss ($10.60)*and remains nip-and-tuck with Jennifer Whitaker for honors as the track’s No. 1 all-time woman rider. Whitaker countered with a feature race win on Bartab but Hoonan has the edge 407-406*Humongous ($7.40) led gate-to-wire under Jose Zunino in the nightcap to give owner-trainer Don Munger his 19th win of the meet. Munger ranks 12th in the trainers’ standings but easily tops the owners’ standings with 19 wins*The final week of live racing begins Friday with first post 6 p.m. The season concludes with 2 p.m. posts Saturday and Sunday.

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