Max Cooper wins Friday night feature at Emerald Downs | Horse Racing

Max Cooper and jockey Juan Gutierrez prevail in the feature race at Emerald Downs, Friday, May 3, 2013. Jeff Metz is the trainer for owner Constance Barnes.  - Photo courtesy Emerald Downs
Max Cooper and jockey Juan Gutierrez prevail in the feature race at Emerald Downs, Friday, May 3, 2013. Jeff Metz is the trainer for owner Constance Barnes.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Emerald Downs

Max Cooper wasted no time locating the winner’s circle Friday, rallying past Rainier Missile for a 2 ¼-length victory in the $9,350 feature race for 3-year-olds and up.

A Florida-bred whose 24 previous races were in California, Max Cooper received a rail-skimming ride from Juan Gutierrez in his Northwest debut, covering six furlongs in 1:09.68 on a fast track and paid $7.20, $5.40 and $3.60. It was the third win of the night for Gutierrez, who leads the standings with 13 wins over the first seven days of racing.

Rainier Missile, ridden by Debbie Hoonan, turned in a big effort in his Emerald Downs return. The 5-year-old gelding out dueled 9-to-5 favorite Majorca Gold for the lead, covering the quarter-mile in :22.48 and the half in :45.18, relinquished command to Max Cooper in upper stretch, but battled bravely to the wire to hold second. Rainier Missile paid $7.40 and $3.60.

Buddy Dave, with Leonel Camacho-Flores riding, surged past Majorca Gold for third place and paid $3.20 for show.

Majorca Gold and Cresent McGain completed the order of finish; Havin a Good Day was scratched earlier in the day.

A 5-year-old gelding by Max’s Pal-Cooper’s Current, Max Cooper has won two straight including an April 14 outing at Golden Gate Fields, and 4-5-6 in 26 career starts with earnings of $87,943. Jeff Metz is the trainer for Constance Barnes.

Metz, with seven wins, ranks second to Chris Stenslie in the trainers’ standings. Stenslie picked up her ninth win in race two as Cresent Bar ($5.20) prevailed with Gutierrez riding. Stenslie and Gutierrez already have combined for six wins at the meet.

NOTES: David Martinez was the only trainer with two wins on the seven-race card. Martinez clicked with Zaiah’s Gold ($3.80) in the opener and first-time starter Whistle Cat ($14) in the third*Five of the eight jockeys in the seventh race were women including Cassie Papineau, who guided Cat Von Diva to a $33.80 surprise in the finale*The $0.50 Pick 5 paid $2,344.70, thanks mainly to Cat Von Diva’s 15-to-1 upset*Continuing on the comeback trail, Noosa Beach drilled a half-mile in a bullet :47 1/5 Friday for trainer Doris Harwood. It was the fastest of 17 works at the distance, and the fourth workout of the spring for the 2010-11 Emerald Downs Horse of the Meet*Chickasaw Park, winner of 13 Emerald Downs races including the 2007 Chinook Pass Sprint, has been retired to Katie Merwick’s Second Chance Ranch, trainer H.R. Pat Mullens said. Chickasaw Park joins Longacres Mile winners No Giveaway and The Great Face as former Emerald Downs runners at Second Chance Ranch*The 2012 EmD Horse of the Meet was in action on the Kentucky Oaks under card Friday, as Class Included finished fourth at odds of 28-to-1 in the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes for older fillies and mares*Reminder: Emerald Downs has a special 1 p.m. first post Saturdayon Kentucky Derby day. Gates open at 7 a.m., first simulcast from Churchill Downs is 7:30 a.m.*In Saturday’s local feature, Champali Lace, bidding for her eighth win in 13 starts at Emerald Downs, is the 8-to-5 morning line favorite in the six-furlong test for older fillies and mares.

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