City Twister rallies to win Friday feature | Emerald Downs

City Twister and jpckey Jose Zunino prevail in Friday
City Twister and jpckey Jose Zunino prevail in Friday's $13,750 feature race at Emerald Downs. Trained by Dan Markle and owned by Sue and Tim Spooner, City Twister ran six furlongs in 1:10.02 and paid $20.20.
— image credit: Photo coutesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs

City Twister rallied strongly to defeat Memphis Beach in the $13,750 feature race for Washington-bred 3-year-olds and up Friday at Emerald Downs.

Under a ground-saving ride by Jose Zunino, City Twister ran six furlongs in 1:10.02 and paid $20.20, $10.20 and $6.80. Dan Markle is the trainer for owners Sue and Tim Spooner of Olympia.

Memphis Beach, ridden by David G. Lopez, finished second and paid $8.20 and $6.60. Bidding for his third straight win, the 4-year-old gelding out-sprinted Tough Road Ahead for the early lead and appeared en route to victory, but lugged out through the turn and into the stretch, and still was only beaten 2 ½ lengths. Memphis Beach paid $8.20 and $6.60.

Wasserman, ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, closed strongly from last place to finish third and paid $7.20 for show. Wasserman earned $2,063 to push his bankroll to $587,060 including a track record $562,993 at Emerald Downs.

Owned and bred by the Spooners, City Twister is 3-0-0 in seven career starts with earnings of $28,276, The 4-year-old He’s Tops colt competed against the track’s top 3-year-olds last year, including a fourth-place finish to D’honorable One and Makors Finale in the Auburn Handicap.

Interestingly, Markle and the Spooners went home with the top two finishers Friday. In addition to City Twister, they claimed Memphis Beach for $17,500 from the Elttaes Stable and Jeff Harwood. A 4-year-old Harbor the Gold gelding, Memphis Beach finished last year with a flourish, romping by 13 ¾ lengths in a $7,500 claiming race closing weekend, and began this year with another sharp victory for $7,500 claiming. Friday, he drew 2 ½ lengths clear on the turn, running the half-mile in :45.08, before drifting into the lane.

Tough Road Ahead, the 9-to-5 betting favorite, finished fourth and also was claimed for $17,500 by Alan Bozell for owners Kenneth Marshall and Mike Phillips.

Touch the Sun, He’s All Heart and Newfound Man completed the order finish. Nathan Chaves was aboard He’s All Heart, the first mount in six years for the former Longacres Mile-winning jockey.

NOTES: Zunino and David G. Lopez rode two winners each on the card, and leading rider Juan Gutierrez maintained his streak of riding at least one winner on all 10 cards to date, scoring on Jade Road ($12.20) in the fifth*The Spooners rank No. 3 all-time among owners with 151 wins at Emerald Downs*Betting favorites had a rough night, going 0-for-7 with one second. Not surprisingly, there is a $4,420 carryover in the $0.50 Pick to Saturday*Not often does a $1 exacta featuring the top two trainers in track history return $76.50 for $1. But that was the case in race four Friday as 16-to-1 Jewel S. trained by Frank Lucarelli held off 4-1 Hardbody trained by Tim McCanna for the victory. McCanna is No. 1 all-time with 853 wins while Lucarelli is No. 2 with 723*Jockey Brett Pierce phoned in ill and was excused from his two mounts*Live racing continues Saturday with first post 2:15 p.m.

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