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Rezar wins Friday feature | Emerald Downs
Rezar took the early lead and kicked clear late and posted a two-length victory over Dare Me Devil in the $13,750 feature race for 3-year-olds and up Friday at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Isaias Enriquez for trainer Blaine Wright and owner Heidi Nelson, Rezar ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.92 on a wet-fast track and paid $8.60, $4.20 and $3.40. The winning time was only .14 seconds off the meet-best clocking for 6 ½ furlongs of 1:14.78 set by Hoist last Sunday in the Governor’s Handicap.
Gunned to the lead from the No. 3 post-position, Rezar led through fractions of :22.60, :45.04 and 1:08.80 en route to the victory. The bay gelding shook off Our Eagle Boy into the lane, led by 2 ½ lengths past mid-stretch and held Dare Me Devil safe in the final furlong.
Second in the jockey’s standings with 21 wins, Enriquez now has at least one victory on the last 15 cards at Emerald Downs. His only winless day was opening night, April 19, when he finished second in his lone mount on an eight-race card.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Songandaprayer, Rezar has a 4-5-4 record in 24 starts with earnings of $53,705, including $7,563 for Friday’s triumph. He also had gained a reputation as something of a hard-luck horse, encountering several rough trips including one in his 2013 debut last month.
“We had a plan tonight,” Enriquez said. “There wasn’t much speed in the race, and the horse had trouble the last couple times, so we decided to go for (the lead). If that didn’t work out, we’d go to Plan B, but Plan A worked tonight.”
Dare Me Devil, ridden by Rocco Bowen, rallied into contention from fourth place, but could not reach the winner. Dare Me Devil paid $6.80 and $4. Ugottabcatty, ridden by Javier Matias, finished third and paid $5.60.
Go With Gusto, Wasserman and Our Eagle Boy completed the order of finish; Advancement was scratched earlier in the day.
Friday’s $0.50 Pick 5 paid a meet-high $7,413.15 to one winning ticket.
The $2 win prices were $22.80, $29.40, $11.80, $8.60 and $32.40.
The Emerald Downs record payout on the $0.50 Pick 5 is $20,957.40 set August 26, 2012.
NOTES: Jockey Louis Zacherle registered his first Emerald Downs victory in the Friday opener with a gate-to-wire score on Austincitynights ($4.20) for owner/trainer Preston Boyd. A 25-year-old native of Omak, Zacherle road most recently at Sun Downs in Kennewick*Juan Gutierrez and Enriquez each rode a winner, and Gutierrez maintains a 25-21 lead atop the jockeys’ standings*Cresent McGain, a four-time winner at the 2012 meet, finished second beaten a head in race two, and was claimed for $2,500 by Jamie Comber in a three-way shake*In all, seven horses were claimed Friday to boost the season total to 28 claims in 16 racing days*Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens joins Joe Withee on The Win, Place Show, 8-9 a.m. Saturday on KJR Sports Radio 950 AM/102.9 FM*Live racing continues Saturday with first post 2:15 p.m.