El Gran Bebe, who looked beaten in mid-stretch, rallied back for a nose victory over Uzziah in the featured Coca-Cola Purse for 3-year-olds and up Saturday at Emerald Downs.
With David G. Lopez aboard for his third of four wins on the day, El Gran Bebe ran one mile in 1:35.41 and paid $12.80, $6.80 and $3.60. Robbie Baze is the trainer for owners Michael and Any Feuerborn of Maple Valley.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred, El Gran Bebe is three-for-three this season, and joined Roarified as the meet’s only three-time winners. Roarified can retake the lead Sunday with a victory in race eight.
Taking full advantage of a track on which speed horses dominated, El Gran Bebe was hustled to the lead, and set fractions of :23.52, :46.75, 1:10.66 and 1:22.85. The moment of truth came when He’s a Cruiser swept to the lead in upper stretch, but El Gran Bebe fought back to regain the advantage, and then held off 12-to-1 long shot Uzziah for the victory.
Uzziah, ridden by Eliska Kubinova, rallied strongly to just miss the victory. The runner-up paid $12.60 and $7.
It was 3 ½-lengths back to Showmethemoneyjim, ridden by Anne Sanguinetti, and a $3.60 show payoff. He’s a Cruiser faded to fourth, and was followed by Bid for Pride, Snow On the River, Lit’l in Din Boy and Our Eagle Boy. El Gran Bebe is seven-for-21 lifetime with earnings of $73,448.
Lopez, posting his first four-win day at Emerald Downs, climbed into a third-place tie with Rocco Bowen in the jockeys’ standings at 21 wins apiece.
NOTES: Frank Lucarelli saddled three winners on the nine-race card*Forest Bunny ($40.80), Meant to Be Mia ($4.40) and All My Friends ($2.40)*and climbed into a fifth-place tie with Blaine Wright in the trainers’ standings at 11 wins each*Isaias Enriquez and Leonel Camacho-Flores rode two winners each on the nine-race card. Enriquez is within three wins of Juan Gutierrez, who missed a second straight day while attending his daughter’s graduation in California. Gutierrez, who leads Enriquez 40-37, returns Sunday and rides in nine of 11 races*Jockey Debbie Hoonan was off her mounts a second straight day with a knee injury. Agent David Singer said Hoonan also will miss Sunday’s card and is scheduled to have a MRI taken on Monday*Live racing continues Sunday with an 11-race program at 2 p.m*Makors Finale is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite in the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Post time is 5:56 p.m*.The first 7,000 fans receive free Emerald Downs ball caps with paid admission.