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Rocky’s Quest wins Sunday feature | Emerald Downs
Rocky’s Quest resumed his winning ways Sunday at Emerald Downs, fighting off Sandys Diamond for a three-quarter-length victory in the $19,950 feature race for 3-year-olds and up.
With regular rider Juan Gutierrez aboard, Rocky’s Quest ran one mile in 1:35.19 and paid $3, $2.20 and $2.10. Blaine Wright, assisted by Richard Wright and Mark Rheinford, is the trainer for owners John and Janene Maryanski of Auburn.
Sandys Diamond, ridden by Javier Matias, rallied from last to finish second and paid $4.20 and $3.20.
Memphis Beach, an 18-to-1 long shot ridden by Leonel Camacho-Flores, opened a long early lead but weakened to finish third and paid $4.80 to show.
Touch the Sun, Perfect Night and Edge Forward completed the order of finish.
The victory by Rocky’s Quest made amends for a rare off the board finish in the June 16 Budweiser Handicap, in which the gray gelding finished eighth for his first off-the-board finish in 10 starts. Rocky’s Quest was one of the track’s sharpest horses last year, compiling a 5-2-1 record in eight starts and earning honors as the meet’s Top Claimer.
Sunday, Rocky’s Quest had a good trip, tracking the leader as Memphis Beach opened an early five-length cushion and setting fast fractions of :22.38, :44.59 and 1:08.85. Rocky’s Quest attacked from the outside, gained the lead nearing the stretch, kicked 1 ½-lengths clear and then held off Sandys Diamond.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Rockport Harbor-Silver Echo, Rocky’s Quest has a 7-3-3 record in 18 career starts with earnings of $87,218. At Emerald Downs, Rocky’s Quest is 6-3-2 in 13 starts with earnings of $72,671.
In the $0.50 Pick 5, there were no tickets with five wins and the carryover is $9,195 to Wednesday.
Gutierrez and Isaias Enriquez both rode two winners on the nine-race card, and Enriquez maintains a 48-47 lead atop the jockeys’ standings. Enriquez has 16 multiple-win days and Gutierrez 13.
NOTES: The 8-year-old Washington-bred Havin a Good Day ($34.40) romped by 5 ¼ lengths in race six for his 10th career win at Emerald Downs. Ridden by Juan Gutierrez for trainer Rigoberto Velasquez and owners Lisa Baze and Jerry Carmody, Havin a Good ran one mile in 1:35.54 and now has a career mark of 15-8-7 in 55 starts*Montana-bred Rorkes Drift ($45) and jockey Nathan Chaves upset 1-to-9 betting favorite All My Friends in the ninth race finale. All My Friends accounted for $23,567 of the $31,599 wagered in the win pool*The victories by Havin a Good Day and Rorkes Drift created the largest $0.50 Pick 5 carryover of the meet, $9,195, to Wednesday’s special 10-race program. The $0.50 Pick 5 starts with Race 6 at 7:08 p.m*Hardbody ($5) became the meet’s fifth horse to win three races, rallying for a one-length victory over All the Rage in Sunday’s fourth race. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Hard Spun, Hardbody is 3-2-0 in five starts this season for jockey David G. Lopez, trainer Tim McCanna and owner Two Putts For The Win #11. Polish Dollar, El Gran Bebe, Roarified and Southern Solution also are triple winners at the meet*McCanna added a second win on the card as Botch ($10.60) notched a 1 ¼-length win a $14,800 purse for $20,000 claiming 3-year-olds. McCanna has moved into a second-place tie with Chris Stenslie at 18 wins apiece*Jeff Metz remains first in the trainers’ standings with 21 wins*Live racing continues Wednesday with the annual Fireworks Spectacular at 4:30 p.m.