Off and running: Emerald Downs opens new season | PHOTOS

  • Mon Apr 10th, 2017 11:41am
  • Sports

Oh Marvelous Me collared Lord Walton in the final furlong and rolled to a 2¾-length victory Saturday in the featured Muckleshoot Casino Purse on opening night of the live racing season at Emerald Downs.

For trainer Blaine Wright, the victory capped a two-win night that included an 11¾-length victory by Lofty Cause in race three. Wright, 42, captured his first Emerald Downs title last year with 39 wins and a meet-best 28.6 win percentage.

Ridden by Jose Zunino, Oh Marvelous Me ran 5½ furlongs in 1:03.17 on a fast track and paid $5.40, $3.40 and $2.60. A 5-year-old Bluegrass Cat gelding bred in Kentucky, Oh Marvelous Me is 2-2-1 in 11 career starts and earned $6,215 on Saturday for owners Todd and Shawn Hansen of Tenino.

Lord Walton, ridden by Javier Matias, held second and paid $4.80 and $3.60. A tall 4-year-old gelding by Ready’s Image, Lord Walton missed the break slightly but zipped to the lead inside and carved blazing fractions of :21.77, :44.69 and :56.77 before yielding to the winner.

Cause I’m Bad, Lorenzo Lopez riding, rallied for third place and paid $2.60 to show, while Commander King, Wando Cat and Ryan Walt rounded out the order of finish.

Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2 p.m., and the new Clubhouse Casino is open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The 70-day season runs through Sunday, Sept. 17.

Notes

Bob Is Back ($9) and Eliska Kubinova prevailed in the 2017 season opener in 1:05.36 for 5 ½ furlongs. The 5-year-old winner is owned and trained by John Maloney, while for Kubinova it was her first win here in two years. … Zunino was the only jockey to ride two winners – sweeping the late double with Oh Marvelous Me and longshot Kalakala ($31.60). …Longshots fared well as Endangered ($14) prevailed in race two, Chatty Carl ($18.20) in race four, K K’s Wonderwoman ($12.80) in race six and Kalakala in race seven. … The $0.50 Pick 5 paid a healthy $5,793.65, and there were no winners in the $0.50 Pick 7 and the carryover to Sunday is $3,080. … Both the $0.50 Pick 5 and $0.50 Pick 7 have a reduced 15 percent takeouts this year. … Third-race winner Lofty Cause ($2.40) became the meet’s first claim, going to Ed and Fran Barber for $8,000 with Terry Gillihan the new trainer. … Jeff Metz, who had a three-year title run ended last year by Wright, scored an opening night upset with Chatty Carl under Eswan Flores in race four. … Two-time Longacres Mile winner Stryker Phd is possible for the $100,000 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, April 29. The SF Mile is a grade 3 at one mile on turf.

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The field leaves the gate in the first race at 5½ furlongs. RACHEL CIAMPI, Reporter

Pacific Sound Chorus sings the national anthem. RACHEL CIAMPI, Reporter

The jockey colony assembles before the first race. RACHEL CIAMPI, Reporter

The paddock gets busy with walkers and entries. RACHEL CIAMPI, Reporter

Eliska Kubinova rides Bob Is Back to victory in the first race of the new season at Emerald Downs on Saturday. It was Kubinova’s first win at the Auburn track in two years. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter