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.
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.