(Auburn, WA) It’s edition #5 of the Emerald Downs Power Rankings and although our top spot held on by just a nose in a tight photo finish there was a lot of movement in the top 10 with some new faces and some old reliables and a few big drops. Last week was the 1sdt 3-day race week and offered up 24 races and 13 different riders got to the winners circle with 2 tripling for the weekend and 7 doubling. 

The new riders are starting to get this track figured out and with the a steady track bias the last couple of weeks for front speed which isn’t new to Emerald Downs but also a fast rail remained the place to be while being out in the middle of the track seemed to be where closers went to sink in quicksand.

Then we had our 1st off track on Sunday which began with a wet fast designation and then turned to sloppy by the 4th race which also change the bias and actually evened it out with a really even track across the board. 

To be clear this is not a criticism of the track maintenance they do a great job at Emerald but it is a condition we get to take into account when handicapping because we run on real dirt with real weather issues whether it be really sloppy or too dry and they can’t keep enough water on it. All this turns to the riders to adjust and find those areas of the track that are best for their horse. I like this and would hate to have the artifical surface that keeps it all the same, to me it’s part of game.

Okay, let’s get to this week’s version of the Power Rankings! 

2024 Power Rankings #4


#1 Carlos Montalvo (Last week #1)

This was really close as Carlos put up the numbers he needed to hold onto the #1 spot by a fraction. I almost called it a deadheat but in the end Carlos gets the photo finish because of his win percent on the week. Montalvo had 12 rides and went 3-4-1-0 for a 25% win clip and 67% top 3 and 4 finish rate. Plus Carlo was abaord the winner of the race of the week bringing the beloved Papa’s Golden Boy back to the Winner’s Circle for the 1st time since September of 2022. Montalvo remains at the top of our Power Rankings.

#2 Karlo Lopez (Last week #3)

Karlo Lopez did everything he could and was 1 win short of taking over the top spot but his win percent was the difference in the photo finish with Montalvo. Lopez had more rides than anyone this week with 19 and went 3-5-6-3 for a 16% win percent, 74% top 3 and a blazing 89% top 4 finish. He also won the feature on Saturday with Nieman and ran a solid 2nd to Papa’s Golden Boy aboard Prisoner. Lopez keeps hitting the board and he is tied for the lead with Alex Cruz now but still has to start turning more these 2nd’s into wins and i won’t be surprised when he wins 6 or 7 races in a weekend.

#3 Isaias Enriquez (Last week was #6)

Isaias Enriquez remains red hot sporting the top win percent on the year for riders with 10 or more mounts at 29%. He held that percent going 29% last week as well as he was 2-2-1 from 7 rides and was 71% top 3 and 4 finish rate. He was aboard Powerized who blew away the lone field of 12 for the season so far winning by 8 1/2 lengths. Enriquez remains as solid as you can get and moves up to #3 in this week’s PR’s.

#4 Luis Reyes (Last week was #8)

Luis Reyes had his best week of the season and gets rewarded by moving up 4 spots in this week’s Power Rankings. Reyes had 8 mounts and finished with a 2-3-0-2 record winning at 25% and a top 3 rate of 63% and superfecta average 2nd highest of the week at 88%. Reyes continues to gain confidence at the Auburfn oval and is one to always watc h when he’s in a race.

#5 Juan Gutierrez (Last week #10)

The old Pro just keeps reminding everyone why no one has more wins than him at Emerald Downs. Juan Gutierrez keeps pulling off wins in a very efficient manner taking 2 races from 6 rides including an 11-1 feature race win on Friday night aboard Rockit a Day. Guti was 2-0-1-1 from 6 rides for the 33% win rate and 67% top 4 to move him up the standings.

#6 Kiaman McGregor (Last week at unranked)

Kiaman McGregor flashed on the scene in a hurry on Sunday winning the opening Daily Double for trainer Jack McCartney. McGregor saddled up 5 times with 2 wins a place and a show for a 40% win rate and 80% trifecta and superfecta finish. McGregor one of the new faces showing real talent. This is his 1st appearance in our top 10.

#7 Allyssa Morales (Last week at unranked)

Another fresh face breaking through into the top 10 for the 1st time is Allyssa Morales. Morales has shown she is a force to be reckoned with and picked up 2 wins this past weekend for a 2-0-1-1 record from 7 starts for a win percent of 29% and top4 finish rate of 47%. Morales is a tough competitor and is demanding respect with her riding. Can’t overlook this young talent.

#8 Leslie Mawing (Last week #9)

Leslie Mawing got 2 wins this week in back to back fashion on Friday night including a dazzling last to 1st win aboard Validate with a perfect rail run the whole way to give Hall of fame trainer Howard Belovir his 1st win of the season. Mawing would be further up but his overall percent of hitting in the top 4 is on the low end now granted he does ride some pretty good sized longshots at times but winning is most important and he nudges up to #8 this week.

#9 Brayan Pena (Last week #4)

Brayan Pena continues to pull in wins but is racking up an incredible number of 3rd place finishes. He tied for 2nd most mounts this past weekend and finished 2-0-5-3 for a 12% win rate, 43% top 3 and 57% top 4. Pena for the season is 7-4-17-8 so you do need to cover him in your trifecta and superfecta bets for sure. Will he start turning those 3rds into wins the next go around? It would not surprise us if he’s sitting on some big days coming up.

#10 Alex Cruz (Last week #5)

We end surprisingly with the 4 time defending jockey Champ Alex Cruz who could muster just 1 win from 17 rides and did it by a neck in the final race of the week. Cruz ground away to get that win and keep him tied at the top of the standings with Karlo Lopez each with 10 wins. Cruz finished the week tied for 2nd most rides with 17 and went 1-3-2-1 for just a 6% win rate and 41% top 4 finish. Will be stunned if he doesn’t start to move up the standings again this weekend.

Honorable Mention David Martin

We have to give David Martin a tip of the cap for his unbelievable ride aboard Third Wheel on Saturday. He overcame so much trouble in the stretch and found a way through on the rail for a capitivating win. Martin doesn’t get many chances and he finally got to the winner’s circle so not quite enough to get in the top 10 but certainly his ride must be appreciated.

His win ranked as our 2nd best race of the week last weekend and you can check out our new Emerald Downs Top 10 races of the week on You Tube here:



By paulb

WordPress Image Lightbox