(Auburn, WA) Friday night 7 races were run to begin the final June weekend of racing with a total of 46 starters. Leading rider Alex Cruz came into the night coming off the best weekend of the season for any rider with 7 wins last week. He picked up right where he left off winning the 1st 3 races of the day. Allyssa Morales had her 2nd straight big Friday night as well

The Emerald Racing Club got a win, not the traditional way but the 1st DQ of the year taking down a 1st place finisher and putting up the ERC’s 1st winner of the year. Our report is below in our 2nd race re-cap. This wouldn’t be the 1st take-down as a nearly identical issue came up in the 5th race.

Let’s get to the action!

6th Race Feature Race The Muckleshoot Casino Purse

In the Friday night feature race a field of 7 was reduced to a field of 6 at the gate when Reign of Fire acted up and was scratched. The remaining 6 fillies and mares 3 year-olds and up went 6 1/2 furlongs and it didn’t take long for the winner to emerge as front running Frisco Frills with Allyssa Morales set all the fractions going reasonable times of 22.13 and 44.67 and a 3 length lead turning for home.

Frisco Frills w/ Allyssa Morales

Despite what looked like some legitimate chllengers gearing up for a late run led by 2-1 Zazen with Karlo Lopez in the saddle and a late run from Oreo’s Dream with Juan Gutierrez at 8-1 but 7-5 Frisco Frills destroyed any thoughts of giving up the lead exploding to an 8 1/2 length victory. She’s So Shiny and Alex Cruz were 4th.

Friscoe Frills scored her 2nd straight win for owner Vanessa Arbello and trainer Miguel Hernandez in a final time of a quick 1:15.78. Arbello claimed Frisco Frills for $8,000 on June 8th and now has won a 15k claimer and Friday night’s feature a $25,000 claimer. Frisco is a 6 year-old Washington bred mare by Coast Guard out of Tango Twist by Kentucky Lucky and was bred by Cliff and Leslie Balcom. Frisco Frills is now 5-5-4 from 29 career starts and earned $13,965 to push her career earnings just shy of 100k at $99,348.

Race Replay

The rest of Friday night’s races

1st Race
In the opener a field of 6 3 year-olds and up went 1 mile and 70 yards and Alex Cruz won 7 last year including the finale on Sunday and picked up right there with a front running win with Paid in Full over Move Over with Allyssa Morales. Move Over at 5-1 cut the corner on 5-2 Paid in Full and the duo went head and head all the way to the finish line with Paid in Full getting the nod by a head. Favorite Creative Bid closed well for Karlo Lopez on Creative Bid to just miss the 2nd place finish by a neck and missed the win  by a neck and a head. 7-2 Shot of a Lifetime with Luis Reyes took 4th.

Paid in Full races for Rage #1 and trained by Joe Toye. Paid in Full returned $7.54, $4.18 and $3.22. The $1 exacta was $22.31, 50-cent trifecta $33.04 and the $1 superfecta $125.40. Paid in Full ran the 1 mile 70 yards in 1:39.29.

Race Replay

2nd Race
7 went 1 mile for 3 year-olds and up and a 5k claiming tag and 2nd choice Helen’s Sun at 3-1 broke 1st and set all the fractions of 23.75, 47.21 and 1:11.29 so very conservative splits seemingly leaving plenty for the stretch and it looked like that’s exactly what would happen as Karlo Lopez and Helen’s Sun had shaken all the pace to open up by 3 lengths at the top of the stretch.

Helen’s Sun just had to hold off the closers in 8-1 Warrens Candy Man with Alex Cruz and 6-1 Validate with Carlos Montalvo. Warren was closing on the outside and Validate was rolling on the rail but real estate was running out when Helen’s Sun began to tire very late and lugged out into the path of Warrens Candy Man which cost the 6 year-old all chance of catching Helen’s Sun at the wire. Warren also had to pull out the 2nd place finish over Validate and did so by just a nose otherwise Validate would have moved up to take 1st and Warren would have been 2nd.

The DQ is the 1st one that took down a winner this season and also gave the Emerald Racing Club their 1st win of the 2024 season. The E-R-C is a group of 144 owners who all invest $500 with Emerald Downs to experience what it’s like to be an owner of a thoroughbred. For more on the Emerald Racing Club and still time for you to sign up on this link.

The official order of finish was 1st place Warrens Candy Man, 2nd was Helen’s Sun, 3rd Validate and 4th went to Emperorofthenorth at 3-1 with Leslie Mawing.

The final time was 1:36.74 and the E-R-C are the winning owners with trainer Scott Tubbs picking up the win. Warren’s Candy Man paid a nice $18.76, $6.74 and $4.70. The $1 daily double of Cruz to Cruz paid $30.09 and the $1 superfecta $313.60.

3rd Race

Alex Cruz

7 starters traveled 6 furlongs in the 3rd and Alex Cruz kept his foot on the gas pedal winning his 3rd straight on Friday night and 4th straight race going back to Sunday when he brought 1-2 odds on choice Abraaj Mirage off the pace to roar past all of them in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:10.19. Abraaj Mirage is owned and trained by Billy Christian. The 5 year-old gelding is a Washington bred by Abraaj out of Jasmine’s Melody by Artax and was bred by Ron and Nina Hagen.

Prince of Luck with Kevin Krigger at 15-1 ran a good 2nd, 3-1 Upper Room with Kevin Orozco took 3rd and completing the superfecta Brony Boy and Leslie Mawing at 31-1. The big shots at 2nd and 4th helped raise the $1 superfecta to $202.70 and the all Alex Cruz pick 3 returned $24.11.

4th Race

The Hodges Oak Crest Farm

After 3 scratches 5 were left to contest the 6 furlongs in a 3 years-old and up for a $15,000 claimer. Race Track Announcer Tom Harris nailed this one with his pre-race pick going with the longest shot on the board Table Bay at 10-1. Karlo Lopez sat with Table Bay just off the front speed of Surroundedbyangels with Leslie Mawing at 3-1 and 3-1 Pirate Red with Carlos Montalvo. As the trio turned for home Table Bay rolled up on the outside and wore down the other two for the 1 length victory over Pirate Red who had cleared Surroundedbyangels by nearly 3 lengths for 3rd. 1-1 favorite J C’s a Legend with Kevin Orozco took 4th but never fired in this one.

Table Bay races for Oak Crest Farm and is trained by David Martinez and ran the 3/4’s mile in a swift 1:08.89. Table Bay is a 4 year-old gelding and Washington bred by Atta Boy Roy out of Cape Grace by Abraaj and was bred by the owners, Oak Crest Farm. The 1st pick 4 of the night paid $285,59 and Table Bat returned $23.98, $7.36 and $3.06 for the $2 across the board and the $20 combo ticket returned $317 for the $60 investment.

5th Race
We had our 1st DQ of a winner just 3 races ago and now the 2nd one of the night. It was nearly identical to the 1st DQ and frankly both pretty easy and correct calls by the stewards in both cases. Don’t Tell Hydee at 3-1 with Isaias Enriquez got 1st run entering the stretch of the 6 furlongs dash and only had 2-1 favorite Eyes for Gold with Jose Zunino to hold off to grab the win. But just like the in the 2nd race as they got to about the 100 yard mark Hydee took a right turn and pushed Eyes for Gold out about 4 lanes and she only lost by a head even with the interference. This made it easy to make the change as that interference clearly cost Eyes for Gold the win.

The official order of finish was 1st Eyes for Gold, 2nd Don’t Tell Hydee, 3rd was 7-2 Shelby Gold with Leslie Mawing and 4th place was 5-1 Fire Escape with Luis Reyes. Eyes for Gold is owned by Carl Petroff, Russell Nakagawa and David Lechmanik and trained by Frank Lucarelli. The 5 year-old is a Washington bred mare by Coast Guard out of Owhatablast by Olmodavor and was bred by Nina and Ron Hagen.

Race Replay

7th Race
In the finale it looked like there was going to be a clear winner twice and then it came down to a nose. Luis Reyes had 8-1 Grammy Winner in a perfect position around the far turn of the 1 mile run and cleared looking like a winner who was going to pull away for an easy win. However, 7-2 Blues Rapper with Allyssa Morales began a sustained run and gobbled up Grammy Winner by the 1/8th pole and they looked like were off to an easy win.

Allyssa Morales

Meantime, 5-1 Sport Coat with Carlos Montalvo appeared to be done but shifted to the outside of Blues Rapper and came running with a fury and just missed at the line by a nose as Blues Rapper held on in a runnig time of 1:37.58. 39-1 C Jaxon and Kiaman McGregor was 4th with 36-1 Subito Slew finished 5th with Leslie Mawing to complete the Super High 5.

Blues Rapper gave Morales her 2nd win and ended with a Morales daily double which paid $17.24. The 50-cent pick 5 returned $401.20, the pick 4 $190.89, the Super High 5 was not hit and carried over $2,264 while the 50-cent pick 6 paid it’s largest pay-off of the season at $5,900.25.

Miguel Hernandez owns and trains Blues Rapper, Hernandez also trains 2nd place Sport Coat for the $21.92 $1 Hernandez exacta. The 50-cent trifecta paid $68.53 and the 10-cent superfecta $128.61 or $1,286.10.

New and Notes

The total betting handle for Friday night was again solid at $784,960 or an average of $112,137 per race. There was 1 high pay-out of the season and it was the 50-cent Pick 6 of $5,900.25 which is still far short of the 23k 50-cent pick 5 for the top pay of the year. 2 betting favorites won on the night with an average $2 win pay of 7-2. The low pay was 1-2 Abraaj Mirage at $3.18 and the high was 10-1 Table Bay returning $23.98.


Alex Cruz won the opening 3 races which was 4 races in a row going back to the finale from Sunday. Over the past 4 days of racing Cruz has completed the superfecta with 2 wins last Friday night, 4 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday and 3 this Friday night. Over the past 7 racing days Cruz has 15 wins for a 2.14 win average per day. Cruz has also swept the opening 3 races twice in this run, last night and on Saturday, June 15. Cruz leads Karlo Lopez in the rider standings by 12 30-18. Lopez did get a win last night.

It was the 2nd Friday in a row that Cruz and Allyssa Morales had multiple wins. Cruz’s 3 wins and Morales doubled again with Frisco Frills and Blues Rapper. Both trained by Miguel Hernandez. Last week Morales won both races for trainer Jennifer Nunnally. Jose Zunino was the other rider who got a win on Friday night.

Isaias Enriquez and Karlo Lopez were the riders aboard both horses that won but were DQ’d by the stewards and placed 2nd. Both incidents were nearly identical and both were warranted. Both riders may face a fine or a suspension when they meet with the stewards to review the inicidents.


Miguel Hernandez

Miguel Hernandez had a big night with a pair of wins taking the late daily double and finishing 2nd in the 7th to complete the Hernandez exacta. Hernandez nearly tripled missing the win in the 1st by a head with Move Over just coming up short. His 5th start was Surroundedbyangels who ran 3rd in the 4th race. Hernandez’s final total for Friday night was 5 starts and a 2-2-1 record cashing out for $26,004, a pretty great night for Hernandez.

Joe Toye got another win as the Toye barn is beginning to heat up. Toye took the opener and has 3 wins over the past 4 days. David Martinez, Billy Christian, Anne Wisdom and Scott Tubbs also recorded victories.







1st Race
Creative Bid goes to new owners Rakoczy Racing and Justin Evans and will be trained by Evans for the claiming price of $10,000.
Shot of a Lifetime was taken by new owner Sue Gilmour and will be trained by James Gilmour for $10,000.
2nd Race
Emperorofthenorth was red tagged by Karen Clark, Jerry Ackerman and Anthony Lombardo and goes to trainer Frank Lucarelli for $5,000.
Helen’s Sun went to Terri Lynne and Tony Fox and Charles Weasel Head for trainer Justin Evans for 5k.
3rd Race
Abraaj Mirage was claimed by Lloyd David Irvine and goes to trainer Bob Bean for the claiming price of $2,500.
Upper Room was taken by Austin Evans and heads to the Justin Evans barn for $2,500.
4th Race
Pirate Red has new owners in Sharon and Gary Hendricks, Rick Root and Frank Enterante for trainer Frank Lucarelli for a $15,000 tag.
5th Race
Don’t Tell Hydee was claimed by the Rainier Racing Club and goes to trainer Scott Tubbs for a price of $5,000.
7th Race
Fayruz Tribute goes to Rancho La Taberna and new trainer Valentin Picho Garcia for the red tag cost of $5,000.



By paulb

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