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Champali Lace takes derby day feature | Emerald Downs

Champali Lace edges clear of Clemens Brook in the feature race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.  - Courtey/Emerald Downs
Champali Lace edges clear of Clemens Brook in the feature race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
— image credit: Courtey/Emerald Downs

Of the bench and into the winner's circle; it's a formula Champali Lace has used to perfection time and again at Emerald Downs.

Saturday, the 6-year-old mare was up to her old tricks with a gate-to-wire victory over Clemens Brook in the $9,350 feature race for fillies and mares before a packed house on Kentucky Derby day.

Ridden by Ronald Richard, Champali Lace ran six furlongs in 1:11.78 on a fast track and paid $3.20 and $2.10. Junior Coffey is the trainer for owners K Bar J Stables Inc. and Al Rainwater.

The victory marked the fourth straight year that Champali Lace has won her season debut at Emerald Downs. She won by 3¾ lengths on April 9,2010, by one length May 13, 2011, and by 9 ¾ lengths on April 15,2012.

After Saturday's race, Coffey said, "(Champali Lace) has several problems, but not major ones."

A Kentucky-bred by Champali-Galileo's Star, Champali Lace is 8-for-13 at Emerald Downs and 10-for-19 overall, with earnings of $55,799.

Champali Lace took a short early lead while running the opening mile in :23.62, extended the margin around the turn after a half in :47.12, and gradually edged clear through the stretch.

Clemens Brook, with Juan Gutierrez riding, chased the winner fromflag-fall to finish, but settled for second and paid $2.40 for place.

Lady Aragorn and Debbie's Striker completed the order of finish; Montelena and Jadedite were scratched earlier in the day.

Although he came up short in the feature, Gutierrez managed a win on El Gran Bebe ($4.60) in race two and has at least one victory on all eight programs to date. Gutierrez owns a 14-9 lead over Isaias Enriquez in the jockeys' standings.

Notes

Enriquez and Ronald Richard each rode two winners on the nine-race card. ... Another prolific Emerald Downs' winner raced Saturday, as Olympic Lights ($4.20) notched his 15th Emerald Downs victory with a come-from-behind score under Isaias Enriquez in race seven. A 9-year-old gelding, Olympic Lights is No. 1 in wins among active horses and tied for fourth with Fleet Pacific on the all-time list. ... First-time starters Follow My Tracks ($12) and Belt finished one-two in the $17,850 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up, with Wasserman's little brother, Perfect Night, finishing third. The winner, who ran six furlongs in 1:10.83 for jockey David G. Lopez and trainer Jim Penney, is a full brother to $102,000 earner The Gang and I. ... The sixth race superfecta paid a meet-high $4,577.80, after 8-to-1 Guzzlingin rallied past 12-1 Adam N Ryan for the victory*Art McFadden, owner of Lady Aragron, third-place finisher in the Emerald Downs feature, scored a victory at Hollywood Park as Sudden Kick won Saturday's second race for trainer Kathy Walsh. ... Live racing continues today with first post 2:15 p.m. Carving is the 9-to-5 morning line favorite in the $21,000 allowance feature for 3-year-olds at six furlongs. Music of My Soul, Emerald Downs' Top Juvenile Male of 2012, is 5-2, while Really Mr Greely (3-1), Boyett(5-1) and Mike Man's Gold (5-1) round out the field.

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