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Until You takes thriller; Belvoir saddles 4 winners | Emerald Downs
Until You continued his winning ways Saturday at rainy Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Javier Matias, Until You held off Rocky's Quest in a driving finish for a head victory in the $22,575 allowance feature for 3-year-olds and up. The winner ran one mile in 1:35.53 on a sloppy track and paid $8.20, $3.60 and $2.60.
It was the third win in four starts at the meeting for the 4-year-old Jazil gelding - including two straight one-mile allowance triumphs - and raised his lifetime mark to 4-0-1 in 11 starts with earnings of $87,086. Owner-breeder Barbara Ratcliff said in the Winner's Circle that Until You would return to Emerald Downs in 2014 and compete toward a start in the Longacres Mile.
Until You and Rocky's Quest battled head-and-head from flag-fall to finish, with Until You counter-punching after Rocky's Quest forged a short lead past mid-stretch. The winner is trained by David Martinez, who was honored Saturday as co-winner of the 2013 Martin Durkan Award for leadership, cooperation, sportsmanship and excellence on and off the track.
Rocky's Quest, ridden by Julien Couton, ran a smasher to finish in second place, and paid $4.20 and $2.80. The 5-year-old gelding has finished first, second or third in 15-of-17 starts at Emerald Downs.
Jebrica, ridden by Leonel Camacho-Flores, rallied strongly to finish third and paid $2.60. The 5-year-old gelding is being pointed to the$100,000 BC Premiers (G3C) at Hastings Racecourse on Monday, October 14.
Somewhere With You, also trained by Martinez and owned by Coal Creek Farm, finished fourth, followed by Winning Machine and I Keep Saying.
In the $22,575 allowance co-feature for older fillies and mares, Cielator ($3) ran six furlongs in a meet-fastest 1:07.83 and held off multiple stakes winner Exclusive Diva for a 1¾-length victory under Ronald Richard. A 5-year-old Delineator mare trained by Junior Coffey and owned by Ron Crockett, Cielator is 5-2-0 in nine starts lifetime with earnings of $82,369.
Howard Belvoir became only the second trainer this season to win four races on a card - compiling a 4-2-0 record in six starts - including victories by Dark Heat ($6.40), Advancement ($10.20), Royal Shrine ($7.60) and Forin Sea ($12.20). Notching his second career four-bagger at Emerald Downs - the first was Sept. 6, 1999 - Belvoir jumped into sixth place in the trainers' standings with 28 wins. ... Chris Stenslie on April 20 also had a four-win day this season. Jim Penney, Doris Harwood and Tim McCanna share the track record of five wins in one day. ...
Jeff Metz got a victory with Man Chester Man ($5.60) in race seven and leads Frank Lucarelli 41-39 heading into Sunday's closing day program. Metz has six horses entered and Lucarelli four on the 11-race card. ... Jennifer Whitaker, Javier Matias, and David G. Lopez rode two winners each Saturday. ... Isaias Enriquez, who clinched the 2013 riding title Friday, had one win Saturday to boost his season total to 98. Enriquez has mounts in all 11 races Sunday and needs two wins to reach the century mark. ... J Mancuso ($4.40) scored an easy victory in Saturday's 350-yard opener for Quarter Horses, capping a sensational season for trainer Juan Sanguino, who saddled the winner in 10-of-25 Quarter Horse events at the meet. ...
Julien Couton, in town to pinch-hit for Juan Gutierrez aboard Chu and You and Del Rio Harbor in Sunday's Cahill Road Stakes and Gottstein Futurity, rode Sotally Tober ($4) to victory in Saturday's nightcap. ... Congratulations to Faustino "Coco" Lopez of the Blaine Wright stable for honors as Emerald Downs 2013 Exercise Rider of the Year. Lopez was honored in a ceremony Saturday in the Quarter Chute Café. ... Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2 p.m. on closing day. The 11-race card features a stakes doubleheader for 2-year-olds - $75,000 Gottstein Futurity at 1 1/16 miles and $50,000 Cahill Road Stakes at six furlongs. ... Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day with $1 admission, $1 parking, $1 program and $1 concession items.