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Mister Breeze captures feature on the Fourth | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
Mister Breeze was too fast for his foes Friday at Emerald Downs.
Sent to the early lead by jockey Rocco Bowen, the 3-year-old gelding held off even-money betting favorite Spit and Shine for a 1¾-length victory in the featured $12,700 Les Schwab Purse for 3-year-olds.
Mister Breeze ran 6½ furlongs in 1:15.52 and paid $15.20, $3.80 and $3. Alan Bozell is the winning owner, breeder and trainer.
Spit and Shine, ridden by Jose Zunino, chased the winner home but settled for second place, and paid $2.80 and $2.60.
Moony Moony, ridden by Ronald Richard, rallied for third place and paid $4.60 to show. Birdsone, Stormin Parker and Tribal Mystic completed the order of finish.
The victory on Mister Breeze capped a three-win day for Bowen, second in the jockeys' standings with 39 wins. The 25-year-old jockey, who rides unbeaten Stopshoppingdebbie in Sunday's $50,000 Boeing Handicap, had been mired in a 1-for-25 slump before Friday's triple.
Bozell, meanwhile, is enjoying his finest season at Emerald Downs, compiling 10 wins from 43 starts and his average $2 win payoff – a nifty $13.60 – leads all trainers in the top 10. Mr. Top Kat, a 5-year-old ridgling owned and trained by Bozell, won his third straight race last Sunday, and is one of only three horses with four wins at the meet.
Mister Breeze is now a two-time winner at the meet, and Friday's win, worth $6,985, pushed the gelding's earnings to $19,885. A Washington-bred by Hampton Bay-Skylar May, Mister Breeze has a career mark of 3-1-1 in eight starts.
Washington Hall of Fame trainer Jim Penney celebrated his 80th birthday in style Friday, saddling City Shadows ($3.60) and Square Jimmer to a one-two finish in the fifth race. Born July 4, 1934, in Portland, Ore., Penney ranks third at the meet with 9 wins and No. 4 all-time with 618 wins. City Shadows, a 3-year-old City Zip gelding, continues a remarkable run for owners Paul Heist and Jack Fabulich (Where We At), who are now 7-0-1 in their last eight starts including a stakes win by Find Your Spot. ... Speaking of octogenarian trainers, congratulations to 86-year-old Bob Meeking for a 2-for-2 Fourth of July, saddling Chrissy's Wedding ($20.20) to a four-length victory in race two and Popular Pick ($10.60) to a nose victory in race four. ... Live racing continues Saturday with first post 2 p.m.