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Rocky's Quest wins thriller | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
Rocky's Quest simply would not be denied Saturday at Emerald Downs.
The classy 6-year-old gelding held on bravely and scored a nose victory over Fist Full of Green in the $14,800 feature race for 3-year-olds and up.
Ridden by Rocco Bowen, Rocky's Quest ran one mile in 1:35.83 and paid $4.80, $2.80 and $2.20. Blaine Wright is the winning trainer for owners John and Janene Maryanski of Auburn.
Fist Full of Green, ridden by Eliska Kubinova, battled tooth and nail the length of the stretch with Rocky's Quest, and just missed the victory. The longest shot on the board at 14-to-1, Fist Full of Green paid $7 and $3.60.
Fist Full of Green's trainer lodged an objection against the winner, alleging interference in the stretch, but the stewards disallowed the claim of foul.
Assessment, with Gallyn Mitchell riding, finished third and paid $2.80.
Somewhere With You, Songandabullet and Tale Spinner completed the order of finish; Hard Slider and Posse Power were scratched earlier in the day.
A Kentucky-bred by Rockport Harbor-Silver Echo, Rocky's Quest has been a top competitor for several years including a sensational 2012 meet, when he won five races and was voted Top Claimer. For his career, Rocky's Quest is 10-for-27 with earnings of $137,310.
Hustled to the lead from the No. 1 post-position, Rocky's Quest led through fractions of :24.13, :47.71, and 1:11.34. Fist Full of Green advanced to challenge the leader into the lane, and from there it was a virtual match race, the two foes racing in tight quarters and exchanging bumps in a prolonged drive.
Wright and the Maryanskis had two wins Saturday as 3-year-old gelding Can't Get Enough ($3.20) romped to a four-length victory in race five. ... Bowen and Isaias Enriquez rode two winners each on the eight-race card. ... Leading rider Leslie Mawing had one win and leads Bowen 78-58 in the jockeys' race. ... The top two riders have important mounts Sunday as Mawing rides 5-to-2 morning line favorite Stryker Phd in the $200,000 Longacres Mile and Bowen rides 2-to-5 morning line favorite Stopshoppingdebbie in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff. ... In Saturday's second race for maiden special weight 2-year-old fillies, regally bred Herculette ($4.20) debuted with an 8¾-length victory in 1:09.34 for six furlongs. A $230,000 Kentucky-bred by Indian Charlie-Seattle Shimmer, Herculette has the same connections as Stopshoppingdebbie*owner Northwest Farms, trainer Tom Wenzel and jockey Rocco Bowen. ... Emerald Racing Club's Dancing Yodeler finished fourth in the seventh race, a $6,400 starter allowance won by Southern Solution ($26.60). In six starts for Emerald Racing Club, Dancing Yodeler has two wins, one second, one third, one fourth, and one eighth, with earnings of $9,745. ... Mr. Leroy ($7.60) prevailed by a head in the Saturday opener to give trainer Robert Lawrence his first win of the meet. ... Live racing continues Sunday with an 11-race program featuring the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3). First post is 2 p.m.