Grand Palais and Erick Lopez dominate Sunday’s feature race at Emerald Downs. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO

Grand Palais and Erick Lopez dominate Sunday’s feature race at Emerald Downs. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO

Grand Palais is razor sharp in season debut

  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:28pm
  • Sports

Grand Palais took control early and powered home for a three-length victory Sunday in the $11,200 feature race for 3-year-old and up at Emerald Downs.

With Erick Lopez riding, Grand Palais covered six furlongs in 1:09.03 and paid $5.60, $3.20 and $3 as the betting favorite. Blaine Wright, bidding for his third straight title in 2018, is the winning trainer for owners John and Janene Maryanski of Auburn, Wash.

Breaking from the No. 1 post-position, Grand Palais slipped through inside to gain command on the backstretch, set fractions of :21.93, :44.38 and :56.33, opened a 3½-length lead into the lane and proved much the best.

A 6-year-old gray by Grand Slam, Grand Palais began his career with a pair of races at Woodbine in Toronto before coming west in 2016. The Florida-bred gelding has performed exceptionally well at Emerald Downs, compiling a 3-3-1 record from eight starts with earnings of $37,887. His overall mark is 4-6-3 from 18 starts with $66,022.

Sorryaboutnothing, ridden by Eswan Flores, rallied strongly to finish second and paid $4.80 and $3.60, and long shot Italian Warrior finished third with Gary Wales aboard and paid $7.80.

Doctor Bruce S., Mitch and John E, Oldtimers Vision, Ontheshadyside and My Chief completed the order of finish. Alley Boss was scratched earlier in the day.

Notes

Sandi Gann, who rode 194 winners at Emerald Downs, saddled her first winner here as a trainer as Choreography ($4) led gate-to-wire in the $18,500 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds, running 5½ furlongs in 1:03.58. Owned by North American Thoroughbred Racing Co., Choreography is the sixth winning foal out of $276,000 earner Silver Crown. … Gann and North American Thoroughbred Racing Co. also finished second with Sorryaboutnothing in the feature race. … Trainer Jack McCartney is off to blazing start, winning with his first three starters before finishing third with Brilliant Mike in the Sunday finale. McCartney won Saturday’s fourth race with Outdidya ($18.40) and doubled Sunday with Dudley Studley ($21) and Wups ($15.60). … Frank Lucarelli also had a pair of winners Sunday and is taking aim at Tim McCanna’s all-time Emerald Downs mark of 926 wins. Lucarelli has 908 Emerald Downs’ victories, and also is less than $100,000 away from becoming the track’s first $10,000,000 trainer. … Austin Solis rode three winners Sunday. … Through three days of live racing, Rocco Bowen leads with six wins, followed by Solis and Kevin Orozco with four wins apiece. … Racing resumes Saturday with first post 2 p.m. and includes a $4,466 carryover in the $0.20 Jackpot Pick 7. Saturday action also includes simulcast wagering on the 144th Kentucky Derby.

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