He’s Not Grey would not be denied Saturday as Emerald Downs’ began its 24th season of live racing under mostly sunny skies.
The 67-day meeting continues through Sept. 22 and includes 27 stakes highlighted by the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Aug. 11.
In the featured Muckleshoot Casino Purse, He’s Not Grey continued his winning ways with a two-length victory under jockey Gary Wales, zipping 5½ furlongs in 1:02.72 and returning $8.60, $4.40 and $4. Candice Cryderman is the winning trainer for owner John Parker of Lake Bay.
A 4-year-old California-bred by Slew’s Tiznow, He’s Not Grey has won four straight races, including three straight to end the 2018 season. The gray gelding is 5-1-1 in nine career starts with earnings of $55,447, including a victory in the 2017 Emerald Downs’ Express.
Parker – who hopes to threaten the single-season owner’s record of 27 wins set by Swag Stables in 2009 – has either won or tied for leading owner the last three years at Emerald Downs.
Hustled to the lead by Wales, He’s Not Grey set fractions of :22.07, :44.63 and :56.48, opened a 2 ½-length lead into the stretch, and held off a late bid from Bob’s All In for the victory,
Bob’s All In, ridden by Kevin Orozco, rallied strongly in the stretch for second and paid $7.80 and $5.20. Guardingthemoney, ridden by Jose Zunino, held third and paid $11 to show, while Wine At Nine, Iron Rob, Levitation and Remembertobreathe completed the order of finish.
Tumac Mountain ($6.60) and Patrick Henry Jr. led gate to wire in the 2019 season opener for Clemans View Racing No. 3 and trainer Jose Navarro. The winner is a 4-year-old Washington-bred Atta Boy Roy gelding. … Newcomer Franklin Ceballos scored his first Emerald Downs’ win aboard Hejustkeepsgiving ($7.60) in race three for Chris Randall, Nick Rossi and trainer Frank Lucarelli. Lucarelli, Emerald Downs’ all-time leader with 947 wins, saddled three winners opening day including a pair owned by Chad Christensen: Das Bear ($3.40) and Flat Out Fine ($5.60). … Jorge Carreno, who last rode here in 2003, guided Party for One to a $33.20 upset in race seven. A 6-year-old Desert Party gelding, Party for One won eight races last year en route to honors as WTBOA Top Plater of 2018. … Henry and Gary Wales rode two winners each on the nine-race card. … Live racing resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27.