Jebrica returns to sharp form Saturday to win the feature by 2-3/4 lengths
JEBRICA ROLLS IN RETURN, MILE COULD BE NEXT
AUBURN, Wash. (July 28, 2012) – Jebrica and jockey Juan Gutierrez rolled to a powerful 2-¾ length victory Saturday in the $21,000 allowance feature for older horses at Emerald Downs.
Trained by Jim Penney for Ron and Rosalie Warren of Olympia, Jebrica ran 6-½ furlongs in 1:14.77—second fastest for the distance at the meet—and paid $3.60 and $2.80.
Voted the track’s Top 3-Year-Old of 2011, Jebrica had been winless in two starts this year, including a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Handicap, but Saturday’s victory stamps the bay gelding as a contender in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, Aug. 19.
A 4-year-old by Liberty Gold-Peaceful Wings, Jebrica earned $11,550 to increase his bankroll to $195,812, most of which was earned last year via victories in the Emerald Derby and British Columbia Premiers Handicap (G3).
Assessment, ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, finished a game second while making his first start since November 26, 2011. The 2009 Longacres Mile champion dueled for the lead to mid-stretch and held on well after being overtaken by Jebrica. Assesment paid $3.80 to place.
It was 1-½ lengths back to Posse Power in third place, and Saratoga Boot finished fourth. Goggles McCoy was scratched earlier in the day.
Penney has trained a record five Longacres Mile winners including three at Emerald Downs, and said Jebrica would be pointed to the 77th running of the track’s premier event.
Gutierrez, who has ridden two Longacres Mile winners, rode three winners on the eight-race card and moved to a 65-62 lead over Leslie Mawing atop the jockeys’ standings. Mawing rode two winners Saturday and has at least one win on 18 straight cards. He needs four wins to reach 2,000 for his career.
NOTES: Eliska Kubinova rode Angel Unaware ($6.40) to a gate-to-wire victory in the sixth race and became only the second apprentice with 50 wins in a single-season at Emerald Downs. The 23-year-old Czech is on place to break Cassie Papineau’s apprentice record of 71 wins set in 2009…Trainers Bob Meeking and Neil Knapp each saddled winners and both remain red-hot. Knapp has won with six of his last nine starters while Meeking is seven for his last 12…Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2:15 p.m. The $50,000 Premio Esmeralda Stakes features eight 2-year-old colts and geldings over six furlongs. Scat Daddybaby is the 5-to-2 morning line favorite…It’s also Fiesta Premio Esmeralda and the first 3,000 paid admissions receive free T-shirts.