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    Emerald Downs Wrap, Sunday, May 5


    AUBURN, Wash. (May 5, 2013) – A double stakes winner for trainer Bob Baffert in California, Carving turned in a sparkling performance in his Emerald Downs debut Sunday for trainer Mike Puhich and owner Pegasus Syndicate #4.

    With Javier Matias riding at 118 lbs. Carving collared 2012 state champion 2-year-old Music of My Soul in mid-stretch and notched a 1 1/2-length victory in the $21,000 allowance feature for 3-year-olds colts and geldings.

    Carving ran six furlongs in 1:09.74 on a fast track and paid $3, $2.20 and $2.10.

    “He’s going to be a fun horse for us up here,” Puhich said. “It’s going to be a fun summer and he’s going to be really competitive. Who knows, we might take a shot (against older horses) in the Longacres Mile.”

    Carving nearly was shipped to Kentucky this week for the Kentucky Derby, but with no guarantee of getting into the race, the connections elected to remain home and run at Emerald Downs. Carving would have been the second also eligible in Saturday’s 139th Run for the Roses won by Orb.

    “I’m just glad my good friend Shug McGaughey won it, because I would have hated to unseat him yesterday,” Puhich joked in the winner’s circle.

    Speaking of the Longacres Mile, the connections of 2012 winner Taylor Said—Puhich and North American Thoroughbred Horse Company—also won Sunday’s $15,850 sub-feature, as Awesome Plan ($11.80) held off Perfect Pie by a neck in 1:10.05 for six furlongs.

    The star of the show, however, was Carving, a Kentucky-bred son of Any Given Saturday who took down last year’s C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes at Fairplex Park and the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park. Previously owned by Natalie Baffert and Olympic and World Champion alpine skier Bode Miller, the colt was sold privately to the Pegasus Syndicate headed by Dr. Mark Dedomenico of Redmond.

    Last early in the four-horse field, Carving got a perfect run inside, saving ground throughout, caught Music of My Soul a furlong from the wire and edged clear. Carving is 4-0-0 in eight career starts with earnings of $183,700, including $11,550 for Sunday’s victory.

    Racing for the first time since a win in the Gottstein Futurity last September, Music of My Soul turned in a big effort in his 2013 debut. The Harbor the Gold gelding was part of a three-horse pace duel with Boyett and Mike Man’s Gold—they raced three across the track in :22.32 for the quarter-mile and :45.45 for the half—and then held on well to the finish.

    Ridden by David G. Lopez, Music of My Soul paid $3 and $2.10.

    It was 4 ¼ lengths back to Boyett in third place and Mike Man’s Gold finished fourth. Really Mr Greely was scratched.

    Sunday's race was a prep for the $50,000 Auburn Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on Sunday, June 2.

    Javier Matias and Carving win Sunday's feature race

    A 4-year-old California-bred, Awesome Plan was claimed for $20,000 late last year and came off the bench to run in a $40,000 optional claimer last month at Hastings Racecourse…Javier Matias rode three winners and moved into fourth place with nine wins…Rocco Bowen rode two winners and is tied with Isaias Enriquez for second at 10 wins apiece…With a victory on Kaitlyn’s Song ($5.20) in race seven, Juan Gutierrez continued his streak of riding at least one winner on all nine cards to date. Gutierrez leads the standings with 15 wins…Chris Stenslie leads Jeff Metz 10-8 in the trainers’ standings…Saturday’s mutuel handle of $2,221,949 was up 3.4 percent from last year and the largest Kentucky Derby day handle at Emerald Downs since 2009…Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:45 p.m.


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