Orlando Xpress holds off He's a Cruiser to win Monday's feature race
’XPRESS LEADS ALL THE WAY ON MEMORIAL DAY
AUBURN, Wash. (May 28, 2012) – Orlando Xpress prevailed in a pace duel with He’s a Cruiser and scored a half-length victory Monday in the featured Cascade Coffee Purse for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs.
With Rocco Bowen riding, Orlando Xpress ran six furlongs in 1:09.49 and paid $7.80, $3.80 and $2.40. Doris Harwood is the trainer for owners Vital Signs Stables.
He’s a Cruiser, ridden by Gallyn Mitchell, challenged the winner throughout but settled for second place and paid $3.60 and $2.60.
Stevie Z, the 8-to-5 favorite ridden by Debbie Hoonan, finished 2-¾ lengths back in third and paid $2.10 to show. Expenses Paid and Showboat Gambler completed the order of finish.
Adding blinkers after a fourth-place finish on May 5, Orlando Xpress led by a head while setting fractions of :22.41 and :44.95, maintained a head advantage into the stretch and then out finished He’s a Cruiser in a prolonged drive.
“The blinkers sharpened him and made a huge difference,” said Bowen, a 23-year-old native of Barbados riding his first season at Emerald Downs.
A Washington-bred gelding by Raise the Bluff-Just Call Me Grace, Orlando Xpress showed good promise as a 2-year-old including a third-place finish to champion 2-year-old Chu and I in the Strong Ruler Stakes. Orlando Xpress has a 2-1-3 mark in seven starts with earnings of $20,568.
NOTES: 2011 Longacres Mile winner Awesome Gem ($8) inherited the victory in the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap (G3) when first-place finisher Positive Response was disqualified and placed fourth for interference in the stretch run at Golden Gate Fields. Awesome Gem earned $60,000 to increase his bankroll to $2,821,370, making the 9-year-old gelding the leading active earner in North America. Gallant Son, ridden by Russell Baze, finished seventh in the field of eight 3-year-olds and up. Positive Response, ridden by Julien Couton, ran 1-1/8 miles in 1:45.82 but was taken down for fouling Anthony’s Cross in the final furlong…Congratulations to owner-breeder John Lindley as She’s a Time Bomb ($5.60) came off a 10-month break to notch a 2-½-length victory in the fifth race, a $1 7,000 maiden special weight at six furlongs. Lindley, whose Parker’s Picks is the exclusive tip sheet at Emerald Downs, bred Da Stoops to First Star I See to produce She’s a Time Bomb. The 3-year-old filly finished second last year in her lone starts as a 2-year-old…William Antongeorgi and Leonel Camacho-Flores rode two winners each on the nine-race card…Through seven weeks of racing, Juan Gutierrez leads Eliska Kubinova 23-22 in the riders’ standings, with Joe Crispin and Camacho-Flores tied for third with 21 wins apiece. Antongeorgi finished the week with six wins and is fifth with 20 wins while defending champion Leslie Mawing is sixth with 16…Trainer Vince Gibson finished first and second with Mufaajy and Buds a Flyin in the third race. A 5-year-old Cherokee Run gelding, Mufaajy has finished first, second or third in 11 of 13 starts at Emerald Downs…Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6 p.m.