Jasmine’s Melody powered to the lead in mid-stretch and drew off for a nearly four-length victory Saturday in the feature race for fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
It was the second win in eight days for the 4-year-old filly and her sixth this season, tying her with Panatela for most wins by a horse at the 2009 meeting.
With Gallyn Mitchell riding, Jasmine’s Melody ran six furlongs in 1 minute, 10 2/5 seconds on a good track and paid $5, $3 and $2.40. Doris Harwood is the trainer for owner Frank Gaunt. It was an important win for Harwood, now tied with Tim McCanna for first place in the trainers’ standings at 57 wins each.
K Lea Road, ridden by Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo, finished well to take second place and returned $5.60 and $4.20. Pete’s Glory Girl, a 19-1 long shot ridden by birthday girl Cassie Papineau, finished third and paid $3.40.
Carrie’s Choice, the 7-5 betting favorite, dueled with This September to the head of the stretch and gave way to finish fourth.
A Pennsylvania-bred by Artax, Jasmines Melody has won three straight races, including a Sept. 11 dead-heat with Panatela, and those two fillies are contenders for the meet’s Top Claimer honor. Divisional champions will be announced next week on closing weekend of the 91-day season.
Harwood, in the midst of a record-setting season, figures in the running for both leading trainer (most wins) and Top Training Achievement. She leads with 11 stakes wins and has set single-season records in earnings with over $880,000 and most wins by 2 year-olds with 19.
While the trainers’ race figures will go to the wire, the jockeys’ race is all but wrapped up. The only question is whether or not Ricky Frazier will break the single-season record of 157 wins. Saturday, Frazier won the seventh race on Solex Sisters ($10.20) for his 150th victory of the season—he needs eight wins in the final five days for the record.
• Trainer Vince Gibson had a two-for-two day including a $58 upset with My Blue Heart in the sixth race.
• Congratulations to veteran rider Connie Doll for the nose victory on My Blue Heart. A leading rider on the Washington fair circuit this summer, Doll had been winless in 24 previous mounts this season at Emerald Downs.
• Cassie Papineau celebrated her 22nd birthday with a gate-to-wire victory on Shes a Go Go Girl ($7) in the fifth race. The winningest apprentice in Emerald Downs history with 65 wins, Papineau plans to ride this winter at Turf Paradise in Phoenix.
• Racing continues Sunday with first post at 2 p.m.