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MailTribune.com
  • Winning Attitude

    Eye Opening Attitude, trainer Hector Magallanes take Firecracker Futurity
  • GRANTS PASS — Trainer Hector Magallanes wasn't surprised when Eye Opening Attitude showed some attitude prior to the running of the $31,100 Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass Downs Friday.
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    • Firecracker futurity
      what: The 23rd running of the 350-yard sprint for eight 2-year-old quarter horses.
      • recap: Eye Opening Attitude rallies from the outside to win by a neck with a time of 17.74 seconds.
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        Firecracker futurity
        what: The 23rd running of the 350-yard sprint for eight 2-year-old quarter horses.

        • recap: Eye Opening Attitude rallies from the outside to win by a neck with a time of 17.74 seconds.
        • purse: $31,100, with $12,440 to the winner.
    • GRANTS PASS — Trainer Hector Magallanes wasn't surprised when Eye Opening Attitude showed some attitude prior to the running of the $31,100 Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass Downs Friday.
      The dark gray filly was as ornery as could be when co-owner Tryn Espelien was leading the quarter horse around the paddock and made it difficult for jockey Jose Antonio Figueroa just to get into the saddle.
      But once the eight-horse field left the gate, Eye Opening Attitude changed demeanor. Under the direction of the veteran jockey, the spirited 2-year-old broke to the outside from the far post position, veered back toward the center of the track over halfway down the straightaway and sprinted to a victory by a neck over Fierce Dymand in a time of 17.74 seconds for the 350-yard dash.
      "She broke pretty good but started to lug out," said Figueroa. "I saw a horse on the inside was on the lead. When I switched my stick, my horse found another gear the last 150 yards."
      Magallanes, who registered his second consecutive victory in the rich Fourth of July futurity at GP Downs, credited the 27-year-old Figueroa with being prepared after the two discussed pre-race strategy.
      "She's like that every race, she's a difficult filly," said Magallanes. "We talked and set up a game plan. You need a skilled rider with the 2-year-olds. (Figueroa) saw it coming and did his job.
      "She picked the right race to break her maiden," added Magallanes. "It was her lucky day."
      Eye Opening Attitude — the second fastest qualifier — had two thirds and a second in three career starts and was awarded with $12,440 for the victory.
      Jockey Matthew Werner-Hagerty got longshot L Bar D Sweet Fantsy to the front out of the gate but the brown filly faded and finished fifth.
      "I had the lead for about 225 yards," said Werner-Hagerty, "but when she threw her head back it cost us."
      Diva B Gone, the race favorite and fastest qualifier, got caught in traffic from the beginning and was never a factor with a seventh-place performance.
      "I thought she got a bad start," said owner and trainer Pedro Madrigal, last year's winning owner. "She got bumped and never had time to catch up."
      Diva B Gone is a half-sister to the 2013 winner Eagle B Gone.
      It was a good day for the 32-year-old winning trainer from Boardman. Magallanes, who had four horses in the field, also captured second place when Fierce Dymand held on for a runner-up finish.
      Magallanes explained Eye Opening Attitude was caught in the deeper part of the racing surface on the far outside of the track early in the race: "She was struggling with her footing. When (Figueroa) switched the stick in his hand, she found a better part of the track and took off."
      Magallanes purchased Eye Opening Attitude for $11,000 as a yearling for owners Espelien and Jorge Hernandez at the Pacific Coast Equine sale in Southern California in October 2013.
      "Her looks caught my attention," said Magallanes, who became only the second trainer to win the biggest race of the season at GP Downs in back-to-back years. "I liked the way she was put together and I liked her pedigree."
      Trainer Baxter Andruss won three straight futurities from 1993-1995 in the 24-year history of the race. The futurity was rained out in 1992.
      Taking the top two spots was more than Magallanes expected.
      "That was a bonus," said Magallanes. "We were lucky just to win it. I need time to let it sink in and enjoy it."
      Track Tidbits
      • In the $4,000 Firecracker Futurity Consolation, Pablo Madrigal's Hes A Bugin finished first with a faster time (17.67) than futurity winner Eyes Opening Attitude (17.74). Madrigal took home $2,200 for the victory.
      • Jockey Matthew Werner-Hagerty won three races Friday. Werner-Hagerty's wins in the fifth and eighth races were both for trainer Judi Yearout.
      • In the eighth race, Swiss Ace recorded his second victory at GP Downs this season, his fifth win overall at the track and his 20th career win.
      • The $9,316 wagered on the Firecracker was the most bet on any single race this season.
      Friday's attendance of 3,805 and handle of $52,698 were both up from a year ago but trailed Father's Day in both categories (3,850/$54,082).
      Today and Sunday complete the nine-day racing season at GP Downs.
      Today any fan wearing a fedora hat will get in for free in honor of local legend Don Jackson.
      Fan Appreciation Day will be celebrated on Sunday. There will be drawing for prizes after each race.
      The final day card has three big races. The Grants Pass Derby, the Bob Barney Best of All Breeds and the Au Revoir stakes race.
      The derby for 3-year-old quarter horses has a $7,300 purse — second largest of the meet.
      The Bob Barney Best of All Breeds has three thoroughbreds and three quarter horses going 600 yards with a purse over $6,000. The race is dedicated to Barney, a deceased long-time local horseman.
      The Au Revoir — the final race of the season — is for thoroughbreds going one mile and one-sixteenth with a $3,850 purse.
      Friday's Results
      FIRST RACE
      TB Mdn, 51/2 F. 1, That's a Bingo (M. Werner-Hagerty), 5.60, 3.20, 2.60; 2, Always Untouchale (H. Martinez), 3.80, 2.60; 3, Mr Cougar Gold (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 2.80. Q — 2-5 $9.20; EX — 5-2 $9.90; TRI — 5-2-4 $13.30. Time — 1:07.93.
      SECOND RACE
      TB Clm, 51/2 F. 1, Suesawme (J. Samuels), 3.60, 2.60, 2.60; 2, Spicy Formula (H. Martinez), 3.40, 2.80; 3, Scherandero (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 3.00. Q — 2-4 $5.40; EX — 4-2 $2.80; TRI — 4-2-5 $11.70. Time — 1:06.81.
      THIRD RACE
      TB Clm, 51/2 F. 1, Boundary Lane (K. Guglielmino), 4.40, 2.60, 2.20; 2, Dawn's Wild One (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 2.60, 2.20; 3, Alltheway Heather (M. Werner-Hagerty), 2.40. Q — 2-5 $5.80; EX — 5-2 $4.20; TRI — 5-2-3 $7.40; DD — 4-5 $4.60. Time 1:06.92.
      FOURTH RACE
      QH Fut Con, 350 yd. 1, Hes a Bugin (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 5.20, 2.60, 2.80; 2, Beduin Flights (J. Madrigal), 3.20, 3.00; 3, Little Blitzen (J. Samuels), 3.60. Q — 3-5 $6.20; EX — 5-3 $7.60; TRI — 5-3-4 $13.60. Time — :17.67.
      FIFTH RACE
      TB Clm, 5 F. 1, Impulzive Kate (M. Werner-Hagerty), 5.20, 4.60, 2.80; 2, Fly Pole (K. Guglielmino), 8.00, 3.40; 3, My Secret Weapon (J. Antonio Figueroa), 2.40. Q — 1-5 $22.80; EX — 1-5 $17.80; TRI — 1-5-4 $43.20; Pick 3 — 5-5-1 $12.50. Time — 1:00.16.
      SIXTH RACE
      TB Clm, 61/2 F. 1, Miss Seamless (J. Guerrero), 13.20, 3.80, 2.60; 2, Tommy's Pick (J. Samuels), 3.00, 2.20; 3, Notes of Freedom (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 3.20. Q — 2-6 $16.00; EX — 2-6 $9.50; TRI — 2-6-1 $123.90. Time 1:24.31.
      SEVENTH RACE
      QH Fut, 350 yd. 1, Eye Opening Attitude (J. Antonio Figueroa), 7.40, 3.40, 3.00; 2, Fierce Dymand (J. Madrigal), 5.40, 3.00; 3, Cops R Zoomin (E. Aceves), 3.20. Q — 4-8 $16.80; EX — 8-4 $19.50; TRI — 8-4-6 $80.00. Time — 17.74.
      EIGHTH RACE
      TB Clm 5 F. 1, Swiss Ace (M. Werner-Hagerty), 4.40, 3.40, 3.20; 2, JJ's Gypsy (A. Cruickshank), 4.60, 2.80; 3, Guzzlingin (J. Guerrero), 3.20. Q — 2-5 $14.80; EX — 2-5 $12.10; TRI — 2-5-1 $40.80; Pick 3 — 2-8-2 $34.40; DD — 8-2 $19.60. Time — 1:00.60.
      Attendance — 3,805; Handle — $52,698.
      Reach reporter Frank Silow at 541-776-4480 or by email at fsilow@mailtribune.com.
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