Glenn doubles his pleasure in the Far West
By FRANK SILOWGRANTS PASS Trainer Jim Glenn Jr. won the $42,570Far West Futurity at Grants Pass Downs on Friday not with one horse, butwith two.
Glenn, with five entries in the eight-horse field, had a pair of hisrunners tie for the victory in the first dead heat in the seven-year historyof Oregon's biggest quarter-horse event.
The Far West is divided into two divisions, with the first leg contestedat GPD on July 4. The second leg is held at Portland Meadows in December.
Barry Bandito, with Keith Rough in the saddle, caught Gaining Fame, riddenby Javier Ortega, about 10 yards from the finish line to split $25,542,the combined total of the first and second place share of the purse.
Gaining Fame took the lead at midway in the 350-yard race from bettingfavorite West Coast Cash. Barry Bandito came on fast on the outer part ofthe track to secure the tie.
Not only did Glenn have the top two finishers in the Far West, but the32-year-old Yoncalla trainer claimed the first four spots. Glenn also wonthe $3,700 Far West Consolation, earlier on the card with Wouldn't Harmafly.
It's been a successful two weeks for Glenn at GPD. The former jockeywon five qualifying heats on June 21 to give him eight victories in hisonly two days of racing at GPD this season.
Gee, I should have brought a few more horses down and I might havecome out of here as the leading trainer, joked Glenn.
Glenn's jocular mood after the race was a far contrast to his dazed statetwo years ago when he entered the Far West with the fastest qualifier, KristinsBaby, and two other entries. Kristins Baby finished second but came up lamein the race, while the two other horses also suffered injuries in the sprint.
In horse racing, the highs are high and the lows are so low,said Glenn. This business will humble you in a minute.
For jockey Ortega, his first trip to Grants Pass was well worth it, eventhough he will probably be fined for not riding Friday at Emerald Downsin the Seattle area. Not only did Ortega share the Far West victory, buthe also won the consolation.
Ortega was contacted about riding Gaining Fame on Thursday because thescheduled jockey, Eddie Garcia, had a conflict and had to cancel his mountin the Far West.
I decided to come down anyway, said Ortega, who already hadbeen announced on horses for Friday's card at Emerald Downs. BobbyWebb told me I had a good shot.
Glenn, who was at the starting gate, was worried about the way one ofhis horses was acting prior to the start of the race.
Gaining Fame was awkward at the gate, said Glenn, andwas plumb down. He was all screwed up. I don't how he got out of there sogood. He's just very athletic.
Ortega said the big colt broke a little slow, but got into full stridesoon after leaving the gate from the No. 2 post position.
He was a little nervous, said Ortega. He respondedto everything I asked from him.
West Coast Cash, who placed third, broke first out of the gate down thecenter of the track. The Glenn-trained filly held the lead for the firsthalf of the race.
I had a length on the field at one point, said jockey Webb,but she got a little sore.
The surprise horse was the 3-1 shot Barry Bandito, the fourth fastestqualifier.
Rough qualified Tamberly for the futurity, but switched to Barry Banditowhen Glenn offered the mount to the 38-year-old Grants Pass jockey.
I just caught him the last few jumps, said Rough. Ithink I would have won if my horse hadn't ducked in right at the wire.
But for Glenn, having two winners was even better than one.