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Quarter horses shine in Futurity trials

GRANTS PASS — Eight quarter horses blazed their way into the $30,000 Firecracker Futurity on Father's Day at Grants Pass Downs Sunday.

They were led by EZ Feisty Patriot, who went 350 yards in 18.065 seconds with Ruben Camacho aboard. The black filly is owned by Gary Chumbley and trained by Scott Raley.

"She's her own worst enemy. If I can figure a way to settle her, she's a fantastic runner," Raley said. "She's not focused yet. She's just running — she'll look at the mountains over here or the cotton candy over there. She hasn't shown half her ability."

Raley is keener on his and Chumbley's other qualifier, Shez Sneakin Fast, who went the distance a blink slower in 18.075 seconds with jockey Jose Guerrero.

"She's a dream doll,” Raley said. “She loves to run."

Raley will keep Camacho and Guerrero on these 2-year-olds for the July Fourth spectacle.

Kassie Guglielmino won the first of the three Futurity trials on Shimmie Horn, then won the second trial on Freaky Chick. Both fillies are owned and trained by a new face on the Firecracker scene, Juan Leon.

The first trial was unusual in that all five horses qualified for the Futurity.

Veteran trainer John Harris saddled the nattily named Frankie Valentine. Before the race, Harris said, "I'm ready, but I don't know about the horse." It turned out he was. Ridden by Jake Samuel, the black gelding came in fourth fastest among the contenders and easily made the cut.

Frankie Valentine is owned by Rod Lowe, long-time president of the Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association.

"I'm a home-town boy. I've been trying to qualify for this for years," said Lowe. "Now I'm finally in."

The sire of Lowe's horse was Ocean Runaway, a stallion with a story.

"He made $1.6 million on the track,” Lowe said. “When he retired about six years ago and went to stud, I bought a share of him for $200,000. That gave me three breedings a year. The first four years, I sold all of them to pay off the $200,000. After that he was syndicated for $8 million. Not long afterward he just laid down in his stall and died."

Fortunately, unlike thoroughbreds, it's legal to fertilize quarter horses with frozen semen. And that's how Frankie Valentine came to be.

The other horses that will be running for the $30,000 on the Fourth are L Bar D Dixon Delite, trained by Robert Beckner; Double Down Corona, trained by Juan Sanguino; and Secret Second Chance, trained by Jeannette Garrison.

The odds-on favorite to lead this select group met a different fate. For Sweet Jess, trained by Hector Magallanes —who won the Firecracker Futurity in 2013 and 214 — unseated Jake Samuels as they left the gate. Samuels walked away from the spill uninjured.

The 5-furlong Southern Belle Stakes was dominated by Table for One, who left the favorites behind under the capable hands of Jose Guerrero. Apparently Guerrero enjoyed being in front, because he won the next two races and is tied with Samuels , who took the day's first race and now has three wins. Guglielmino leads all jockeys with seven wins.

Five trainers are tied with two wins each. For bettors, the most interesting of these might be Margie Cantrell. She saddled two thoroughbreds that delivered substantial payouts, Atlantra's Tantrum on Sunday and Wine and Song on Saturday.

Father's Day at the Downs traditionally draws the biggest crowd of the meet, and Sunday was no exception. Attendance hit 3,925, up from 3,800 last year. The handle was $52,051, down a little from $54,082 of 2014.

Horse racing resumes next Saturday, with post time at 1 p.m.

Sunday’s Results


QH Clm, 350 yds. 1, Countess Aluerdine (J. Samuels), 4.80, 3.40, 3.00; 2, Scootin Quick (P. Martinez), La Kangurita (K. Guglielmino), 3.60. Q — 3-5 $31.60. EX — 3-5 $21.80. TRI — 3-5-1 $118.00. Time — 18.102.


QH Fut Trial, 350 yds. 1, Shimmie Horn (K. Guglielmino), 12.80, 3.80, 2.20; 2, Shez Sneakin Fast (J. Guerrero), 3.40, 2.20; 3, Frankie Valentine (J. Samuels), 2.20. Q — 3-4 $15.40. EX — 3-4 $4.00. TRI — $28.80. Time — 18.069.


QH Fut Trial, 350 yds. 1, Freaky Chick (K. Guglielmino), Cm Secretsinthestraw (J. Samuels), 6.60; 2, Preachinforcash (J. Guerrero), 2.60. Q — 4-5 $19.60. EX — 5-4 $19.70. TRI — 5-4-3 $104.30. DD — 3-5 $49.60. Time — 18.272.


QH Fut Trial, 350 yds. 1, Ez Feisty Patriot (R. Camacho), 9.40, 3.60, 2.20; 2, L Bar D Dixon Delite (K. Guglielmino), 4.60, 2.60; 3, Fnf Bad Kitty (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 2.60. Q — 4-5 $25.00. EX — 5-4 $61.60. TRI — 5-4-2 $231.20. Time — 18.065


TB Mdn Clm, 5 F. 1, Tiz a Classic (K. Guglielmino), 3.80, 2.60, 2.20; 2, Top of Union (J. Samuels), 3.40, 3.20; 3, Blues Zensation (A. Wolf), 2.60. Q — 1-5 $6.80. EX — 5-1 $5.90. TRI — 5-1-3 $13.70. Pick 3 5-5-2/5) $44.40. Time — 1:02.39.


TB Southern Belle Stk, 5 F. 1, Table for One (J. Guerrero), 16.00, 6.60, 3.20; 2, Miss Jazzie Harbor (P. Fernandez), 5.80, 2.60; 3, Ticked Off (R. Camacho), 2.60. Q — 1-2 $68.80. EX — 1-2 $36.20. TRI — 1-2-3 $52.50. Time — 1:01.59.


TB Clm, 5 F. 1, Atlanta’s Tantrum (J. Guerrero), 13.20, 6.20, 4.80; 2, Storm On the River (E. Gutierrez-Sosa), 6.60, 3.80; 3, Rainier Ice (R. Camacho), 3.60. Q — 5-7 $38.80. EX — 5-7 $15.20. TRI — 5-7-1 $571.70. Time — 1:00.85.


TB Clm, 5 F. 1, Money Storm (J. Guerrero), 6.60, 3.60, 2.80; 2, Snowfire Cowboy (R. Camacho), 11.20, 2.80; 3, Rockinatthebar (P. Fernandez), 3.00. Q — 1-6 $40.80. EX — 6-1 $9.60. TRI — 6-1-3 $140.80. Pick 3 — 1-5-6 $67.60. DD — $34.00. Time — 1:02.83.

Attendance — 3,925. Handle — $52,051.

Reach Dan Guthrie at guthrie23@centurylink.net