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Star singer Cook latches onto top horse at GP Downs

Kristy Lee Cook and trainer Brenda Estes have claimed Rabatash, the leading thoroughbred money winner at Grants Pass Downs this season.

"We'll give him time off to eat grass and be a real horse," said Cook. "Then we'll take him to California."

The 5-year-old Kentucky-born gelding ran this year at Golden Gate and Hollywood Park before winning his two outings here.

Cook, the "American Idol" singing sensation from Selma, was at the track Wednesday to see her racehorse Go Zags.

"He hasn't broken his maiden," she said of the 3-year-old gelding, who will run in Saturday's second race.

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EMILIO GUERRERO will be racing much of his stable over the long weekend. Tio Wilson, who has been a demon recently on the hot walker, is in the sixth race today and looks ready to reach his potential. Of Emilio's other entries, he's also keen on Bagofmarbles, a lightly raced filly who won at Grants Pass in 2008. She's entered today in the ninth race.

So far this season, success has eluded most local trainers. Guerrero pointed out that only Nancy Klapatch and Mary Boyle have posted wins during the meet.

"It's been tough with all these fast horses out of Washington and California," Guerrero said. "I had three seconds last weekend. Still, you know what they say: A second place is a first loser."

One of those seconds was Onza de Oro, who went off at odds of 41 to 1. The stewards balked at that figure, and they ordered Guerrero to take his long shot to the barn for a urine test.

"They gave him medicine but he wouldn't go," he said. "We didn't get out of there until 9 o'clock at night."

The test was negative.

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THE TWO WINNING local trainers want to enter their stars for the final day of the meet. Klapatch's Black Magic will be attempting her third straight triumph Sunday if a race that suits her opens up.

"She might have to run against the boys" said Klapatch.

Boyle's Dotcom is primed for her second win.

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THE 10TH RACE ON Saturday is notable for its old-timers — they average 7 years of age. The preeminent entry is Red Seattle. This 13-year-old marvel has run 92 races, winning 26 times.

According to Red Seattle's regular exercise rider, Rick Smith, "He's even stronger now than he was last year. He wrenches on my gut every morning."

They'll be going 61/2; furlongs, a distance these elderly fellows like.

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THERE WILL BE free admission at the track today as part of the second Fan Appreciation Day of the meet. Post time is 12:30 p.m. for the 10-race card.

Also, all fans placing a bet on today's Dane Boersma Stakes, the eighth race, will receive a complimentary Dutch Bros. beverage coupon.

Dan Guthrie is a freelance writer in Grants Pass. Reach him at dguthrie@connpoint.net

Star singer Cook latches onto top horse at GP Downs