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Mystic Wood Force holds on for victory

Granst Pass Downs

GRANTS PASS — Mystic Wood Force prevailed by a head over Sequoyah Sunset in the $6,000 Oregon Veterinary Services Purse for 3-year-olds and up Monday evening at Grants Pass Downs,.

Ridden by Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa, Mystic Wood Force paid $4.80 as the betting favorite and ran 5½ furlongs in 1:04.92. Rosa Rodriguez is the winning trainer for owner Baldemar Rodriguez.

Breaking from the No. 4 post-position, Mystic Wood Force dueled outside of Sequoyah Sunset the entire race. Mystic Wood Force put a head in front into the stretch but Sequoyah Sunset countered from the inside, and the two battled heads apart to the wire with Mystic Wood Force finally proving best.

“He’s an awesome horse, he gives a hundred percent every time,” Rosa Rodriguez said afterwards. “I’m always happy with him, and Eduardo fits him perfectly.”

A 6-year-old Washington-bred gelding by Mystic Wood, Mystic Wood Force won for the fifth time in 44 starts and boosted his career earnings to $31,017. At Grants Pass Downs, Mystic Wood Force has at least one win in three of the last four seasons and is 4-3-2 in 13 starts overall.

Sequoyah Sunset, ridden by J.C. Guerrero, settled for second place, while Working, Banze No Oeste, Foolish to Deceive, Oakie Flyer and Dieci rounded out the order of finish.

On-track attendance was 710 and the mutuel handle totaled $436,388.

NOTES: Trainer Hector Magallanes swept both quarter horses races Monday, scoring with Sonoras Death Row ($5.60) in race two and finishing first and second with Lidonna ($6.60) and L Bar D Rosie Lee in race three. ... Magallanes tops the quarter horse trainers’ standings with four wins. ... Magallanes had a busy night. He also claimed Mystic Wood Force for owner Elvia Rodriguez.

Jaime Lopez rode two winners, one thoroughbred and one quarter horse, and tops the quarter horse riders’ standings with five wins. ... Lopez, Jose Figueroa and Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa are tied for third in the overall standings with six wins each. ... Joree Scriver tops the overall standings with 11 wins and the thoroughbred standings with 10 wins, including a victory aboard Shockazulu ($5.40) in the eighth race finale.

Quinn Howey saddled his meet-leading eighth thoroughbred winner as Emerald City ($6.60) and Mckenzie King romped by 3¾ lengths in race four. ... King has ridden all eight of Howey’s winners.