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Miss Important claims big GPD race

David Martin aboard Miss Important. Photo courtesy of Grants Pass Downs

GRANTS PASS — Miss Important rallied from slightly off the pace for a 1 1/4-length victory Monday in the $11,650 Shady Cove Handicap for older fillies and mares at Grants Pass Downs.

Ridden by David Martin at 123 pounds, Miss Important ran six furlongs in 1:10.24 and paid $10.20 to win. Billy Christian was the winning trainer for owner Bern Kent, who claimed Miss Important for $10,000 out of a winning effort on May 24.

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Graydar, Miss Important is 2-for-2 at Grants Pass Downs and 4-0-1 in 10 starts overall with earnings of $66,529. Monday’s victory was worth $6,408.

Martin, riding his second winner on the card, said the race played out perfectly.

“I think it worked out well to be sitting outside of the speed,” said Martinez, a native of Guatemala. “It was a comfortable trip, and it’s always great to win a big race.”

Just Classy, ridden by Jaime Lopez Jr., finished strongly on the rail to take second, while Xtrafine Xtina, ridden by Bryson Butterfly at 122 pounds, held third. Hold That Smile, the early leader, held fourth and Florista, Shez a Grinder and Square Peggy rounded out the order of finish.

Square Peggy, the 8-to-5 betting favorite, broke in the air, made a brief move on the backstretch and faded late.

On-track attendance was 535 and the mutuel handle totaled $461,743.

NOTES: Joree Scriver was off her remaining mounts after getting hit in the eye with a rock during the running of Monday’s third race. Scriver is the meet’s top rider with 15 wins. ... Martin, Jose Guerrero and Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa rode two winners each Monday.

Boardshorts Stables LLC won its meet-leading fifth race as an owner, scoring with Nice Guys Finish ($5.60) in race seven. ... There was one winning $0.50 Jackpot Pick 5 ticket alive to Rebel Roar in the eighth race for $51,243.90, but the 45-to-1 long shot finished third.