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El Alto Hombre wins fourth straight at GPD

Jose Figueroa aboard El Alto Hombre. Photo by Charlotte Angin

GRANTS PASS — El Alto Hombre held off Golden Cowboy in a driving finish and notched a head victory Tuesday in the $13,600 Oregon Caves Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Grants Pass Downs.

Ridden by Jose Figueroa at high weight of 126 pounds, El Alto Hombre ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.21 and paid $4.40 as the betting favorite. Liz Kowalski is the winning trainer for owner Anthony Hoover.

With the victory, El Alto Hombre became the first horse to win three races at the meet and the first horse with two stakes wins. El Alto Hombre won the Caveman Stakes on May 10 and an allowance race on May 25.

El Alto Hombre worked out another great trip Tuesday, tracking just behind dueling early leaders Pure Pursuit and Dusalut. El Alto Hombre swept to the lead into the last turn and was fully extended to hold off Golden Cowboy in the drive to the wire.

El Alto Hombre has won four straight dating to last October, all with Figueroa aboard.

“He’s a nice horse, easy to ride,” Figueroa said. “He gives you his best every time, but I had to keep riding hard because (Golden Cowboy) was coming after us.”

Golden Cowboy, the 5-to-2 second choice ridden by Taylor Smith at 124 pounds, was slowly gaining on the winner but came up just short at the wire.

It was 3½ lengths back to Tune to Win in third place while Megatron Ruler Azee Rules, Tristram Speaker, Pure Pursuit, Pulpits Power, Chill and Dusalut completed the order of finish.

A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred by Archarcharch, El Alto Hombre is 12-11-4 in 32 lifetime starts with earnings of $61,928. His record at Grants Pass Downs is 7-7-1 in 17 starts with earnings of $41,980, including $6,655 for Tuesday’s triumph.

On-track attendance was 550 and the mutuel handle totaled $424,434.

NOTES: David Martin rode two winners Tuesday, his second straight riding double. ... Jose Figueroa also rode two winners.

Capes Hot Rocket ($6.40) held off Sequoyah Sunset to capture the first leg of the O B Harbor Sprint Series for 3-year-olds and up, running 5 furlongs in :58.27 under Figueroa. Trainer Emilio Guerrero saddled the top three finishers — Capes Hot Rocket, Sequoyah Sunset and Crazy Al. Tuesday’s race featured a $7,500 purse with all nine horses eligible to be claimed for $3,200. ... Capes Hot Rocket, Sequoyah Sunset, Crazy Al and Working were all claimed Tuesday.

The O B Harbor Sprint Series continues June 22 with an $8,000 purse at 5½ furlongs and a $4,500 claiming price, and concludes July 6 with the $15,000 added finale at 6 furlongs under starter allowance conditions. Horses must compete in each leg of the series to advance to the remaining races.

Cm Boom Shakalaka ($3.20) prevailed in Tuesday’s $7,000 allowance test for older quarter horses, running 350 yards in :17.191 under Luis Gonzalez for trainer Nick Lowe and owner Chris Sutton. A 6-year-old Oregon-bred gelding, Cm Boom Shakalaka is 13-for-32 lifetime with over $165,000 in earnings.

The spring/summer meet resumes Monday at 5:15 p.m., including a carryover of $52,315 in the $0.50 Jackpot Pick 5. ... Grants Pass Downs will host seven non-wagering Firecracker Futurity trials Tuesday at 12 noon with free admission.