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Racing Ray wins by a neck at GP Downs

GRANTS PASS — Racing Ray wore down Coastal Son in the final strides for a neck victory Tuesday in the $6,500 feature race for 3-year-olds and up at Grants Pass Downs.

Ridden by Joree Scriver, Racing Ray ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:49.11 and paid $5.20 as the public betting choice. Jackie Smith was the winning owner and trainer.

In sixth place most of the way, Racing Ray launched her bid into the last turn, engaged Coastal Son from the outside into the stretch, and out-finished the resilient leader in a head-and-head battle to the wire.

An 8-year-old Oregon-bred by 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone, Racing Ray improved to 14-8-18 from 71 career starts with earnings of $80,897. The gray gelding is 6-4-3 in 20 starts at Grants Pass Downs.

Coastal Son nearly took the field all the way at odds of 11-to-1. Ridden by Taylor Smith, who was bidding for her fourth straight win on the card, Coastal Son shook off Wings of Wisdom into the last turn and resisted gamely when challenged by Racing Ray late.

Aotearoa, ridden by Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa, finished third while Dyf, Pampers n’ Boots, Dizzy Dancer, Rebel Roar and Wings of Wisdom rounded out the order of finish.

On-track attendance was 405 and the total mutuel handle was $339,128.

NOTES: Golden Cowboy ($3) finally had his consistency rewarded with a 5 ¾-length victory in Tuesday’s sixth race, a $7,000 allowance for 3-year-olds and up at 5 ½ furlongs. Owned and trained by Jackie Smith, Golden Cowboy had two seconds and two thirds in four previous starts at the meet — all in races won by El Alto Hombre. ... Taylor Smith rode three consecutive winners, scoring victories aboard Six Blessings ($8.40), Emma’s a Beast ($2.80) and Golden Cowboy in races four, five and six. ... Joree Scriver rode two winners, victories No. 20 and 21 for the meet’s leading rider. ... Lidonna ($2.80) won her second straight off a 20-month break, leading gate to wire under Jaime Lopez Jr. in a $6,500 allowance test for older quarter horses. A 4-year-old California-bred filly, Lidonna is trained by Hector Magallanes for owner Alvaro Covaarrubias. ... Live racing resumes Sunday with a special 1 p.m. post on Independence Day. The $90,000 Firecracker Futurity for 2-year-old quarter horses highlights an eight-race program.

Jockey Joree Scriver aboard Racing Ray at Grants Pass Downs Tuesday night. Photo courtesy Grants Pass Downs