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Capes Hot Rocket sweeps O B Harbor Sprint Series

GRANTS PASS — Capes Hot Rocket capped a three-race sweep of the O B Harbor Sprint Series with a dominating 10 ½-length victory in the $16,600 final leg Tuesday evening at Grants Pass Downs.

Ridden by James Wooten Jr. at 126 pounds, Capes Hot Rocket ran six furlongs in 1:11.43 and paid $3.60 as the betting favorite. Dennis Hurley is the winning trainer for owner Susan Hurley.

Sent to the early lead by Wooten, Capes Hot Rocket shook clear on the backstretch and from there the issue was never in doubt, with the 7-year-old Heatseeker gelding in total control to the wire.

“There wasn’t a big game plan because everything was in his favor tonight,” Wooten said of riding Capes Hot Rocket. “I just tried to get him to the lead without taking too much out of him. Everything went perfectly.”

To be eligible for Tuesday’s final, horses had to have run in the first two legs of the series, contested at 5 furlongs on June 8 and 5 ½ furlongs on June 22. Capes Hot Rocket swept those events by a combined 10 ½ lengths and was claimed both times — for $3,200 by owner/trainer Emilio Guerrero on June 8 and for $4,500 by Dennis and Sue Hurley on June 22.

Tuesday’s victory, worth $9,130, boosted Capes Hot Rocket’s career earnings to $73,253. His overall record is 8-6-7 from 43 starts.

Dark and Beau held second place while Working, the 2 to 1 second choice, rallied for third. Crazy Al and Oakie Flyer rounded out the order of finish.

SCRIVER, HOWEY CAPTURE GRANTS PASS TITLES: Joree Scriver and Quin Howey won leading jockey and leading trainer titles as Grants Pass concluded its 17-day spring summer/meeting.

Scriver rode 23 winners at the 17-day meet to capture her second straight Grants Pass riding crown. The 20-year-old Curlew, Wash., native won 20 Thoroughbred races including four victories on 4-year-old Oregon-bred filly Jaded Tiger.

Howey saddled 13 winners from 38 starters for a tremendous 34.2 win percentage. For Howey, 36, it also was his second straight Grants Pass title.

Jaime Lopez Jr. was the leading Quarter Horse rider with 10 wins while Hector Magallanes topped Quarter Horse trainers with nine wins.

Jaded Tiger and 6-year-old gelding El Alto Hombre led horses in wins with four apiece while Jaqueline Smith was leading owner with eight wins and Ruben Magallanes was the leading Quarter Horse owner with three wins.

The 2021 champions were honored between races Tuesday evening.

On-track attendance was 544 and total mutuel handle was $282,148.

NOTES: Hold That Smile ($3.80) continued her winning ways, holding off Chiefs Lil Pearl in a $7,500 allowance for older fillies and mares. Ridden by Taylor Smith and trained by Jorge Rosales, Hold That Smile improved to 9 for 16 at Grants Pass Downs and 15 for 36 lifetime ... Apprentice Bryson Butterfly rode two winners Tuesday ... Women riders took down three of the top five positions in the final jockeys’ standings — Joree Scriver finishing first with 23 wins, McKenzie King tying for second with 16 wins, and Taylor Smith tying for fifth with 12 wins ... Racing resumes Monday, Sept. 20, for opening day of the 18-day fall meet at Grants Pass Downs.

Ridden by James Wooten Jr. at 126 pounds, Capes Hot Rocket ran six furlongs in 1:11.43 and paid $3.60 as the betting favorite. Dennis Hurley is the winning trainer for owner Susan Hurley. Photo courtesy Grants Pass Downs