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Miss Important remains unbeaten at GP Downs

GRANTS PASS — Miss Important caught Jaded Tiger in the final strides for a half-length victory in Monday’s $14,600 Siskiyou Stakes for older fillies and mares on opening night of the 18-day fall season at Grants Pass Downs.

Under a perfectly timed ride by David Martin, Miss Important ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1 minute, 6.92 seconds and paid $6.80 as the betting favorite. Billy Christian is the trainer for winning owner Bern Kent of Yakima, Wash.

A 4-year-old Graydar filly, Miss Important is now 4-for-4 at Grants Pass Downs including stakes scores in the Shady Cove Handicap, Jo Durham Memorial and Siskiyou Stakes. Kent claimed the bay filly for $10,000 out of her Grants Pass debut on May 24.

In seventh place early, Miss Important began passing horses on the backstretch, reached contention on the turn and reeled in Xtrafine Xtina and Jaded Tiger late for the victory.

Martin, now 3-for-3 on Miss Important, had the filly farther behind than normal Monday.

“She got bumped at the break, but she relaxed well and there was some speed in the race,” Martin said. “I was quiet on her early but when I asked her, she responded. (Miss Important) is a nice filly.”

Miss Important has demonstrated excellent versatility in her career, recording wins sprinting and routing, as well as on dirt, synthetic and wet racing surfaces. Her overall record is 6-1-2 in 16 starts with earnings of $92,388, including $8,030 for Monday’s triumph.

Jaded Tiger nearly bagged her eighth victory of 2021. Ridden by Joree Scriver, the 4-year-old Smiling Tiger filly overhauled Xtrafine Xtina into the stretch run and just failed to last for the victory.

Xtrafine Xtina, ridden by James Wooten Jr., dueled with Hold That Smile through fractions of 21.61 and 46.46 seconds, gained a short lead on the turn, but weakened slightly in the stretch and finished third.

Mean Sharon, Hold That Smile, Barbello, Chase the Music and Madigan Squeeze completed the order of finish.

On-track attendance was 475 and the total handle was $309,400.

NOTES: Alex Anaya also rode two winners — one Quarter Horse and one Thoroughbred. Anaya currently ranks sixth with 23 wins at Emerald Downs. ...Monday’s first and third races were $8,000 allowances for older quarter horses at 300 yards. In race one, Warhock ($18.20) upset 2 to 5 favorite Cm Boom Shakalaka while running 300 yards in 15.23 seconds. Anaya rode the winner for trainer Benito Curiel and owner Malon Cowgill. In race three, Arizona Favorite ($4.40) and jockey Martin Osuna prevailed in 15.31 seconds for trainer Hector Magallanes and owners Kevin and Robin Allred. ...2020 Grants Pass Mile champion Pulpits Power ($4.80) held off Shockazulu for a hard-fought victory in race five, with two-time defending riding champion Joree Scriver scoring her first win of the meet. ...Two-time defending training champ Quinn Howey went 1-for-1 opening night as Gray Gem ($5) rolled to an easy victory under Mckenzie King in race six. ...The 2021 spring/summer meet continues Tuesday with an eight-race program at 5:15 p.m. , including El Alto Hombre attempting to win his seventh straight race this year in the $14,600 Applegate Stakes for 3-year-olds and up.

Miss Important scored a half-length victory in Monday’s $14,600 Siskiyou Stakes on opening night of the 18-day fall season at Grants Pass Downs. Photo courtesy GP Downs