Sunrise Journey wins Applegate thriller
GRANTS PASS — Sunrise Journey held off heavily-favored Fantastic Day and scored a nose victory Tuesday in the $14,600 Applegate Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at Grants Pass Downs.
Ridden by Jose Guerrero, Sunrise Journey ran 5 1/2 furlongs in a brisk 1 minute, 3.79 seconds and paid $15.60, $4.20, and $3.40. Emilio Guerrero — older brother of the winning rider — is the trainer for owner Boardshorts Stables.
Sunrise Journey dueled with Golden Cowboy through fractions of 21.53 and 44.70 seconds, opened a clear lead into the stretch and was fully extended to fend off a surging Fantastic Day.
“That was an exciting win, Jose rode a great race,” Emilio Guerrero said. “A stakes win is great for everybody.”
Sunrise Journey improved to 10-5-3 from 29 starts lifetime with earnings of $175,708, including $8,030 for the Applegate triumph. A 6-year-old California-bred, Sunrise Journey was claimed for $16,000 on Sept. 11 at Golden Gate Fields.
Fantastic Day, the 4 to 5 favorite, rallied from last and just missed the victory. Ridden by Alex Anaya, the runner-up paid $2.60 and $2.40. Foreign Protocol, with Mckenzie King riding, finished third and paid $3.80.
Golden Cowboy, El Alto Hombre, Torch and The Metal Man rounded out the order of finish. Sir Laughalot was scratched.
El Alto Hombre had a seven-race winning streak snapped and his rider, Jose Figueroa, claimed foul against Fantastic Day and Golden Cowboy alleging interference on the turn, but the stewards made no change in the order of finish.
On-track attendance was 444 and total mutuel handle was $475,956 on an-eight-race card.
NOTES: Jose Guerrero rode two winners — one Quarter Horse, one Thoroughbred — on the Tuesday card. . .McKenna Anderson notched her initial Grants Pass Downs victory aboard Rickie Nine Toe’s ($5.40) in the sixth race. A native of Vashon Island, Wash., Anderson currently is Emerald Downs’ leading apprentice with 11 wins. . .The $0.50 Jackpot Pick 5 carryover is $19,517. . .Special Sunday racing this week with first post at 1 p.m. A seven-race program features three trials for the $15,000 Autumn Derby on Monday, Oct. 11.