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Just Classy sharp in feature win at GP Downs

GRANTS PASS — Just Classy made an early move to the lead and powered home for a 3 3/4-length victory over Bottle Neck in Tuesday’s $7,700 allowance/optional claiming feature for older fillies and mares at Grants Pass Downs.

With Joree Scriver riding, Just Classy ran a mile and one-sixteenth in one minute, 46 seconds and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.20 as the betting favorite. Jaqueline Smith is the winning owner and trainer.

A consistent 4-year-old California-bred filly, Just Classy has finished first, second or third in all 14 starts in 2021 — compiling three wins, six seconds and five thirds — and earning $33,906 in purses.

“This little filly is a miler, but we haven’t had many chances to run those distances here this year,” Smith said. “This race was a good fit for her tonight.”

Just Classy made a big middle-move to the lead, and Smith said she briefly wondered if Scriver forgot the race was a mile and a sixteenth in distance.

“For a second, I thought maybe she thought it was five and a half furlongs,” Smith said. “But Joree told me she thought the pace was slow and Just Classy wanted to go.”

Just Classy shook off Don’t Rub It after six furlongs in 1:13.53, entering the stretch with a 2 1/2-length lead, and increased her advantage to the wire.

A daughter of Empire Way, Just Classy boosted her career mark to 7-9-8 in 28 starts with earnings of $103,512. Tuesday’s victory was her first in six tries at Grants Pass Downs. She also has wins at Santa Rosa, Golden Gate Fields, Turf Paradise and Prineville.

Bottle Neck, a 17-to-1 long shot ridden by Leonel Camacho-Flores, rallied to finish second and returned $12.20 and $6.60. Don’t Rub It, ridden by Alex Anaya, weakened slightly to finish third, returning $2.80 to show.

Rounding out the completed order of finish were Barbello, Time for Kisses, Lookout Taylor, and Sheza Machiavelli.

On-track attendance was 285 and the total mutuel handle was $460,997.

NOTES: Jorge Rosales saddled two winners — Grazen Valor ($7.60) and Awesome Image ($3.20) — and leapfrogged Quinn Howey 8-7 in the thoroughbred trainer standings. . .Alex Anaya rode two winners and leads the overall jockey standings with 11 wins. . .Leonel Camacho-Flores also rode two winners, his second straight two-win evening. . .Jose Figueroa swept both quarter horse races, taking the opener aboard Kr Runaway Foose ($18.40) and race two on Chicksfabulouscorona ($6.60). . .The $0.50 Jackpot Pick 5 carryover is $15,795. . .Live racing resumes Sunday with an eight-race card at 1 p.m., featuring four trials for the $40,000 added Far West Futurity on Nov. 8.

With Joree Scriver riding, Just Classy won Tuesday's feature race for older fillies and mares at Grants Pass Downs. Photo courtesy of Grants Pass Downs