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Miss Important prevails at GP Downs

GRANTS PASS — Miss Important resumed her winning ways Monday evening at Grants Pass Downs, overtaking Xtrafine Xtina into the stretch and drawing clear for a 1 3/4-length victory in the $14,800 City of Ashland Stakes for older fillies and mares.

With David Martin riding, Miss Important covered six furlongs in 1 minute, 9.81 seconds and paid $5, $3.60 and $2.40. Billy Christian is the trainer for winning owner Bern Kent.

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Graydar, Miss Important is now 5-for-6 at Grants Pass Downs and has four stakes victories — Shady Cove Handicap, Siskiyou Stakes, Jo Durham Stakes, Ashland Stakes— since being claimed for $10,000 on May 21.

Miss Important raced closer to the pace than usual Monday, racing in second place as Xtrafine Xtina led through fractions of 21.78, 44.48 and 56.73 seconds. Gradually reeling in the leader, Miss Important collared Xtrafine Xtina into the lane and proved much the best.

Miss Important has an overall mark of 8-1-3 in 18 starts with earnings of $101,953. At Grants Pass Downs, her mark is 5-0-1 in six starts with earnings of $33,283 including $8,140 for the victory in the Ashland.

“Bern (Kent) came up with the idea to claim her, and we ended up pulling the trigger,” Christian said. “She’s been a pretty good horse for us.”

Xtrafine Xtina, ridden by James Wooten Jr., easily held second and paid $4.40 and $3. A 4-year-old Oregon-bred, Xtrafine Xtina also thrives at Grants Pass, recording a 4-5-4 record in 15 starts in the Rogue Valley.

Stay in Grace, ridden by Leonel Camacho-Flores, was 4 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $2.80 to show.

Jaded Tiger, Shesaidshesperfect, Parkers Rose, Dutch Mama, Jacomina and Morning Blurs rounded out the order of finish.

On-track attendance was 265 and the total mutuel handle was $321,439.

Also Monday, Beau Rocks ($5.40) and Raiderette ($3.80) each won divisions of Leg No. 2 of the OHBPA Fillies & Mares Sprint Series. The $15,000 added final leg of the series is Nov. 1.

James Wooten Jr. also rode three winners Monday, while Alex Anaya and David Martin rode two winners each.

Sunday’s action featured Bottle Neck collaring Here’s the Thing past mid-stretch and drawing clear for a 1 1/4-length victory in an $7,200 allowance feature for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Leonel Camacho-Flores, Bottle Neck ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.93 and paid $10, $4.60 and $3.20.

Here’s the Thing, ridden by Jaime Lopez, shook off 7-to-10 favorite Finished My P H D, on the backstretch, held a one-length lead into the lane but was overtaken late by Bottle Neck. The runner-up returned $4.80 and $3.20.

Wishful Won, an 18-to-1 long shot ridden by Wooten, ran on late to finish third and paid $4.80. Great Curves, Finished My P H D, Kitty Creed and Good Job Jackie completed the order of finish.

A 4-year-old California-bred by Champ Pegasus, Bottle Neck raced just five days ago, finishing second at a mile and one-sixteenth, and took nicely to the shorter distance Sunday. In third place early, Bottle Neck advanced smartly into second place on the backstretch, and gradually reeled in Here’s the Thing for the victory.

Bottle Neck has an overall record of 2-2-1 in 13 starts with earnings of $20,245.

Sunday’s first four races were trials for the $83,000 Far West Futurity, with the 10 fastest times earning berths in the featured futurity slated Nov. 8.

L Bar D Mistr Cartel posted the fastest qualifying time, 19.836 seconds, while winning race two by a nose over Hell On Horseshoes. A 2-year-old Oregon-bred gelding by Majestic Cartel, L Bar D Mistr Cartel was ridden by Martin Osuna for trainer Hector Magallanes and owners Linda and Darrell Sanders.

The second trial produced four qualifiers overall, as Hell On Horseshoes, One Dashing Rabbit and Playin the Game also qualified for the Far West Futurity.

In race three, Five Bar Cali edged 1-to-9 favorite Leaving Angelz by a nose, running 400 yards in 19.865 seconds. Five Bar Cali and Leaving Angelz are the third and fourth fastest qualifiers to the Far West Futurity.

Jockey Cesar Moreno and trainer Jose Rosales-Gomez won two of the four races, taking the first with The Streakin Dream and the fourth with B the One. They are the ninth and eighth fastest qualifiers for the Far West Futurity.

On-track attendance Sunday was 1,825 with a total mutuel handle of $267,848.

Grants Pass Downs