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Grants Pass Downs wraps fall meet

GRANTS PASS — Perfect Come Back collared El Alto Hombre in the final strides and scored a three-quarter length victory in Tuesday’s $25,000 Grants Pass Mile on closing night of the 2021 fall meeting at Grants Pass Downs.

Under a ground-saving ride by Alex Anaya at 121 pounds, Perfect Come Back ran 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 59.93 seconds on a track labeled good and paid $38.60, $14.20 and $6.80.

Jorge Rosales is the winning trainer for owner Alan Peterson, who claimed the 7-year-old gelding for $5,000 on Sept. 25 at Emerald Downs.

The victory capped a sensational season for Anaya, the meet’s leading rider with 23 wins. He also topped the thoroughbred standings with 19 wins. It’s the first riding titles for the 22-year-old Anaya.

El Alto Hombre, gunning for his seventh stakes win of the year and eighth victory overall in 2021, ran gallantly in defeat. Ridden by Jose Figueroa at 125 pounds, the 6-year-old gelding shook off Christine’s Jack on the last turn and dug in gamely when headed but couldn’t resist Perfect Come Back from the inside. El Alto Hombre paid $4.60 and $4.

Pistol Power, a 19-to-1 long shot ridden by David Martin at 122 pounds, finished third and paid $7.40 to show.

Lolly Express finished fourth and was followed by Engram, Hey Sequoia, June Gloom, Christine’s Jack, Tune to Win, and Wings of the Wind.

A Kentucky-bred by 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Pleasantly Perfect, Perfect Come Back earned $13,750 to boost his career total to $148,212. His overall record is 7-9-6 in 43 starts.

In the $14,350 Josephine County Juvenile for 2-year-olds, Milords Oathkeeper led all the way and scored by 5 3/4 lengths over 4-to-5 betting favorite Dance Ballerina in 1:16.58 for six furlongs on a good track.

Ridden by Joree Scriver at 124 pounds, Milords Oathkeeper paid $4.20, $2.40 and $2.10. Milords Oathkeeper set fractions of :24.35, :49.32, and 1:02.92, and held Dance Ballerina at bay to the wire.

An Oregon-bred gelding by 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, Milords Oathkeeper is 2-for-3 at Grants Pass Downs and has an overall mark of 2-1-1 in five starts with earnings of $14,831. Tuesday’s win was worth $7,893.

Ben Root is the winning trainer for owner/breeder Margaret Root.

Dance Ballerina, ridden by Taylor Smith at 121 pounds, held second and paid $2.20 and $2.10. Raised a Redhead, with Mckenzie King aboard at 121 pounds, was 3 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $4.20 to show.

Phantom Mistress and Albright ’n Gold finished fourth and fifth; Stonus Maximus was scratched.

Tuesday’s 11th and final race was declared no contest after the lights went out in the opening strides of the 6 1/2 furlong contest. All six horses escaped the incident unscathed, but jockeys Patrick Henry Jr. and Alex Anaya were taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Quinn Howey won his second consecutive fall overall training title with 17 wins and topped the thoroughbred standings with 17 wins, two better than runner-up Jorge Rosales. It’s the third straight training title for the 36-year-old Howey, who also won this year’s spring/summer crown with 13 wins.

Boardshorts Stables was the leading overall owner and leading thoroughbred owner with nine wins apiece.

Quarter horse titles this fall went to jockey Martin Osuna (9 wins), trainer Hector Magallanes (9 wins) and owner Malon Cowgill (5 wins).

On-track attendance was 535 with a total mutuel handle of $850,009, second largest in track history.

NOTES: Tuesday’s second race, the Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa Memorial, was won by Jess Candy Lips ($11.20) with Jose Guerrero aboard for trainer Rosa Rodriguez. Treinta Coronas crossed the finish line first but was placed sixth for interference ... Jockey Mckenzie King notched career victory No. 100 aboard Thanks ($2.40) in Tuesday’s first race. King later added victory No. 101 on Sir Laughalot ($5.60) in the ninth race ... Dusalut ($21.40) held off 1-to-5 favorite Fantastic Day to take the $12,700 MSH Solutions Purse for 3-year-olds and up ... In the $0.50 Jackpot Pick 5 — which included a $51,112 carryover and a mandatory payout — $314,087 in new money was wagered into Tuesday’s pool. Tickets with five winners (Race 11 was all) paid $357.75 ... Joree Scriver rode three winners Tuesday and finished second in the standings with 14 wins.

Perfect Come Back, ridden by Alex Anaya, scored a three-quarter length victory in Tuesday’s $25,000 Grants Pass Mile on closing night of the 2021 fall meeting at Grants Pass Downs. Photo courtesy of Grants Pass Downs