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Clair Annette finds win column in King County Handicap at Emerald Downs | Horse Racing

Clair Annette rediscovered her winning ways Sunday at Emerald Downs.

The 7-year-old mare, voted Top Claimer in 2008 and a double stakes winner in 2009, led all the way for a 5 ½-length victory in the $50,000 King County Handicap for older fillies and mares.

With Kevin Krigger riding at 120 lbs., Clair Annette ran one mile in 1 minute, 35 4/5 seconds on a fast track and paid $7.80, $3.80 and $3.40. Connie Bouslaugh, who has trained the 7-year-old mare her entire career, is the conditioner for owner/breeder Nina Egbert of Enumclaw, Wash.

Crocodile Tuff, a 17-1 long shot ridden by Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo at 115 lbs., rallied to finish in second place and paid $12 and $4.80.

Gadget Queen, the 6-to-5 post-time betting favorite, won a photo finish with 55-to-1 long shot Private Fortune for third place, but was no threat for the victory. Ridden by Ricky Frazier at high-weight of 121 lbs., Gadget Queen paid $2.40.

Private Fortune, the only 3-year-old in the race, finished fourth, followed by Perfect Finish, Barbara’s Love, Eyes On the Prize and Yonnie Creek.

Breaking from the outside No. 8 post-position, Clair Annette sped to the lead and was immediately angled to the rail by the hot-riding Krigger. She set fractions of :22 1/5, :45 3/5 and 1:09 4/5. Clair Annette is always tough to beat when she makes the lead—her last seven victories were gate-to-wire—and the King County was a great example. She shook off Perfect Finish into the lane, having run seven furlongs in 1:22 2/5, and poured it on late.

In fact, it was her largest of victory since a nine-length blowout in her career debut Aug. 9, 2007. She had finished third in both starts this year, however, including the Senate Appointee last month at Hastings Racecourse.

“My plan today was to try and keep her happy, and she just flat outran those other mares,” said Krigger, who rode eight winners for the week. “I was planning on a great break, and she just went right to the front and brought me right down to the rail.

“She went around that first turn pretty rapid, but she was so relaxed. I could tell I had so much horse in the bit.”

A Washington-bred by Beau Genius-Windsong Maria, Clair Annette has won 9-of-19 starts with earnings of $146,383. At Emerald Downs, she’s 8-for-14 with $129,263.

News and Notes

• Although there is no live racing Monday, Emerald Downs will be open for simulcast wagering beginning at 9:50 a.m. with action from Monmouth Park.

• Full-card wagering will be available on 10 tracks, concluding with California programs from Pleasanton (12:45 p.m.) and Hollywood Park (1 p.m.)

• Washington-bred Marvin’s Magic, an Aptitude colt that debuted with a one-length victory at Emerald Downs on June 6, is 8-to-1 on the morning line in the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Hollywood Park. Mike Smith will ride for trainer Frank Lucarelli.

• J P’s Gusto, 4 ½-length winner of the Willard Proctor Memorial on May 31, is listed at 7-to-5 in the Grade III at six furlongs.

• Strategic Patience ridden by Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo equaled the biggest $2 win payoff of the meet with a $55.80 upset in the eighth race. Trained by Don Munger, Strategic Patience is the 11th horse to win three races at the meet. The 5-year-old Detox mare also has two of the top 10 win prices—$55.80 and $41.60 on April 25.

• Hoonan rode one winner all four days this week and also finished second in the King County on Crocodile Tuff….

• Apprentice Pedro Terrero was suspended two days (July 15 & 16) for causing interference while riding Bleu Tarp in the second race Friday…Kevin Krigger also was suspended two days (July 15 & 16) for interference aboard Prisoner in the fourth race Saturday.

• Vann Belvoir saddled two winners and leads Frank Lucarelli 34-30 in the trainers’ standings.

• Frazier leads Juan Gutierrez 53-45 in the jockeys’ standings…With Jacob Pollowitz and Gary Norton leading the way with $6.80 and $4.40 horses, respectively, the Sunday media show parlay connected to the tune of a single-day record $473.20. The Metropolitan Grill awaits!.

• Live racing resumes Thursday at 6 p.m.

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