From Emerald Downs Publicity
AUBURN, Wash. (May 14, 2017) – California-bred Sharkzilla rallied from the clouds and tagged So Lucky in the final yards for a one-length victory Sunday in the $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings at Emerald Downs.
Rallying from last in the eight-horse field, Sharkzilla ran six furlongs in 1:08.92 under Erick Lopez and paid $37, $14.20 and $7.40. Candi Tollett—winning her first stakes race at Emerald Downs—is the winning trainer for owner John Parker of Lake Bay, Wash.
Purchased for $1,200 at the 2015 Barretts January Sale, Sharkzilla earned $27,500 for Sunday’s victory and is 2-2-2 in seven lifetime starts with $70,134 in purses. The winner, bred in California by Roger Downes, is by Distorted Reality. He finished third as a maiden in the 2016 Gottstein Futurity and was coming off a runner-up finish in a starter allowance last month at Golden Gate Fields.
So Lucky, ridden by Rocco Bowen, did everything but win the race. The 2016 state champion 2-year-old set blistering factions—21.25, :43.41 and :55.76—and was still three lengths clear past mid-stretch and just failed to last. So Lucky, third choice in the wagering at 5-2, paid $5 and $3.80.
Sure Sweet, longest shot on the board at 43-1, finished third under Lorenzo Lopez and paid $10 to show, and Aqua Frio, Keller’s Gold, Seau, Monydontspenitself and Shot Gun Gary rounded out the order of finish.
Sharkzilla was about 10 lengths behind So Lucky as the field circled into the stretch, and a victory appeared improbable.
“I knew we’d be coming late,” said Lopez, whose previous Emerald Downs stakes win was aboard Estellara in the 2016 Hastings Stakes. “But he really exploded in the stretch. He really kicked it in.”
Tollett and Parker were understandably jubilant in the winner’s circle.
“He didn’t surprise me today,” Tollett said of Sharkzilla. “He’s developed like a good horse.”