Apprentice Rasheed Hughes was denied his first winner after a DQ, jockey Dane Nelson was hurt when a horse broke through the gate in the third race, the $2 Pick-4 paid $1,964.90, and a single bettor went home $61,664.19 richer after selecting the only winning combination on the sixth race Super High Five Jackpot.
It was a crazy Friday night at the Downs.
Apprentice Rasheed Hughes was 0-for-39 (with six seconds and thirds) heading into the first race on Friday night and he gave Blue Danube Waltz an "almost perfect" ride to win, but when moving to challenge leader Blue Line Cat passing the eighth pole his horse drifted in -- at the same time that jockey Jerry Pruitt was trying to move to challenge. Problem was, Pruitt got to the spot Blue Danube Waltz was in far too late. Hughes simply "beat him to the hole" and Pruitt was forced to steady.
Pruitt lodged a claim of foul against Hughes and as a result, Blue Danube Waltz was disqualified and placed third after winning by hard-fought half length. Blue Line Cat and Rohan Singh inherited the win and Pruitt's horse Pelee Island was moved up into second place. In summary, Hughes did let his horse drift in, but Pruitt was much too late going for a hole that was gone long before he got there.
The rattled hard-luck Hughes lodged a claim of foul against the winner of the second race for interference early in that race, but there was really nothing to it. There was no change and more tough lessons were learned.
In the third race jockey Dane Nelson was hurt when his horse Finishline Fever broke through the gate before the break. Nelson took off the rest of his mounts on the card and guess who picked up Finishline Fever? Hughes. He had an eventful night. Nelson, who hurt his knee, will apparently be okay to ride on Saturday night.
The switch back to the $1 Pick-4 from the $0.20 offering paid off immediately for a few lucky bettors with a $1 return of $982.45 after the winners in races 3-6 paid $7.30, $7.80, $24.40 and $5.80. The most important winner in the Pick-4 for one lucky bettor was Shez Shirls Girl in the last. The favourite wired the field, which was no surprise, but was followed home in order by longshots Little Jar ($21.10), Lady Aries ($13.50), Bad Reputation ($15.05) and Magical Maggie ($4.00). The $2 Superfecta paid $6,959.30.
The Super High Five Jackpot paid $61,664.19 to a single bettor holding a 20-cent ticket with the winning combination of 2-7-3-4-1.
Just imagine cashing that.