Packed house as races get underway
The grandstands were packed when horses left the starting gate for the opening race of the Crooked River Roundup Race Meet Wednesday night.
The race meet started out slowly as one of five horses entered in race one was scratched prior to the start, then a second horse broke out of the gate early and also had to be scratched, leaving just three horses in the race.
That backed up the betting windows as spectators who had bet on the scratched horse, or had placed a show bet, scrambled to the betting windows to change their bets.
When the race finally got underway shortly after 7:30, the crowd roared as Island Gal, ridden by Jose Guerrero, held off a late charge by Seismic Belle, ridden by Jose Figueroa, to win a tight race.
The remainder of the night went smoothly, with plenty of horses in the remaining races, although there were long lines at the betting windows the entire night.
Six different jockeys won races on the night, with Jim Whiteside, riding Parker's Behr Cat, taking first in the biggest race of the night, the Mizer Memorial.
Parker's Behr Cat pulled away down the stretch, winning the five furlong race with a time of 1:04:60.
Jesus Afanador rode Hes a Bugin to an easy victory in the Bernard Family race, taking the 610-yard race.
Guerrero and Katrina Schaub each won two races on the night as the two top jockeys so far.
The Crooked River Roundup Race Meet continues through Saturday, with post time at 7:15 p.m. nightly. Both tonight and Saturday have 10 races on the card, with several big races scheduled for Saturday, including the high-paying Jack Rhoden Memorial Bonus Challenge, a 250-yard quarter horse race that is set for the third race of the night.