Press ReleaseJune 16, 2014
Virgil and Teresa Sitsler's The Granite Jewel rushed to an early lead and led every call en route to a wire to wire victory in Saturday’s Walter Merrick Memorial Stakes at Fair Meadows at Tulsa.
The sorrel gelding is by Granite Lake out of the The Desert Jewel mare Miss Hightime Jewel. The victory earned the Oklahoma bred gelding $11,634, bringing his lifetime earnings to $54,341.
Piloted by Mario Delgado, The Granite Jewel took advantage of an alert start and gained immediate command. Entering the turn with a 2 length advantage, The Granite Jewel widened the margin in the homestretch to best the field by 4 ¼ lengths. Closing at odds of 6.50-1, the Virgil Sitsler-trained gelding paid $15.00, $5.60, and $3.40 to Win, Place, and Show, respectively.
Clint Crawford trained Beat This Eye Opener, who is owned by Gavin McLane Billins, and ran as part of a coupled entry for the owner, ran second and earned $3,928 for the effort. Curtis Kimes rode the 6-year-old mare and overcame a sluggish start to rally for the place.
Finishing in third was champion De Passem Okey, who has 19 wins to his credit at the 870 yard distance. Berkley Packer piloted the Rodney Reed trained gelding in a ground saving manner to earn the show. Completing the field were Lets Go Home Now, Eye Can Beatum, Hidden Fury, White Litenin, and Jess Shaky.
Fair Meadows 2014 Mixed Breed Season continues Thursdays through Sundays until July 26, with a first post time of 6 p.m. weeknights and 4:05 p.m. on Sundays. There will also be Wednesday evening racing at 6 p.m. on June 18, July 2, and July 23. July 4 will have a special afternoon post time of 1 p.m.
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