Jockeys, Trainers, Eye Futurity Title

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Certain sports are associated with certain holidays and for horse racing fans in Southern Oregon, the Fourth of July means it’s time for the Firecracker Futurity, the biggest race of the summer. The 350 yard quarter horse dash has the biggest purse of the summer, more than $31,000, with more than $12,000 going to the winner. The stakes are high from a financial standpoint, as well as feeling the pressure to perform in the biggest race in the four-week season at Grants Pass Downs.

“A nervous day. It’s a very nervous day,” trainer Hector Magallenes said. “From the time we get up in the morning to getting things done at the barn, getting horses prepped up and just waiting around, waiting for post time.”

“I might be a little nervous, but I got a lot of faith in my horse,” jockey Jake Samuels said. “She’s improved a lot from her first time to last time.”