04/20/2007 11:00PM

The Great Face equals North American record

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AUBURN, Wash. - The Great Face equaled a North American dirt record on Friday’s opening day card of the Emerald Downs meet, speeding 5 1/2 furlongs in 1: 01.20 in the feature race, a $50,000 optional claiming affair for older horses.

The Great Face, a 5-year-old son of Cahill Road and Irish Toast, by Synastry, went to the front at the start under rider Juan Gutierrez at 120 pounds and cut fractions of 21.60, 43.80 and 55.20 seconds before drawing away to score by more than five lengths. The final clocking equaled a mark set by Silvey’s Image at Turf Paradise in 1992, equaled by Plenty Zloty at Turf Paradise in 1995, and equaled again by Willie the Cat at Emerald Downs in 2004. The Great Face carried more weight than any of his co-record holders.

The win on Friday improved The Great Face’s career mark to four wins from nine career starts. He races for Emerald Downs president Ron Crockett and is trained by Tom Wenzel.

– Dennis Dodge