In what has to be a first in North American racing, two different 92-year-old trainers—Don Munger and Arturo Arboleda—won races the evening of Sept. 2 at Emerald Downs.
Munger won the opener with his hombred filly Jima, a 3-year-old daughter of Nacheezmo, who led gate-to-wire under Leslie Mawing and paid $9.20 to win.
Arboleda won the fourth race with Cozzabi, a 4-year-old Devine Cozzene gelding he owns. Cozzabi, bred in Washington by Mr. and Mrs. Elwin Gibson, rallied from last under Leonel Camacho-Flores and paid $21.40 to win.
Munger, born Dec. 11, 1923, was honored last weekend after winning his 100th career race at Emerald Downs near Auburn, Wash. He has worked over seven decades in the sport and is among a handful of trainers to win at least one race all 21 seasons at Emerald.
Arboleda, born April 19, 1924, has been a longshot specialist this season at Emerald Downs, with all five of his winners paying at least $20 to win. He has had at least one victory in each of 19 of 21 seasons at Emerald Downs.
Interestingly, more than half the winners on Emerald's seven-race card were saddled by trainers at least 80 years old. Cash N Dash, a gelded son of Parker's Storm Cat owned by Aaron Bresko and bred by Prisco Vacca, prevailed in race five for 80-year-old Neil Knapp and paid $7.20, and Allaire Farms homebred Sophie Dopey (Trickey Trevor) won race seven for 88-year-old Bob Meeking, returning $4.80.