Zayda's late rally fell a neck short in the $50,000 Pepsi-Cola Handicap, but the strapping 3-year-old was promoted to first place via disqualification in a wild finish Sunday at Emerald Downs.
Rainier Ice, ridden by Gallyn Mitchell at 117 lbs, crossed the wire first, running one mile in 1:36.90 on a fast track, but was disqualified and placed fourth for causing interference in deep stretch. The 5-to-2 second choice in the wagering, Rainier Ice came in sharply approaching the wire, bumping Zayda, setting off a chain reaction of bumps in the final jumps before the wire.
The stewards immediately opened an inquiry, and Rainier Ice was placed fourth, behind Zayda, Winter Warlock and Showme Yourfriends.
Ridden by Leslie Mawing at 118, Zayda earned his first stakes victory and paid $18.60, $5.60 and $3.40. Blaine Wright is the trainer for owner Heidi Nelson of Bothell, WA.