One of the top jockeys in her homeland, Sutherland has been riding in Southern California the past few months and was sent to Golden Gate Fields to ride Unusual Suspect by Santa Anita-based trainer Barry Abrams.
Six horses were entered in the Silveyville but only four ended up running in the 1 1/16-mile race on Tapeta. Pass the Heat, the 8-to-5 morning line favorite, and My Summer Slew, a 10-to-1 outsider, were scratched from the race Friday morning.
Trainer William J. Morey, Jr., reported that Pass the Heat was scratched due to an abscess in a foot.
"He came up with it after he worked [last Saturday]," said Morey. "It finally popped this morning."
Unusual Suspect, a confirmed stretch-runner, was much closer to the pace Friday since leaders Bamaha Breeze and Cover Magic dawdled on the front end through embarrassingly-slow fractions of 26.17, 52.37 and 1:16.98.
Sutherland sent Unusual Suspect after the pacesetters on the far turn and the 4-year-old colt responded by reeling in the leaders and taking command of the Silveyville at the top of the stretch.
"I think we've had him too far back lately," said Sutherland. "Today they were crawling, crawling, and I think he liked being up closer. He ran great."
Unusual Suspect, a California-bred son of Unusual Heat, earned $45,000 for his fourth career stakes victory and his seventh win in 22 career starts. Owned by Barry, David and Dyan Abrams, Unusual Suspect has earned $562,592.
Unusual Suspect was timed in 1:47.36 and paid $7.00. Cover Magic took second by a length over Bamaha Breeze. Swift Demand finished fourth.
Fans attending Golden Gate Fields Saturday will receive a free 2009 Golden Gate Fields wall calendar. Post time is 12:45 p.m.
BAZE WINS 400 AGAIN -- Jockey Russell Baze notched his 400th win of 2008 when he hustled Portland Storm to a two-length victory in the sixth race. It's the 12th time that North America's all-time winningest jockey has registered 400 victories in a year. No other jockey has won 400 races in a year more than three times.