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EMERALD DOWNS: Longacres Mile news and notes
1—Gallon (16-4-5-3-$224,690) 15-1
Trainer Jim Penney has won The Mile a record five times including three this decade: Edneator ($85.20, 2000), Sabertooth ($37.20, 2002), Flamethrowintexan ($6.80, 2006). Jockey Juan Gutierrez has ridden two of the last four Mile winners No Giveaway ($122, 2005), The Great Face ($13.40, 2007).
2—Wasserman (45-9-10-7-$474,649) 10-1
Emerald Downs’ all-time leading earner ($454,912) bids to become the first repeat winner in the 14 years The Mile has been contested at Emerald Downs. Jennifer Whitaker became the first female jockey to win The Mile in 2008, an achievement that earned her honors as a finalist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year. Owner/trainer/breeder Howard Belvoir also saddles Assessment in this year’s Mile.
3—Kruger Park (17-5-3-3-$199,204) 20-1
Bids to become the fifth Florida-bred and just the third gray to win The Mile. Claimed for $50,000 at Santa Anita in March, 5-year-old gelding blossomed this spring with victories in the Seattle and FSN handicaps. This is the first Longacres Mile for jockey Jose Contreras and trainer Carlos Moreno.
4—Trumpet Player Jay (10-2-2-2-$91,060) 15-1
Won a four-way shake for the 12th and final spot in the race. Kentucky-bred is the least experienced runner in the field, although his 10 career starts would not be a record low. Kid Katabatic won the 1997 Longacres Mile in only his ninth career start. Housed with leading trainer Tim McCanna at Emerald Downs. Trainer Mark Glatt and jockey Michael C. Baze are Northwest natives making their Emerald Downs and Longacres Mile debuts.
5—Autism Awareness (23-4-4-1-$281,745) 8-1
Cost a mere $1,000 at auction and has blossomed into a multiple graded stakes winner. Relishes longshot role, winning the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at 62-1 and the Grade III Berkeley Handicap at 30-1. Owner Johnny Taboada named the California-bred colt to raise awareness of the disability that affects children, including his son Renzo. Autism Awareness is one of five California shippers in this year’s Mile.
6—Bank Emblem (42-18-8-5-$340,948) 20-1
One of two Vancouver-based runners in the field, California-bred leads this year’s Mile with 18 career victories, though many of those wins were recorded in the claiming ranks in Northern California. Robert Gilker is the gelding’s ninth different trainer, and Bank Emblem has been claimed five times in his career.
Longacres Mile Flash Notes
7—Awesome Gem (27-5-10-3-$1,353,682) 2-1
Is the first Longacres Mile entrant who previously raced in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the second richest horse (over $1.3 million) to enter the Longacres Mile. The betting favorite hasn’t won The Mile since Sky Jack in 2003, a trend that Awesome Gem seeks to break if he goes favored, as expected, in this year’s Mile. Jockey Russell Baze ranks No. 1 all-time with 10,587 wins (thru Aug. 13) and is one of only two jockeys to win The Mile at Longacres and Emerald Downs.
8—Teide (14-4-2-3-$160,263) 10-1
Lightly raced 5-year-old is considered to be the stronger of the two Canadian shippers following a powerful win in the 1 1/8-mile Lt. Governor’s Handicap in Vancouver last month. However, the last horse to win The Mile with his previous starts at Hastings/Exhibition Park was Silver Double in 1970. Trainer Dino Condilenios finished third with Lord Nelson in the 2003 Mile and jockey Chad Hoverson finished second on Quiet Cash in 2005.
9—Atta Boy Roy (13-6-4-0-$99,800) 8-1
Exceptionally fast colt tied the track record of 1:07 2/5 for six furlongs and then won the Governor’s Handicap with the fastest 6 ½ furlongs (1:14 1/5) of the meet. Is the younger brother of 2007 Longacres Mile winner The Great Face, and one of just two Washington-breds in the race.
10—Sierra Sunset (13-5-3-1-$459,696) 7-2
This is the first Longacres Mile with two Triple Crown trail winners (Sierra Sunset/Autism Awareness). California-bred has four career stakes victories and just won Pleasanton’s 1 1/16-mile Alamedan Handicap by five lengths.
11—Crafty Power (25-6-7-4-$158,759) 20-1
Five-year-old California-bred has led after a half-mile in his last 11 starts, including an eventual runner-up finish to probable Mile favorite Awesome Gem in June allowance race on turf. Co-owned by Seattle’s George Todaro, who is founder of several biotechnology companies and a longtime medical researcher at the University of Washington. A noted scientist, he has worked with the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health.
12—Assessment (24-6-4-3-$190,890) 6-1
Gelding has been the best handicap horse this season at Emerald Downs, but he must overcome the No. 12 post-position that last yielded a Mile winner way back in 1935. Seeks to become the fifth straight local horse to win The Mile, and attempts to give trainer Howard Belvoir a second straight Mile victory. Gallyn Mitchell ranks No. 1 all-time with 1,144 wins at Emerald Downs.
The Longacres Mile again is proud to be affiliated with the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The winner of the 2009 Mile qualifies for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Nov. 7, at Santa Anita.
Longacres Mile Flash Notes
The 74th running of the $300,000 Longacres Mile:
PP Horse Trainer Jockey Weight ML
1 Gallon Jim Penney Juan Gutierrez 116 15
2 Wasserman Howard Belvoir Jennifer Whitaker 116 10
3 Kruger Park Carlos Moreno Jose Contreras 118 20
4 Trumpet Player Jay Mark Glatt Michael C. Baze 115 15
5 Autism Awareness Genaro Vallejo David Lopez 122 8
6 Bank Emblem Robert Gilker Frank Fuentes 118 20
7 Awesome Gem Craig Dollase Russell Baze 122 2
8 Teide D. Condilenios Chad Hoverson 117 10
9 Atta Boy Roy Valorie Lund Ricky Frazier 116 8
10 Sierra Sunset Jeff Bonde William Antongeorgi 120 7/2
11 Crafty Power J. Hollendorfer Frank Alvarado 118 20
12 Assessment Howard Belvoir Gallyn Mitchell 119 6
$300,000 LONGACRES MILE VITAL STATISTICS
What: 74th running of the Grade III, $300,000 Longacres Mile
When: 6 p.m. (approx.), Sunday, Aug. 16
Where: Emerald Downs, Auburn, Wash.
TV/Radio: TVG/FSN (Bob Rondeau, Joe Withee, Simon Bray, Todd Schrupp, Robert Geller); KJR 950 AM (Mike Gastineau, Robert Geller)
• Two single-season records could be broken in the next few days. Keith Swagerty’s Swag Stables needs just one victory to tie the record of 23 wins set by West Ridge Ranch in 2003, and Cassie Papineau needs one win to set a record of 48 wins by an apprentice jockey. Papineau is scheduled to ride six horses Friday while Swag’s next starter is No Flies On Doodle in Saturday’s $75,000 Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.
• Joe Withee is booked solid this weekend on The Win, Place Show (8 a.m. Saturday/Sunday KJR 950 AM). Saturday, trainer Mark Glatt (Trumpet Player Jay), handicapper Michael Hammsersly and broadcaster Bob Rondeau will be featured. Sunday, racing expert/historian Jon White, TVG’s Todd Schrupp and KJR’s Mike Gastineau take a final pre-race look at the 2009 Longacres Mile.
• Speaking of White, congratulations to the Spokane native on being named the new morning line maker at Santa Anita and Oak Tree.
• Famed equine artist Pam Parker will be at EmD again this weekend to sell her giclees and original paintings, while also painting live at the paddock. Parker is generously donating 20 percent of her proceeds to the Equine Art show (a non-profit event)…Sunday’s card also features the $100,000 Emerald Distaff with 2-1 morning line favorite Elusive Horizon, and the $30,000 Longacres Mile Consolation including Mile nominees Margo’s Gift, Z Humor and Texas Wildcatter.
• Leading rider Ricky Frazier was ill Friday and was excused from his mounts by the stewards. Frazier, who has 116 wins in 64 days, is expected to ride Saturday.