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Las Vegas, NV - The 77th running of Northwest's richest race - the Longacres Mile - comes our way this Sunday, August 19 from Emerald Downs. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's portion of the $200,000 purse when they go one mile on Emerald Downs's main dirt track.
The Longacres Mile has drawn a field of 11 for race 8 on Emerald Downs's Sunday card with a post time of 5:39 PM. Let's take a look at all 11 and what brought them to this Grade 3 event.
Awesome Gem - trying to be the first horse since 1989 to win this race twice, Awesome gem is a multiple graded stakes winner that seems to be peaking with two wins in the last four starts - an Allowance on April 12 and the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap on May 28. Sandwiched around that however was a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap in May. Won the Longacres Mile Handicap last August to go along with a second in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita in October. Awesome Gem appears to be in decent form although some consistency would be nice!
Gladding - is coming off a win in the minor Alamedan Stakes by six lengths to follow a rather pedestrian fifth in the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap on May 5. Before that Gladding finished a close second in the Santana Mile Stakes on March 18 to follow a distant eleventh in the Santa Anita Handicap. She has raced well in the past in graded stakes races - a fourth at the Grade 3 Ack Handicap in November at Churchill Downs and a second at the Grade 3 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star last year.
Taylor Said - has won four straight races at Hastings and five straight races overall - none of the graded variety however. Taylor Said may not have raced against the top competitors in the division so far this year but there is no denying that this horse has what it takes to win - six wins and two second place finishes in nine career starts.
St Liams Halo - was the Horse of the Year in British Columbia in 2011 that most recently finished a close second to Hudson Landing in the Mount Rainier Stakes on July 22 with Mario Gutierrez in the saddle. That second place finish was just one of three runner-up finishes St Liams Halo has in 2012 - the other result being a fourth in the Lieutenant Governors' Handicap at Hastings on July 2.
Hudson Landing - won two straight Allowance Optional Claiming races at Golden Gate this year and has followed it up with a couple of impressive graded stakes results - a win in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile and a second in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap in May. In June Hudson Landing finished a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile but most recently bounced back with a win in the Mt. Rainier Handicap here against the likes of St Liams Halo. Hudson Landing has four wins and two second place finishes in eight starts this year and could be a factor Sunday.
Winning Machine - is the leading Handicap horse at Emerald Downs coming off a third in the Mt. Rainier Handicap a few weeks ago. Before the Mt. Rainier Winning Machine had two straight wins on this track and should be competitive on Sunday.
Longacres Mile betting at Emerald Downs with OffTrackBetting.com
Gallant Son - finished third in the San Francisco Mile back in April in his first start in seven months after a troubling pair of eighth place finishes in stakes races at Emerald Downs. Since then Gallant Son hasn't been all that good - a seventh in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap was followed by a fifth last time out in the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap on July 1. But he is a multiple graded stakes winner that won the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap in 2010 and won the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap as recently as last July.
Assessment - won this race in 2009 but was third in 2010 and eighth in 2011. Assessment hasn't tasted victory since September 2010 but has placed in four of the last five starts. This will be Assessment's second start of 2012 - the first resulted in a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here on July 28 after an eight month layoff.
Jump Up and Kissme - has six straight starts at Hastings with mixed results - all in Allowance Optional Claiming and minor stakes races. Among those results are three second place finishes - the George Royal Stakes and a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming. Last time out was a third in the Redekop British Columbia Cup Classic Handicap on August 6.
Bailouttheminister - has placed in all six starts of 2012 with three wins and two second place finishes. Bailouttheminister has won three of the last four starts including the Sam J. Whiting Memorial Handicap last time out at Pleasanton on August 4.
Jebrica - Graded stakes placed and multiple stakes winner Jebrica is coming off a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming here on July 28 to follow up a fourth in the Budweiser Handicap and a second in the Governor's Handicap on this track.
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