Las Vegas, NV - Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington will hold its marquee event this Sunday, August 18 - the 78 the edition of the Grade 3 Longacres Mile. Horses three years old and upward will take to Emerald Downs' main track and race one mile in search of their share of the $200,000 purse.
A full field of 12 will line up in the Longacres mile - race eight on Emerald Downs' Sunday schedule. Post time is 5:32 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of the 12 well matched entries for this Grade 3 stakes.
Politicallycorrect - is coming off a good second in the Grade 3 James Marvin after a third in the minor Jaipur Stakes June 7, a sixth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes in May and a nearly six month layoff. He did have a pair of minor stakes wins last fall but ended 2012 with a distant eighth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December. Politicallycorrect has four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 17 career starts for trainer Wesley Ward but hasn't tasted victory since the Damascus Stakes November 3 - his last trip to the West Coast. Despite the lack of victories Politicallycorrect has been instilled at the 7-2 morning line favorite as well as the co-highweight of 121 pounds and departs from post 3 Sunday with three time Longacres Mile winning jockey and Hall of Famer Russell Baze in the saddle.
Herbie D - Rob Gilker trained gelding has won an astounding nine of 12 career starts with a second and a third place finish. He enters the Longacres having won seven of his last eight starts - the last coming on this track in the minor Mt. Rainier Handicap July 21. Before that he dominated Hastings. He has been sent off as the 4-1 second choice and is the co-highweight along with Politicallycorrect. He breaks from post 10.
Golden Itiz - finished twelfth in the Grade 2 San Marcos in February in his last graded stakes start and has raced four straight Allowance Optional Claiming races since. He enters the Longacres Mile on a two race win streak - both at Hollywood Park after a pair of thirds in the spring. The Ron Ellis trainee has six wins including the 2010 Affirmed Handicap and five third place finishes in 18 career starts. He is the third choice on the morning line at 5-1 odd and breaks from post 7.
Mr. Bowling - J. Larry Jones trained colt has had some terrific results in his career and has been knocking on the door lately. He won the Grade 3 Le Comte Stakes in January 2012 but followed that with some awful results - an eleventh and twelfth respectively in graded stakes action. Mr. Bowling concentrated on Allowance Optional Claiming races this year after 10 months away posting a win, a second and a third place finish before returning to stakes action last time out. He was second in the minor Golden Bear Stakes at Indiana Downs July 20 to re-emerge on the stakes radar. He is 6-1 on the morning line and breaks from an unflattering post 11.
Stryker Phd - has spent his whole racing career at Emerald Downs finishing out of the money just once in nine career starts. He is coming off a good second behind Herbie D in the minor Mt. Rainier Stakes. Before that was another pair of runner-up finishes in minor stakes action. He only has one win - a MSW here in November but Stryker Phd is used to being near the top. he is listed at 8-1 on the morning line and represents the best chance for a local entry to walk away with the title.
Tres Borrachos - placed in two of three races to start 2013 including a third in the minor Santana Mile Stake March 21 behind Liaison and Midnight Transfer and an Allowance score (he recorded a Beyer Speed Figure of over 100 in both of those starts) but has failed to hit the board in his last two starts which include an eighth in the Grade 3 All American Stakes at Golden Gate in May and a fifth last time out in the minor Mt. Rainier Stakes on this track July 21. That makes six straight graded stakes races he's failed to place. Others include a fourth January 5 in the Grade 2 San Pasqual. Tres Borrachos has raced 36 stakes races all over the map with OK results - now he brings his show to Emerald Downs. He is the co-fifth choice at 10-1 odds and breaks from post 8 Sunday.
Gladding - has raced against the best in her 23 race career with four wins, five seconds and three third place finishes. He ran three graded stakes races last year with a fifth in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy being his best result. This year he has one minor stake start - a fifth in the Santana Mile Stake at Santa Anita March 31 and four Allowance Optional Claiming starts. He's finished third in his last two starts overall and did have a second in January at Santa Anita. Like Tres Borrachos, Gladding is 10-1 on the morning line - he starts from post 4.
Jebrica - finished third most recently in the minor Mt. Rainier Handicap here July 21 after a terrific win in the Budweiser Handicap here in June. His last graded stakes action came in October - an OK second in the Grade 3 BC Premier's Handicap at Hastings. He will be looking to better an eighth place finish from last year's Longacres Mile from post 6. He is 12-1 on the morning line and races from post 6.
Why Not Be Perfect - has an astounding 46 career starts for trainer Jeffrey Metz but Sunday marks just the second him he steps up in graded stakes action. Last time out was his graded stakes debut - a fifth in the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park July 14. He did win two minor stakes races this year - the Wildcat Handicap and the Turf Paradise Handicap in the spring but has finished off-the-board in his last two starts overall. In 46 career starts Why Not Be Perfect has eight wins, four seconds and nine third place finishes and is a long shot at 15-1 odds.
Winning Machine - the defending runner-up in this race has placed in just two of his last five starts and is coming off a fourth in the competitive Mt. Rainier Handicap here July 21. This after a third in the Budweiser Handicap also on this track in June and an eighth in the Governor's Handicap here in May. He has nine wins, nine seconds and five third place finishes in 36 career starts but hasn't tasted victory since the 2012 Budweiser last June. He goes off at 15-1 odds from an unfavorable outside starting position.
Hoist - hasn't looked great in his last two starts on this track - two sixth place finishes in minor stakes action - the Mt. Rainier Handicap July 21 and the Budweiser Handicap June 16 but did record a win on this track in May - in the minor Governor's Handicap. He also had an OK third in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby in September at Hastings. He has shown good form in the past but most recently has struggled. Hoist breaks from post 2 with Mario Gutierrez aboard at 20-1 odds.
Until You - makes his stakes debut Sunday having placed just once in the last year. He is coming off that placing however - an improbable Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track August 4. He breaks from the rail Sunday with Juan Gutierrez in the saddle as the longest shot in the field - 30-1 odds.