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Winning Machine, Hudson Landing and Taylor Said lead nominations to Mt. Rainier Handicap | Emerald Downs
Of all the lead-ups to the Longacres Mile, the Mt. Rainier Handicap far and away has been the most important race.
Four of the last six horses to win the Mt. Rainier Handicap went on to win the Longacres Mile*Flamethrowintexan, The Great Face, Assessment and Noosa Beach*so the winner of Sunday’s $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap will have history on his side in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) Sunday, Aug. 19.
The Mt. Rainier at 1-1/16 miles received nominations from the top horse on three circuits:
Winning Machine has won the first two races for older horses at Emerald Downs, the 6-½-furlong Governor’s Handicap and the one-mile Budweiser Handicap, tying the stakes record in the former and prevailing by a half-length in the latter.
Taylor Said has yet to be tested while winning three straight stakes at Hastings Racecourse, the 6-½-furlong John Longden 6000 and the 1-1/16-mile Winston Churchill and 1-1/16-mile Lt. Governor’s Handicap. The 4-year-old Stephanotis gelding has won by 4-½, 2 and 2 lengths, on tracks labeled fast, wet-fast and sloppy.
Since being claimed for $50,000 in February, Hudson Landing has compiled a 3-0-1 record in five starts topped by a half-length victory over multiple Grade I winner Jeranimo in the Grade 3 San Francisco Handicap on the Golden Gate Fields turf course. Most recently the 5-year-old Maria’s Mon gelding had a troubled trip while finishing seventh to Jeranimo in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park.
High-weighted at 122 lbs., Hudson Landing must prove he can handle the transition to dirt; he’s 6-for-17 on turf, 4-for-9 on synthetic, and 0-for-4 on dirt.
St Liams Halo has been the second best older horse at Hastings this year, finishing second to Taylor Said in both the John Longden 6000 and Winston Churchill. Last year, the Florida-bred was a double stakes winner on the bullring but was scratched from the Longacres Mile with a foot ailment.
Rainier Ice finished runner-up to Winning Machine in the Budweiser Handicap and has run well in races around two turns. Couldabenthewhisky ran a much-improved race to finish second to Hollywood Harbor in a six-furlong allowance race July 8.
Handicap weights: Hudson Landing, 122; Taylor Said, 121; Winning Machine, 120; St Liams Halo, 118; Couldabenthwhisky, 116; Rainier Ice, 116; Aaron the Baron, 114; Slim Pickins, 114.
Mt. Rainier Handicap
3-Year-Olds & Up-17th Running, Sunday, July 22
Horse Owner Trainer
Aaron the Baron (5-WA) Elttaes Stable Doris Harwood
Couldabenthewhisky (4-WA) Friendship, Fredrickson & McDonald Bonnie Jenne
Hudson Landing (5-KY) Chappell Alpine Farms LLC Blaine Wright
Rainier Ice (4-KY) Northwest Farms & C&M Racing Tom Wenzel
Slim Pickins (4-KY) Ken Miles Chris Stenslie
St Liams Halo (5-FLA) Glen Todd & Patrick Kinsella Michael Puhich
Taylor Said (4-BC) N American Tbred Horse Company Michael Puhich
Winning Machine (6-KY) Fleur De Lis Stables Frank Lucarelli