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$50,000 Governor’s Handicap nominations | Emerald Downs
The road to the Longacres Mile officially begins with the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap on Sunday, May 19. The first of four open stakes for 3-year-olds and up, the 6 ½-furlong Governor’s is the lone sprint in the series and drew an outstanding list of 12 nominations.
Last year’s Top Older Horse and Top 3-Year-Old, Winning Machine and Makors Finale, staged a dramatic sneak preview last month with Makors Finale holding off Winning Machine by a neck in 1:02.71 for 5 ½ furlongs.
The defending Governor’s champion, Winning Machine is coming off his best season in which the Kentucky-bred won two stakes, finished second in two others and came within a head of winning the Longacres Mile. Makors Finale, meanwhile, dominated the sophomore ranks with four stakes wins and was named the WTBOA Washington Horse of the Year for 2012.
The third, fourth and fifth-place finishers from the April 28 allowance race*Hoist, Edge Forward and D’honorable One*also are nominated to the Governors, along with 2012 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic winner Kooky Saluki and 2012 Top Claimer Rocky’s Quest.
Why Not Be Perfect, fresh off honors as Top Turf Horse at Turf Paradise, moves back to dirt for the Governor’s, while a string of Vancouver-based runners*Devil in Disguise, Herbie D and Hoist*also are nominated to the race. Devil in Disguise, runner-up in the George Royal last month at Hastings Racecourse, and Hoist, third in last year’s B.C. Derby, are both owned by North American Thoroughbred Racing Company and trained by Mike Puhich. Those are the same connections that sent out Taylor Said to win the 2012 Longacres Mile.
The venerable Governor’s*2013 marks the 74th running*has produced a long list of champions over the years, most recently Winning Machine, Noosa Beach (2011), Atta Boy Roy (2009), Wasserman (2008), Starbird Road (2006) and No Giveaway (2005).
After the Governor’s, the older horse division continues with the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap, one mile, June 16; $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap, 1 1/16 mile, July 8, and $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3), August 18.
Governor’s Handicap*74th Running, 6 ½ Furlongs, Sunday, May 19
Assessment (KY-9)....Tice Ranch Stables LLC....Howard Belvoir
D’honorable One (FLA-4).... Nelson Family Racing....Blaine Wright
Devil in Disguise (KY-4).... North American T’bred Racing....Company Mike Puhich
Edge Forward (KY-4).... Ivor & Jack Jones....Doris Harwood
Herbie D (BC-5)....George Robbins....Robert Gilker
Hoist (KY-4).... North American T’bred Racing Company....Mike Puhich
Kooky Saluki (WA-5).... MOH Stables, Inc.....Jim Penney
Makors Finale (WA-4).... Karl Krieg....Tom Wenzel
Rocky’s Quest (KY-5).... John & Janene Maryanski....Blaine Wright
Stryker Phd (WA-4).... Jim & Mona Hour....Margo Lloyd
Why Not Be Perfect (KY-6).... J. C. Racing Stable....Jeff Metz
Winning Machine (KY-7).... Fleur De Lis Stables....Frank Lucarelli