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Hoist wins Governor's Handicap | Emerald Downs

Hoist and jockey Aaron Gryder prevail in the 74th running of the $50,000 Governor
Hoist and jockey Aaron Gryder prevail in the 74th running of the $50,000 Governor's Handicap at Emerald Downs. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Mineshaft, Hoist ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.78. Mike Puhich is trainer for North American Thoroughbred Racing Company Inc. May 19, 2013
— image credit: Photo coutesy Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs

Apparently North American Thoroughbred Racing Company has another Longacres Mile candidate in 2013.

The nom de course for Glen Todd of Surrey, British Columbia, North American Thoroughbred Racing Company campaigned Taylor Said to a victory in the 2012 Mile. This year’s candidate is Hoist, a powerful 4-year-old son of Mineshaft who simply ran the opposition into defeat Sunday, scoring a one-length victory over 40-to-1 Stryker Phd in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Why Not Be Perfect finished third while defending champion and 3-to-2 betting favorite Winning Machine finished last.

Ridden by Aaron Gryder at 118 lbs, Hoist zipped 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.78 and paid $8.40, $5.40 and $4.80. Mike Puhich-saddling his third winner on the card-is the winning trainer.

The Governor’s is the first step for older horses en route to the 78th edition of the $200,000 Longacres Mile onSunday, August 18, and a harbinger for the division.

With probable favorite Makors Finale sidelined, some wondered where the early pace would come from in the Governor’s, but Hoist, handled perfectly by Gryder, answered that question immediately. Sprinting clear in the opening strides, Hoist opened a long early lead, setting fractions of :21.93 for the quarter-mile and :43.83 for the half.

Hoist then extended the lead to four lengths past mid-stretch, and was never seriously threatened although Stryker Phd closed the gap late.

“With the post he had today, I was happy that the horses we had to beat were on the outside of us,” said Gryder, the leading rider this year at Hastings Racecourse. “I just wanted to break as I clean as I could. I knew that my horse was extremely quick, so they were going to have to really push to outrun him early.

“They didn’t want to push, so I kept my horse out in the middle of the track and forced the other jockeys to make decisions. By the time we got to the turn, he was going quickly enough that we could just open it up. I didn’t hear any other horses coming, I just heard (trainer) Mike Puhich yelling.”

Hoist earned $27,500 for the win and pushed his career bankroll to $201,901. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred has a 4-1-5 mark in 11 starts including stops at Fair Grounds, Belmont Park, Saratoga, Santa Anita and Hastings, where his lone start was a third in the 2012 B.C. Derby. Most recently, Hoist finished a troubled third in the April 28 allowance race won by Makors Finale.

Stryker Phd, ridden by Debbie Hoonan at 114 lbs, rallied from last to finish second and paid $31.40 and $8.60.
Trained by Margo Lloyd, the 4-year-old Washington-bred gelding has finished in the top three in six of his seven career starts including a victory vs. maiden special weights on the turf at Golden Gate Fields.

“I can’t wait to go a route,” Hoonan said. I started to ask him at the three-eighths pole and he just started flying. I thought we were going to win it, I really did.”

Why Not Be Perfect, the starting high-weight ridden by Anne Sanguinetti at 121 lbs., also closed well to finish third and paid $4.80.

Assessment finished fourth, followed by Kooky Saluki, D’honorable One, Edge Forward and Winning Machine.

Winning Machine, runner-up in last year’s Longacres Mile and first, second or third in 20 of 30 starts at Emerald Downs, turned in an uncharacteristic performance. Regular rider Javier Matias was puzzled by the effort.

“I moved him into a good position, but when I asked him, he gave me nothing today,” Matias said. “I don’t know what happened out there. It seemed like everything was OK, but then he was just out of it. I don’t think he was tired. He just had a bad day.”

Next up for older horses is the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap at one mile on Sunday, June 16.

NOTES: Puhich also clicked with Southern Solution ($7.40) in race eighth and Eltoninadress ($13.20) in race three. Matias and David G. Lopez each rode two winners on the 10-race card. Juan Gutierrez and Isaias Enriquez each rode a winner, and Gutierrez leads Enriquez 24-20 in the standings. Both jockeys have at least one win on 14 of the 15 cards this season*Jeff Metz saddled Why Not Be Perfect to a third in the Governor’s Handicap and finished first and third in the nightcap with Last Diamond ($8.20) and Twist My Kazoo*Chris Stenslie remains atop the trainers’ standings by a 14-12 margin over Metz, with Frank Lucarelli, Tim McCanna and Blaine Wright all tied for third with six wins apiece*Southern Solution ($7.40) edged Scat Daddybaby in race eight to become the meet’s eighth two-time winner*Trainer Roy Lumm, winning a four-way shake, claimed Southern Solution for $15,000 for owner Richard Ford*Sollovino ($8.40) prevailed in the Quarter Horse opener with Cassie Papineau picking up the mount for trainer Saul Rodriguez. Betting favorites are 0-for-3 in Quarter Horses races this season*Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:45 p.m. It’s a four-day race week capped by Monday racing on Memorial Day.

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