Twelve top older handicap runners are nominated to Sunday’s $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at Emerald Downs.
At 1 1-16 miles, the Mt. Rainier is the final major local prep for the 78th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, August 18. In fact, four of the last seven Mt. Rainier Handicap winners went on to also capture The Mile.
The nominees feature six local runners, four that have been racing in Canada, and one apiece from northern and southern California.
Tres Borrachos, an 8-year-old gelding based with trainer Marty Jones at Betfair Hollywood Park, leads the nominees in earnings with $1,029,723. Winner of the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes and Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, the son of Ecton Park has faced many of the nation’s top runners in a 47-race career that includes a classified allowance win this spring at Santa Anita.
A strong Canadian contingent includes Herbie D, Commander, Devil in Disguise and Hoist, the latter scoring a gate-to-wire victory in the May 19 Governor’s Handicap at Emerald Downs.
Herbie D, a 5-year-old gelding conditioned by Robert Gilker, is 8-1-1 in 11 lifetime starts including two stakes wins this year at Hastings Racecourse. A British Columbia-bred by Orchid’s Devil, Herbie D has form very similar to Taylor Said when that B.C.-bred won the 2012 Longacres Mile.
Commander broke a four-race losing streak with a three-length victory in the one-mile Spangled Jimmy Handicap at Northlands Park, and the 5-year-old gelding has three career stakes wins at 1 1-16 miles. Last year, Commander was 6-1-0 in 10 starts including a head victory over Jebrica in the $100,000 B.C. Premier’s Handicap. Last year, Devil in Disguise finished runner-up in both the B.C. Derby and Canadian Derby. Although winless in three starts this year, Devil in Disguise finished second in the April 28 George Royal Stakes, and is 4-1-0 in five lifetime starts at 1 1-16 miles.
At Emerald Downs, the stretch-running Stryker Phd is the only horse to hit the board in both stakes this season for older horses, finishing second at 40-to-1 in the Governor’s Handicap and second at 19-to-1 in the Budweiser Handicap. The Bertrando gelding has an exciting style, and also figures to benefit from added distance.
Winning Machine, runner-up in the 2012 Mile, was back on the beam in the Budweiser Handicap, leading to deep stretch before finishing a close third.
After missing by only three-quarters-of-a-length while finishing fourth in the Governor’s Handicap, Jebrica unleashed a powerful rally to score by three-quarters-of-a-length in the one-mile Budweiser.
Mt. Rainier Handicap
Sunday, July 21, 2013--3-Year-Olds & Up*One Mile
Administer (4-ILL)..... Peter Redekop B.C. Ltd.....Blaine Wright
Commander (5-KY)....North American T’bred Racing Company...Mike Puhich
Devil in Disguise (4-KY).... North American T’bred Racing Company...Mike Puhich
Herbie D (5-BC).......George Robbins.......Robert Gilker
Hoist (4-KY).....North American T’bred Racing Company...Mike Puhich
Jebrica (5-WA).......R & R Warren LLC.......Jim Penney
Memphis Beach (4-WA).....Sue & Tim Spooner.......Dan Markle
Polish Dollar (7-WA).......Sharon Radke.......Robert Meeking
Rocky’s Quest (5-KY).....John & Janene Maryanski....... Blaine Wright
Stryker Phd (4-WA)......Jim & Mona Hour.......Margo Lloyd
Tres Borrachos (8-KY).....George Hicker & Button Stable.....Martin Jones
Winning Machine (7-KY).....Fleur De Lis Stables.....Frank Lucarelli