$50,000 Governor’s Handicap at Emerald Downs Sunday

Finallygotabentley (right) holds off Disruption (far left) to win the 2013 Auburn Handicap at Emerald Downs. The two horses meet again Sunday in the $50,000 Governor
Finallygotabentley (right) holds off Disruption (far left) to win the 2013 Auburn Handicap at Emerald Downs. The two horses meet again Sunday in the $50,000 Governor's Handicap for 3-year-olds and up, first stop on the road to the 2014 Longacres Mile.
— image credit: Photo Courtesy Emerald Downs

Disruption, a talented 4-year-old gelding coming off a knee injury, returns to action Sunday with a new trainer in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap at Emerald Downs.

For 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs, the Governor’s is first stop en route to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on August 24.

Last seen finishing second in the 2013 Auburn Handicap, Disruption emerged from the race with a knee fracture that pre-empted what looked to be a big sophomore season at Emerald Downs. Owned by Heidi Nelson, Disruption ultimately was transferred to trainer Monique Snowden, whose patient regimen appears ready to pay dividends.

“By far and away, he’s the best horse I’ve ever been around,” Snowden said of Disruption. “It’s like training Subarus and now I have a Ferrari. He’s so classy that he’d probably outscore dressage horses right now.”

A Florida-bred by Street Boss, Disruption sold for $90,000 at the 2012 Ocala Breeders Sales Company select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Originally trained by Blaine Wright, Disruption compiled a 2-3-0 record in six starts, winning a maiden special weight and non-winners of one allowance at Golden Gate Fields.

While with Snowden, Disruption has unleashed a series of big workouts capped by six furlongs in1:11 3/5 on May 8.

“His workouts have been awesome,” Snowden said. “I wanted to work him in company, but for some reason I can’t find anyone to work with him.

“I don’t think there’s a clear-cut speed horse in (the Governor’s). My horse breaks hard and fast so he should be right there.”

· Phoenix Gold Cup winner Absolutely Cool carries high weight of 122 lbs. in his first start at Emerald Downs since 2011. The 7-year-old Washington-bred has competed in 15 straight stakes races at Turf Paradise and Canterbury Park, including his 14-1 upset in the Feb. 15 Gold Cup in which the gelding ran six furlongs in 1:08.40 and earned a career-high 94 Beyer.

· The 10-horse field ties the largest ever for a Governor’s Handicap at Emerald Downs. The 2011 running won by Noosa Beach in 1:14.27 also featured a 10-horse field.

· The Governor’s Handicap, race nine on a 10-race program, goes at 6:19 p.m.

The field for Sunday’s $50,000 Governor’s Handicap (from the rail out, with handicap weights): Dontmesswithkitten, Felipe Valdez, 115 lbs; Wheelhouse, Jose Zunino, 115; Absolutely Cool, Rocco Bowen, 122; Finallygotabentley, Leslie Mawing, 117; Winning Machine, Javier Matias, 116; Jebrica, Juan Gutierrez, 118; Disruption, Eliska Kubinova, 115; Mr. Bowling, Isaias Enriquez, 119; Mike Man’s Gold, David G. Lopez, 116; Why Not Be Perfect, Anne Sanguinetti, 117.


Advance wagering will be offered throughout Friday on Saturday’s entire Preakness day program at Pimlico.

A special $1 daily double features Friday’s Pimlico Special (Race 12) and Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (Race 12). Also, a $0.50 Pick 3 is offered on the Pimlico Special, Dixie Stakes (SaturdayRace 11) and Preakness.

Saturday’s first Pimlico race is 7:45 a.m., with wagering available in the Quarter Chute Café. Emerald Downs’ main building opens at 8:30 a.m.

Post time for the 139th Preakness Stakes is 3:18 p.m. (Pacific).


With Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome attempting to win the 139th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, Emerald Downs offers its annual free “Preakness Pancakes” on track from 9 to 11 a.m.

The breakfast includes free admission for the day’s races, free official program, and complimentary tram tour through the track’s stable area. The event will be hosted on Track Level, allowing a perfect vantage point for fans to watch horses train.

Hosted by track announcer Robert Geller, the morning event features special interviews with horsemen and a preview of Saturday’s card at Emerald Downs.

NOTES: Weekly honors: Trainer-H F Howie Gibson (2-1-0-1); Jockey-Juan Gutierrez (17-5-1-3); Owner-Jack Zaborac (1-1-0-0); Groom-Oscar Mariscal (Tom Wenzel); Washington-bred-Cantcatchme (breeder Clemans View Farm). . . Stopshoppingdebbie equaled her career-high 83 Beyer in Sunday’s four-length Hastings Handicap victory, running six furlongs in 1:08.38 and boosting her career mark to 6-6-0-0-$156,273. . .5-year-old gelding I Keep Saying got a career-high 85 for his 2 ¼-length victory in Sunday’s eighth race for $32,000/$25,000 claimers. Trained by Jim Penney, I Keep Saying ran 6 ½ furlongs in a meet-best 1:14.56. A Homestretch Farms homebred, I Keep Saying is 4-2-0 in his last six sprints at Emerald Downs. . .Owner of the Week Jack Zaborac and trainer Steve Koler are a combined 3-1-0 in six starts at the meet including a $49.60 score by 5-year-old gelding Surfliner in Saturday’s seventh race. . .Vegas Burn shoots for his fourth win of the meet in Saturday’s ninth race for $3,500 claimers at six furlongs. Vegas Burn and Cha Cha Latte*both trained by Jeff Metz*are tied for the meet lead in wins with three apiece. . .7-year-old Buddy Dave makes his season debut Saturday in race three for $5,000 claimers at six furlongs. Buddy Dave is tied with Polish Dollar and Seattle Game for most EmD wins by an active horse at 13 apiece. Vince Gibson trains both Buddy Dave and Seattle Game. . .Several world champion Seattle Seahawks plan to attend the races Saturday including Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, Mike Morgan, K J Wright and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith. . . Nominations closeSaturday for the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for 3-year-old colts & geldings at 6 ½ furlongs, to be run Sunday May 25. . .Quarter Horses return this weekend with three races*Saturday’s first race features 3-year-olds and up racing 300 yards for a $3,500 claiming price, Sunday’s opener is for 3-year-olds and up which have never won three races for a $5,000 claiming price at 350 yards, and Sunday’s second race is a maiden race for 3-year-olds and up at 300 yards. . . The main event for Quarter Horses is the fourth running of the $60,000 Bank of America EmD Championship Challenge at 440 yards on August 31. . .Hastings Racecourse has a holiday stakes doubleheaderMonday, the $50,000 John Longden 6000 for 3-year-olds and up and the $50,000 Strawberry Morn Handicap for older fillies and mares.

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