For the Reporter
Riser, winner of two stakes this season at Emerald Downs, and defending champion Gold Rush Dancer are among 17 horses nominated to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Sunday, Aug. 12.
The 83rd renewal of the Northwest’s premier race anchors a stakes quadruple-header also featuring the $50,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares, $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
The extremely quick Riser (right) has crossed the wire first in all three older horse stakes this season, leading gate-to-wire in the six-furlong Governor’s Stakes, 6½-furlong Budweiser Stakes (DQ’d and placed fifth) and 1 1/16-mile Mt. Rainier Stakes, winning the latter by 2¼ lengths in a stakes record 1:40.08 with a career-high 97 Beyer. A 4-year-old Mizzen Mast colt, Riser is 5-1-0 in seven Emerald Downs’ starts with earnings of $145,174.
Wright also nominated Alert Bay, winner of 10 stakes and more than $1.2 million in a 33-race career that includes a third and a fourth in the 2015 and 2016 Longacres Miles. The 7-year-old City Zip gelding has been off nearly 13 months; his last start was a third in the 2017 American Handicap on turf at Santa Anita.
Gold Rush Dancer (left), 4¾-length winner of the 2017 Mile, bids to become the fifth two-time Mile winner and only the second at Emerald Downs (Stryker Phd 2014-15). The 5-year-old Private Gold horse has been flat this year, however, finishing 10th, 9th and 10th in three turf stakes at Santa Anita and Del Mar.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer nominated four horses – Full of Luck, Ike Walker, Sheer Flattery and Shivermetimbers – in a bid for a third Longacres Mile victory. Trainer John Sadler nominated Curlin Rules, a Curlin gelding who finished runner-up to multiple graded winner Cupid in the one-mile Harold F. Brubaker last year at Del Mar.
Longtime rivals Mach One Rules and Barkley, second and fourth to Gold Rush Dancer last year, return for another crack at the track’s biggest race. Barkley has seconds this year in the Governor’s Stakes and Mt. Rainier Stakes while Mach One Rules has finished third to Riser in all three stakes in 2018.
My Friend Emma has blossomed in 2018 for trainer Rhoda March, earning 98 and 94 Beyers while finishing runner-up in the one-mile All American on synthetic at Golden Gate and winning the five-furlong Albany on turf at Golden Gate.
Conquest Windycity has raced mainly in Kentucky, New York and Florida, earning a 100 Beyer in a seven-furlong allowance last winter at Gulfstream Park.
Kaabraaj, unproven at a mile, is one of the fastest sprinters in track history, setting a track and state record of 1:06.90 for six furlongs in 2016 and posting the meet’s fastest 6-½ furlongs, 1:14.31, in a gate-to-wire victory earlier this month.
Oh Marvelous Me, another Wright trainee, is a consistent 6-year-old with a 6-3-2 record in 12 career starts at Emerald Downs, while Shivermetimbers and multiple Emerald Downs’ stakes winner Sippin Fire are the only 3-year-olds nominated to the Mile.
Handicap weights for the Mile will be announced Saturday, Aug. 4, with entries drawn Wednesday, Aug. 8.
Pending late mail, the final nominations will be posted Monday.
$200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3), Sunday, Aug. 12
Horse, owner, trainer
Alert Bay (7g/CA) Peter Redekop BC Ltd., Blaine Wright
Barkley (5h/KY) Rising Star Stable III, Howard Belvoir
Conquest Windycity (5g/KY) David Staudacher, Michael Maker
Coulterberry (5g/BC) Roy & Dixie Jacobson, Mark Cloutier
Curlin Rules (5g/KY) Hronis Racing LLC, John W. Sadler
Full of Luck (5h/CHI) CTR, Hollendorfer, Todaro & West Point, Jerry Hollendorfer
Gold Rush Dancer (5h/CA) John E. Parker, Vann Belvoir
Huya (5g/WA) Drew & Jamie Baker/Todd & Sherrie Nicklos, Candi Tollett
Ike Walker (6g/KY) CTR/Hollendorfer/Robertson/Todaro/Team Green, Jerry Hollendorfer
Kaabraaj (6g/WA) Warlock, Horseplayers 240 & Saratoga West, Jeff Metz
Mach One Rules (5g/WA) R.E.V. Racing LLC, Frank Lucarelli
My Friend Emma (6g/CA) Candelario Barragan and Jocelyn Robles, Rhoda March
Oh Marvelous Me (6g/KY) Todd & Shawn Hansen, Blaine Wright
Riser (4c/OH) Chappell Alpine Farms, Blaine Wright
Sheer Flattery (4c/KY) Hollendorfer, Barrow & Robertson, Jerry Hollendorfer
Shivermetimbers (3c/KY) Mark Dedomenico & West Point Tbreds, Jerry Hollendorfer
Sippin Fire (3g/WA) How We Roll #4, Steve Bullock