Governor's Handicap on tap for Sunday | Emerald Downs

Northwest Farms LLC and Debbie Paxton
Northwest Farms LLC and Debbie Paxton's stakes-winning Finallygotabentley moves into the older handicap division this year at Emerald Downs.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Emerald Downs

For the Reporter

The road to the Longacres Mile begins Sunday, May 18, with the $50,000 Governor's Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 6½ furlongs.

The 75th running of the Governor's is the first of open stakes for older handicap runners and the lone sprint of the four-race series, which also features the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap at one mile on June 15, the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 20, and the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Aug. 24.

Eleven horses including seven stakes winners are nominated to this year's Governor's, which will conclude a busy weekend at Emerald Downs that also features Saturday's 139th Preakness Stakes simulcast from Baltimore.

Absolutely Cool, winner of the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise in February, returns to Emerald Downs for the Governor's. A 7-year-old Washington-bred gelding, Absolutely Cool is 7-8-6 in 27 career starts with earnings of $205,453, and has won three stakes with a strong late kick for owner/breeder Karl Krieg.

Winning Machine and Jebrica, first and second-place finishers in the 2012 Governor's, both continue to perform well at ages 8 and 6, respectively. Winning Machine has won four stakes at Emerald Downs and finished runner-up in the 2012 Longacres Mile, and Jebrica is a double stakes winner here and was fourth in the 2013 Mile.

Mr. Bowling, a Grade 3 winner and the third betting choice in the 2013 Mile, comes off an encouraging comeback last month, finishing second to Scat Daddybaby in a fast six-furlong allowance race.

Why Not Be Perfect, sixth in last year's Mile, is a 7-year-old from the barn of leading trainer Jeff Metz, and ran well in this race last year while finishing third to Hoist and Stryker Phd.

Finallygotabentley and Mike Man's Gold, stakes winner last year as 3-year-olds, move up to the older horse ranks for trainer Tom Wenzel and David Martinez, as does Disruption, a promising Florida-bred scheduled to make his first start since finishing second to Finallygotabentley in the 2013 Auburn Handicap.

$50,000 Governor's Handicap, 6½ furlongs, Sunday, May 18

Horse, owner, trainer

Absolutely Cool (7-WA), Karl C. Krieg III, Tom Wenzel

Disruption (4-FLA), Nelson Family Racing, Monique Snowden

Dontmesswithkitten (4-KY), H. Leong & D. Lew, Chris Stenslie

Finallygotabentley (4-KY), Northwest Farms LLC & Debbie Paxton, Tom Wenzel

Jebrica (6-WA), R & R Warren LLC, Jim Penney

Mike Man's Gold (4-WA), Swag Stables & Gallo Stables, David Martinez

Mr. Bowling (5-KY), Mark Dedomenico & N American Tbred Racing, Michael Puhich

Somewhere With You (4-WA), Coal Creek Farm, David Martinez

Wheelhouse (7-WA), Kevin Mertens, Kevin Mertens

Why Not Be Perfect (7-KY), J.C. Racing Stable, Jeff Metz

Winning Machine (8-KY), Fleur De Lis Stables, Frank Lucarelli

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