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Why Not Be Perfect heads 17 nominees for $50,000 Budweiser Handicap | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
Why Not Be Perfect, upset winner of the Governor's Handicap, heads a list of 17 nominations for Sunday's $50,000 Budweiser Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at one mile.
The 19th running of the Budweiser is a pivotal steppingstone to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Sunday, Aug. 24, and the second of four open stakes for older horses at the meet.
Why Not Be Perfect took the opening leg with an authoritative 1½-length victory in the May 18 Governor's Handicap, running 6½ furlongs in a stakes record 1:13.72 and paying a whopping $59.80 to win. Conditioned by Jeff Metz for J.C. Racing Stable, Why Not Be Perfect would tie Kid Katabatic (2000) for oldest horse to win the Budweiser Handicap.
The top four finishers in last year's Budweiser – Jebrica, Stryker Phd, Winning Machine and Why Not Be Perfect – are all nominated again in 2014. Jebrica, the defending champion, finished second behind Why Not Be Perfect in the Governor's, and all three of Jebrica's career stakes wins are around two turns.
Stryker Phd makes his first start since being transferred to trainer Larry Ross. The 5-year-old gelding earned Top Washington-bred honors last year after finishing second in all four open stakes for older horses including a second to Herbie D in the Longacres Mile.
Winning Machine, the 2012 Budweiser winner, also has changed barns and is now trained by Howard Belvoir. A first- or second-place finish would push the 8-year-old gelding over a half-million in career earnings.
Hudson Landing is a triple stakes winner in California including Grade 3 wins on turf and synthetic surfaces at Golden Gate, and the gelding previously performed well at Emerald Downs to win the 2012 Mt. Rainier Handicap.
$50,000 Budweiser Handicap, Sunday, June 15
3-Years-Old & Up, One Mile
Horse, weight, owner, trainer
Disruption (4-FLA), 115, Nelson Family Racing, Monique Snowden
Dogleg Left (4-KY), 112, D. Tollett or R. Wise, Bill Tollett
Dontmesswithkitten (4-KY), 115, H. Leong & D. Lew, Chris Stenslie
Fist Full of Green (5-CA), 116, Blue Diamond, Robbins & Kirschman, Roy Lumm
Hudson Landing (7-KY), 120, Chappell Alpine Farms, Blaine Wright
Jebrica (6-WA), 118, R & R Warren LLC, Jim Penney
Memphis Beach (5-WA), 113, Blue Mt Stables, Mary Pirone
Mike Man's Gold (4-WA), 115, Swag Stable & Gallo Stables, David Martinez
Mr. Bowling (5-KY), 118, M. Dedomenico & N America Tbred Racing, Mike Puhich
Pepnic (5-CA), 117, David P. Taylor Jr., Tim McCanna
Rocky's Quest (6-KY), 116, John & Janene Maryanski, Blaine Wright
Shooting Jacket (4-KY), 116, Swift Thoroughbreds, Dino Condilenios
Somewhere With You (4-WA), 113, Coal Creek Farm, David Martinez
Stryker Phd (5-WA), 118, Mona Hour, Larry Ross
Twistgrips (5-BC), 116, Gordon Christoff, John Snow
Why Not Be Perfect (7-KY), 119, J.C. Racing Stable, Jeff Metz
Winning Machine (8-KY), 116, Fleur De Lis Stables., Howard Belvoir