For the Reporter
Chappell Alpine Farms’ Riser, 4 ¼-length winner of the Governor’s Stakes, heads a field of five older horses entered in Sunday’s $50,000 Budweiser Stakes at Emerald Downs.
At 6½ furlongs, the Governor’s is the final sprint for older horses en route to the 83rd running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Aug. 12. A field of five is entered with Riser breaking from the No. 1 post-position with Juan Hernandez riding for trainer Blaine Wright.
Rising Star Stable’s Barkley and R.E.V. Racing’s Mach One Rules, second and third in the Governor’s, continue their heated rivalry in the Budweiser. The 5-year-olds have combined to win 11 stakes at Emerald Downs, and are in year three of a heated rivalry that has produced a series of epic stretch battles. Although Barkley has finished ahead of Mach One Rules eight times, but Mach One Rules prevailed while Barkley was fourth in the 2017 Budweiser Stakes.
Riser has proven nearly unbeatable at Emerald Downs the last two seasons. The track’s top 3-year-old of 2017, the gray Mizzen Mast colt was sharp in his first Emerald Downs’ race as a 4-year-old with a 1:08.23 clocking in the Governor’s Stakes. It’s the fastest six furlongs of the meet, and the 92 Beyer also is a season-best at Emerald Downs. Riser is 5-1-1 in 11 lifetime starts with earnings of $147,933.
Barkley is 8-3-1 in 14 career starts with $229,150 in earnings and Mach One Rules is 7-8-3 in 21 starts with $298,526 in earnings.
Rounding out the field are Joe and Lola Sample’s Mah Gellin, an 8-year-old also trained by Wright, and Coal Creek Farm’s Dedicated to You, fourth while making his season debut in the Governor’s and third to Gold Rush Dancer and Mach One Rules in the 2017 Longacres Mile.
• Juan Hernandez is 2 for 2 in Emerald Downs’ stakes races: City by the Bay, 2014 Seattle Stakes; Riser, 2018 Governor’s Stakes. Hernandez finished third with 82 wins at the 2017-18 Golden Gate Winter/Spring meeting.
• Betting favorites are 7 for 22 in the Budweiser Stakes; Barkley finished 4th as the 8-5 choice last year.
• 4-year-olds won the last two Budweisers en route to Horse of the Meeting: Mach One Rules (2017) and O B Harbor (2016). Riser is the lone 4-year-old in this year’s race.
• The four trainers in Sunday’s race have a combined 121 Emerald Downs’ stakes wins: Frank Lucarelli (44), Howard Belvoir (43), Blaine Wright (25) and David Martinez (9).
• Wright’s stakes record the last two seasons at Emerald Downs: 45-15-6-6-$542,257.
• Harbor the Gold, sire of Mach One Rules, continues adding to his mark as the track’s most prolific stakes sire. Wins this year by Bella Mia (Kent Stakes) and Sippin Fire (Coca-Cola Stakes) have boosted his stakes win total to 58, Slewdledo is a distant second with 27.
• The field for Sundays 23rd running of the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 6½ furlongs, Race 4, 3:36 pm: 1-Riser, Juan Hernandez, 124 pounds; 2-Barkley, Javier Matias, 120; 3-Mah Gellin, Austin Solis, 120; 4-Mach One Rules, Kevin Orozco, 122; 5-Dedicated to You, Rocco Bowen, 118.
Racing this week
• Friday, June 22
6:30 p.m. (7 races)
• Saturday, June 23
5 p.m. (8 races)
Twilight Saturday (thru Sept. 22)
ª Sunday, June 24
2 p.m. (10 races)
$50,000 Budweiser Stakes
Notes: Washington Hall of Fame trainer Larry Ross celebrated his 66th birthday Thursday while jockey Jennifer Whitaker celebrates her 47th birthday Saturday. … Matt Dinerman, who recently wrapped up his first season as track announcer at Golden Gate Fields, will visit Emerald Downs on July 1 and 3 and might even announce a race.… Julien Couton is on a 14 for 38 roll and has ridden multiple winners on five of the last six cards. … Copy Begone, a five-time winner at Emerald Downs in 2016, returns to Washington in Sunday’s 6th race, a $3,500 starter allowance for older fillies and mares. The seven-horse field has 55 combined wins including Copy Begone (11), Rockport Birdie (10) and Marvveilleuse (10).