Anyportinastorm drew the No. 8 post position and is the 8-to-5 morning line favorite for Sunday’s $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) at Emerald Downs.
The 84th renewal of the Northwest’s most prestigious race drew a field of 11 older horses and goes as Race 7 at 5:35 p.m. The Mile is the centerpiece of the inaugural Championship Sunday, featuring four stakes worth an aggregate $350,000 in purses.
A special $0.50 All Stakes Pick Four will be offered on Races 4 through 7 – composed of the $50,000 Washington Oaks, $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, $50,000 Emerald Distaff and $200,000 Longacres Mile.
A 5-year-old Florida-bred by City Zip, Anyportinastorm recorded meet-fastest times at 6 furlongs (1:07.54) and 6½ furlongs (1:14.35) while airing in the Governor’s Stakes and Budweiser Stakes but hasn’t raced since a 6½-length victory in the latter June 30. He’s four times in the interim, capped by a half-mile breeze in :48 Monday.
“I couldn’t ask for him to be doing any better,” trainer Blaine Wright said of Anyportinastorm. “Let’s hope we get a good trip and the racing Gods are with us.”
The son of a top Northwest trainer, Wright said that winning the Mile would be a feather in the cap of any trainer, but added he would be happiest for his father Richard and owners – Peter Redekop of Anyportinastorm and Todd and Shawn Hansen of Oh Marvelous Me. Redekop, Wright and Hernandez nearly won last year’s Mile with Alert Bay, an 8-year-old millionaire that returned from a layoff to finish second to Barkley.
Anyportinastorm is 7-14 in 13 career starts with earnings of $241,025, including four stakes wins in his last five starts. His only previous try around two turns was a third in the Alcatraz Stakes at one mile on turf in 2017. Anyportinastorm carries high weight of 124 pounds with regular jockey Juan Hernandez up from the Bay Area for the mount.
Oh Marvelous Me, third to Barkley and Alert Bay last year, is the only returnee from the 2018 Mile. A 7-year-old Bluegrass Cat gelding, Oh Marvelous Me is 6-5-6 in 18 lifetime starts at Emerald Downs, including two seconds and two thirds in four starts this year.
Solid Wager, second choice at 5 to 1, is the leading earner in the race with $857,970. The 8-year-old gelding spent most of his career with trainer Peter Miller in California, but was recently claimed for $62,500 at Churchill Downs by his current connections – owner David Staudacher and trainer Michael Maker. Juan Gutierrez, a two-time Mile winner, has the mount.
Curlin Rules, third choice at 6 to 1, boasts powerhouse connections with trainer John Sadler and owners Pete and Kosta Hronis – who combined to win the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Accelerate. A lightly-raced 6-year-old by Curlin, Curlin Rules might have the best chance of applying early pressure to Anyportinastorm.
Rocky Tough and El Huerfano are co fourth choices at 8 to 1. Like Solid Wager, Rocky Tough invades from the Midwest and prefers to run from far back. El Huerfano is a hard-hitting 7-year-old with over $586,000 in the bank, most of it earned in California, and comes off a good second in the Mt. Rainier Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Jockey Agapito Delgadillo will have to maneuver El Huerfano from the outside No. 11 post-position.
Law Abidin Citizen is a classy 5-year-old with a graded stakes win on turf and a graded stakes-placing on dirt. Abel Cedillo, the leading rider this winter/spring at Golden Gate Fields, has the riding assignment.
The aforementioned Oh Marvelous Me and More Power to Him are next at 12 to 1. More Power to Him used a deep closing style to defeat El Huerfano in the Mt. Rainier Stakes, and trainer Kay Cooper has strong Mile lineage. Her father, the late Jim Penney, saddled a record five Longacres Mile winners including three at Emerald Downs.
Restrainedvengence (15 to 1) is another Southern California shipper and comes off a fifth in the Wickerr at Del Mar. A 4-year-old Hold Me Back gelding, Restrainedvengence has mainly raced on turf including an 11 to upset in the 2018 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar.
Brave Nation (20 to 1) was scratched from a Monday stakes at Hastings Racecourse to run in the Mile. Elliott Bay (30 to 1) was claimed for an Emerald Downs’ record-tying $50,000 in May, and trainer Frank Lucarelli and owner Chad Christensen are the track’s leading trainer and owner this year.
$200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) (Race 7, 5:35 p.m.)
1: Restrainedvengence, Kevin Krigger, 117 pounds, 15/1
2: Solid Wager, Juan Gutierrez, 121, 5/1
3: Oh Marvelous Me, Jorge Carreno, 118, 12/1
4: Rocky Tough, Julien Couton, 120, 8/1
5: Law Abidin Citizen, Abel Cedillo, 119, 10/1
6: Curlin Rules, Martin Pedroza, 116, 6/1
7: Brave Nation, Gary Wales, 115, 20/1
8: Anyportinastorm, Juan Hernandez, 124, 8/5
9: More Power to Him, Kevin Orozco, 121, 12/1
10: Elliott Bay, Javier Matias, 115, 30/1
11: El Huerfano, Agapito Delgadillo, 121, 8/1
In other Longacres Mile developments:
• Betting favorites are 32 for 83 in the Longacres Mile, including 6 for 23 at Emerald Downs.
• Curlin Rules and Law Abidin Citizen are booked on a flight from Los Angeles to Sea-Tac, while Restrainedvengence is vanning from Del Mar to Emerald Downs.
• Elliott Bay is the lone Washington-bred in this year’s Mile. Kentucky-breds lead with six (Brave Nation, Curlin Rules, Law Abidin Citizen, Oh Marvelous Me, Restrainedvengence, Rocky Tough) followed by California with three (El Huerfano, More Power to Him, Solid Wager) and Washington and Florida (Anyportinastorm) with one each.
• Stryker Phd in 2015 and Sky Jack in 2003 share the record for most weight carried by a Mile winner at Emerald Downs, 123 lbs, while Bad ‘n Big holds the all-time Mile mark of 128 lbs. in 1978.
• Blaine Wright is first in stakes wins (7) and earnings ($560,760) at the meet, while owners Todd & Shawn Hansen (Oh Marvelous Me) and Peter Redekop (Anyportinastorm) are first and fifth in earnings with $164,025 and $100,460,
• Kenny Mayne of ESPN is honorary steward for the 2019 Longacres Mile.
$50,000 Washington Oaks, 1 1/8 Miles (Race 4, 3:40 p.m.)
1: Killarney Lass, Javier Matias, 121
2: Two Shakes, Abel Cedillo, 121
3: Suddenly Awesome, Kevin Krigger, 121
4: Northwest Factor, Julien Couton, 121
5: Mucho Amor, Juan Hernandez, 121
6: Twirling Devon, Kevin Orozco, 121
$50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, 1 1/8 Miles (Race 5, 4:15 p.m.)
1: Rally Cat, Juan Hernandez, 123
2: Alittlelesstalk (f), Scott Stevens, 118
3: Sky Confidential, Javier Matias, 123
4: El Borracho, Julien Couton, 123
5: Time ‘N Time Again, Kevin Orozco, 123
6: My Grandpa, Jorge Carreno, 123
7: Todo Es Toro, Jose Leon, 123
$50,000 Emerald Distaff, 1 1/8 Miles (Race 6, 4:50 p.m.)
1: Bella Mia, Kevin Orozco, 118
2: No Talking Back, Scott Stevens, 119
3: Diamonds R, Heribert Martinez, 118
4: Reginella, Juan Hernandez, 117
5: Angelofmontgomery, Abel Cedillo, 112
6: Fly Far Away, Jorge Carreno, 117
7: Blazinbeauty, Javier Matias, 117
8: Paddy’s Secret, Gary Wales, 118
9: Guardian One, Kevin Krigger, 116