Wasserman comes from way behind to win Longacres Mile

Wasserman, in keeping with his pull-it-out-at-the-last-second style, won the 73rd running of the Longacres Mile on Sunday at Emerald Downs.

The Washington-bred 6-year-old gelding, going off at odds 10-to-1 as the fourth betting choice among the 12 horses, carried regular jockey Jennifer Whitaker to victory in the $300,000 race. That made her the first female rider to win the Mile.

Wasserman also made a first-time Mile victor out of trainer Howard Belvoir of Kent. Last year, Wasserman, Belvoir and Whitaker were third in the Mile, which was won by The Great Face.

Wasserman started slowly. He was 10th heading into the first turn and ran ninth all the way up the backstretch.

He started to move up on the outside coming through the far turn, then gradually pulled alongside two out-of-state horses who shipped in for the race, 6-to-5 favorite Tropic Storm and 3-to-1 second choice True Metropolitan.

Down the stretch, it was those three, and Wasserman finally edge in front just a few strides from the finish, winning by a nose.

That was his third such triumph in stakes company this season. On May 26, he won the Fox Sports Net Handicap by a head, then took the Governor’s Handicap on July 6 by a nose.

“He never wants to win by too far,” Whitaker said with a grin. “That makes it hard on me and Howard.”

Wasserman paid $22.40, $7.60 and $3.20. True Metropolitan with jockey James McAleney returned $4.60 and $3.20 for second, while Tropic Storm, ridden by Aaron Gryder, was worth $2.60 for show.