Politicallycorrect, a four-year-old Kitten's Joy gelding owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey and trained by Wesley Ward, leads a full field of 12 in Sunday's 78th running of the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Ridden by Russell Baze, Politicallycorrect comes into the Mile off a close second place finish in the Grade 3 James Marvin Stakes at Saratoga on July 19th and he looks to continue an incredible weekend for his owners and Kitten's Joy.
The Mile, the feature race of the Emerald Downs meet and racing in the Pacific Northwest, drew three Washington-bred horses into this year's field.
- Until You (30/1): A four-year-old gelding by Belmont winner Jazil, Until You has run his best races in sprints and should be part of the early pace scenario.
- Stryker Phd (8/1): By Bertrando out of a Smart Strike mare (Striking Scholar), this gelding has run second in all three Emerald Downs stakes races for older horses this season (Governor's Handicap, Budweiser Handicap and Mt. Rainier Handicap).His lone career victory came on the lawn at Golden Gate.
- Jebrica (12/1): Eighth in the Mile last year, this Jim Penny trainee won the Bud Handicap back on June 16 at the mile distance.
Horses shipping in from outside Emerald Downs include:
- Golden Itiz (5/1): A John Sadler trainee that's run well in Southern California but has never won a race over dirt in his career (all wins on synthetic). That alone is a reason for me to stand against this horses.
- Mr. Bowling (6/1): Winner of the G3-Lecomte way back in January of 2012, Mr. Bowling broke a long losing streak with a win versus OC/N3X competition at Churchill in late May and finished second in an ungraded event at Indiana Downs in his most recent start on July 20th.
- Herbie D (4/1): One of the top runners in this year's Mile field, Herbie D is a British Columbia bred gelding that shipped down to Emerald Downs and scored a relatively easy win in the Mt. Rainier Handicap back on July 21st. This gelding love to control the pace from the front of the field, and that's a great tactic for winning at Emerald Downs.
Rouding out the Mile field are some of the local "old pros":
- Hoist (20/1): A Mineshaft gelding that's struggled mightily in his last two races at Emerald and who might be more of a pace presence than a legitimate shot to win. He'll get 2012 Derby and Preakness winning jockey Mario Gutierrez in the irons.
- Gladding (10/1): A gelding with some speed in his arsenal, Gladding doesn't win a whole lot of races (23-4-5-3) and his looking for his first victory since taking an ungraded stakes race at Pleasanton in July of 2012.
- Tres Borrachos (10/1): An eight-year-old gelding that's banked over a million in his career, Tres Borrachos just hasn't displayed much in the way of form over the past couple of years. He shipped into Emerald for his first local start in late July for the Budweiser Handicap and flopped badly, finishing 5th, fourteen lengths back of Herbie D.
- Why Not Be Perfect (15/1): Seven of this horse's eight career victories have come on the lawn. He ran well in his only two attempts over the track (3rd in the Budweiser Hcp. and 3rd in the Governor's Hcp.) but I'm not sure he can match his turf form when running on dirt.
- Winning Machine (15/1): An old Emerald Downs pro, Winning Machine was second to by a head to Taylor Said in last year's Mile but his form has dipped noticeable in 2013. Perhaps this seven-year-old gelding has finally lost a step.
While Politicallycorrect certainly has the class advantage on this field, I love the fact that Herbie D. has already run and won impressively over the Emerald Downs surface. If the Ramsey horse runs back to his last race, he wins going way. If, however, he's off his game at all, I like Herbie D's chances to wire the field.
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for the Longacres Mile:
|1||Until You||J. Gutierrez||D. Martinez||30/1|
|2||Hoist||M. Gutierrez||M. Puhich||20/1|
|3||Politicallycorrect||R. Baze||W. Ward||7/2|
|4||Gladding||D. Carr||V. Belvoir||10/1|
|5||Stryker Phd||D. Hoonan||M. Lloyd||8/1|
|6||Jebrica||I. Enriquez||J. Penny||12/1|
|7||Golden Itiz||G. Olguin||J. Sadler||5/1|
|8||Tres Borrachos||D. Lopez||M. Puhich||10/1|
|9||Why Not Be Perfect||A. Sanguinetti||J. Metz||15/1|
|10||Herbie D||A. Perez||R. Gilker||4/1|
|11||Mr. Bowling||A. Gryder||M. Puhich||6/1|
|12||Winning Machine||J. Mathias||F. Lucarelli||15/1|