FIELD OF 11 IN $100,000 LONGACRES MILE (G3)
AUBURN, Wash. (August 11) – Anyportinastorm and Five Star General, runners-up the last two years, head a field of 11 older horse entered in Sunday’s $100,000 Longacres Mile (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
Papa’s Golden Boy, the dominant handicap horse this year at Emerald Downs, and Background, a Midwest shipper with 2021 earnings of over $150,000, are other top contenders in this year’s Mile, which goes as race eight on a 10-race card that begins at 2:30 p.m.
Anyportinastorm and Five Star General, owned by Vancouverites Peter Redekop and Glen Todd, respectively, carry high weight of 123 and 122 lbs.
Five Star General is the morning line favorite at 5 to 2. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Distorted Humor, Five Star General finished second to Anothertwistafate in 2020 and has performed sharply this year with two wins and a third at Hastings Racecourse and gets the riding services two-time Kentucky Derby and two-time Longacres Mile winner Mario Gutierrez.
Anyportinastorm attempts to give Redekop his second straight Mile victory. Although based in California with Peter Miller, the 7-year-old full horse is no stranger to Emerald Downs, capturing 2019 Horse of the Meeting honors and missing by a head to Law Abidin Citizen in the 2019 Mile. The 3 to 1 second choice on the morning line, Anyportinastorm is ridden by three-time Longacres Mile winner Juan Gutierrez.
Papa’s Golden Boy and Background both carry 121 lbs. and are 9/2 and 5/1 on the morning line.
Trained by Vince Gibson and owned by Gary, Deborah, Jeff and Peyton Lusk of Puyallup, Papa’s Golden Boy is among the fastest sprinters in Emerald Downs history. Papa’s Golden Boy is three for three this season and posted meet-fastest times scoring blowouts in the 5 ½-furlong Budweiser Stakes (1:02.11) and 6 ½- furlong Governor’s Stakes (1:14.50). A 5-year-old Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold, Papa’s Golden Boy bids to become the first Washington-bred since Stryker Phd in 2015 to win the Mile.
Papa’s Golden Boy drew the No. 1 post-position with regular rider Julien Couton taking the mount. According to Gibson, the gameplan is no secret.
“He drew the No. 1 (post) in his last two races, so this is perfect for him,” Gibson said. “Being inside, we pretty much have to send him out of there, but that would have been the plan wherever he drew. I’ve trained him harder for this one and he’s ready to go. Any horse that tries to put heat on us (early) is in trouble.”
Background scored a pair of allowance victories this spring at the tough Oaklawn Park meeting and leads the field in 2021 earnings with $153,536. Three-time Emerald Downs riding champion Rocco Bowen returns and takes the mount for trainer Mike Puhich and owners Bob and Molly Rondeau of Normandy Park.
The longtime voice of University of Washington football and basketball, Bob Rondeau and Puhich have had horses together since 1984 but never a Mile starter.
“It’s an absolute thrill to get to run in the Longacres Mile,” Rondeau said. “(Background) isn’t a superstar but he’s a really honest horse, and he seems to really be enjoying the Northwest.”
Background dropped a heartbreaker in his most recent start June 26, missing by a head to Guest Suite in the $100,000 Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park, and completed preparation for the Mile with a six-furlong breeze in 1:12 2/5 at the Pegasus Training Center in Redmond.
Seamist Racing’s Windribbon, 10-1 on the line, could give trainer Blaine Wright a second straight Mile victory. A 5-year-old California-bred by Sway Away, Windribbon ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet, 1:07.53, and adds fuel to the early pace. Like Papa’s Golden Boy, Windribbon must prove he can get the mile distance.
Forest Fire, a newcomer from the east coast, attempts to give owner John Parker his second Mile victory. A 6-year-old Pennsylvania-bred now trained by Candi Cryderman, Forest Fire is 10 for 28 lifetime with earnings of $379,518.
Hard to Deny, winner of two straight mile allowances at Emerald Downs, and Unmachable, winner of stakes each of the last two seasons at Emerald Downs, are both 15 to 1.
Canadian shipper Sir Bregovic is 4 for 4 in 2021, all sprints at Hastings Racecourse, and adds even more speed to what promises to be a fast early pace.
Reelfoot and Muncey are both 30 to 1. Reelfoot is a four-time winner in 2021, albeit at lower class levels, and Muncey hails from the barn of three-time Longacres Mile-winning trainer Howard Belvoir.
In the $50,000 Emerald Distaff, local sensation Daffodil Sweet heads a field of eight older fillies and mares at a mile and one-sixteenth. Trained by Chris Stenslie for One Horse Will Do Corp. and Steve Shimizu, Daffodil Sweet is a triple winner at the meet and 6-1-0 in eight starts overall including two stakes wins.
Canadian shipper Princess of Cairo, who upended Daffodil Sweet in the 2020 Washington Oaks, and multiple stakes winner Killarney Lass are top contenders in the Distaff.
$100,000 Longacres Mile (G3), Sunday, Aug. 15, Race 8
1: Papa’s Golden Boy, Julien Couton, 9/2
2: Forest Fire, Erick Lopez, 12/1
3: Windribbon, Kevin Orozco, 10/1
4: Hard to Deny, Alex Cruz, 15/1
5: Anyportinastorm, Juan Gutierrez, 3/1
6: Muncey, Jennifer Whitaker, 30/1
7: Background, Rocco Bowen, 5/1
8: Five Star General, Mario Gutierrez, 5/2
9: Unmachable, Javier Matias, 15/1
10: Sir Bregovic, Leslie Mawing, 20/1
11: Reelfoot, Jose Zunino, 30/1
$50,000 Emerald Distaff, Sunday, Aug. 15, Race 6
1: Compelling Smile, Rocco Bowen, 9/2
2: Galileta, Kevin Orozco, 15/1
3: Ms Lynn, AlexCruz, 15/1
4: Gettin Sideways, Julien Couton, 8/1
5: Squan’s Kingdom, Javier Matias, 8/1
6: Daffodil Sweet, Juan Gutierrez, 8/5
7: Princess of Cairo, Mario Gutierrez, 7/2
8: Killarney Lass, Eddie Martinez, 6/1