FIVE STAR GENERAL MAKES LONGACRES MILE HISTORY,
DEFENDING CHAMP SLEW’S TIZ WHIZ FINISHES THIRD
AUBURN, Wash. (Aug. 13, 2023) – Five Star General made it look easy Sunday at Emerald Downs, powering to the lead on the last turn and rolling to a 1 ½-length victory over Il Bellator in the 88th renewal of the historic $150,000 Longacres Mile.
The slight 2 to 1 betting choice ridden by Joe Bravo at 124 lbs., Five Star General ran one mile in 1:34.73 and paid $6, $3.60, and $2.60. Saddling his second Longacres Mile winner, Grant Forster is the trainer for owner Ken Alhadeff of Seattle, whose Elttaes Stable and chartreuse silks honor his grandfather, Joe Gottstein, who founded and operated Longacres from 1933 until his death in 1971.
With the victory, Five Star General bagged his first Longacres Mile win in four tries and became the first horse with four consecutive top three Mile finishes, accomplishing the feat with four different trainers.
Ken Alhadeff watched the race from Hawaii and was represented by older brother Michael Alhadeff at Emerald Downs.
“I’m really proud of my brother and this horse,” Michael Alhadeff said. “It’s so special to win the Longacres Mile, it’s a historic race that means a lot to racing and our family.”
Five Star General stalked A Man’s Man, the latter leading through fractions of :22.79 and :45.71. Bravo stepped on the gas around the turn, and Five Star General opened a healthy four-length advantage into the stretch and and held Il Bellator safe to the wire.
“It makes my job easy when (Grant Forster) brings over the best horse,” said Bravo, riding his first mount and winner at Emerald Downs. “My job was easy today.”
A 7-year-old full horse by Distorted Humor, Five Star General has traveled the country this year, racing at four different tracks including a win in the $100,000 Evangeline Downs Mile. His overall record is 10-5-6 in 30 starts with earnings of $602,769. Sunday’s triumph was his first from eight starts at Emerald Downs.
Originally owned by the late Glen Todd, Alhadeff paid $110,000 for Five Star General at the Todd dispersal in May 2022.
Forster, a Vancouver native, won the 2005 Mile with No Giveaway at odds of 60 to 1. Now based in the Midwest, he said winning the Mile is a thrill.
“Growing up in the Northwest, winning the Longacres Mile was the ultimate dream,” Forster said. “I think most importantly, the horse deserves it.”
Il Bellator, owned by Edward and Theresa DeNike of Kent, invaded from Northern California and finished a solid second, earning $30,000 for his efforts. Ridden by Alejandro Gomez at 118 lbs., the runner-up paid $4.80 and $2.60.
Defending champion Slew’s Tiz Whiz rallied belatedly for third, 5 ½ lengths behind the winner, and paid $2.40 to show. Jose Zunino rode Slew’s Tiz Whiz at 124 lbs., for trainer Tom Wenzel and Slew’s Crew Racing. The lone Washington-bred in the race, Slew’s Tiz earned $18,000 and is 7-3-3 from 18 starts with earnings of $240,857.
Rounding out the order of finish were Arma d’Oro. A Man’s Man, Top Executive, Zestful, You’re the Cause, and Exclusive Speaker. Seattle Bold was pulled up on the last turn.
TIZ A MACHO GIRL TAKES THE $50,000 EMERALD DISTAFF
In the 28th running of the $50,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares, Tiz a Macho Girl powered to the lead on the last turn and held off Blazingbellablu and scored a 1 ½-length victory in 1:44.17 for a mile and one-sixteenth on a fast track.
With Carlos Montalvo riding at 122 lbs., Tiz a Macho Girl returned $4.40 as the slight 6 to 5 choice in the field of seven. Tom Wenzel is the winning trainer for owners Steve and Letha Haahr of Puyallup, Wash.
A 4-year-old daughter of Mucho Macho Man, Tiz a Macho Girl now has wins on the last two Longacres Mile cards, but unlike last year when she paid $45 in the Washington Oaks, Tiz a Macho Girl was hardly a surprise in the Distaff. Coming off a strong third in the Washington State Legislators Stakes, in which she stumbled at the break, Tiz a Macho Girl was stretching out to her preferred two-turn distance in the Distaff.
Tiz a Macho Girl has three career stakes wins, all routes, and improved to 6-0-2 from 17 starts overall with earnings of $161,173. She was a $5,000 Keeneland purchase in 2020.
Blazingbellablu, the 7 to 5 second choice bidding for her fourth Emerald Downs stakes win, chased the winner to the wire but was second best Sunday. Washington Horse of the Year of 2021, Blazingbellablu is 7-7-2 from 20 starts with earnings of $258,211 for trainer Charles Essex and Petra Lewin.
Daffodil Sweet, ridden by Isaias Enriquez, rallied to take third, while Our Lyla Grace, Nan Elizabeth, In the Red, and Brilliant Bird rounded out the order of finish.
NOTES: Mutuel handle was a season-high $3,019,386 for an 11-race card, fourth highest in track history. . .King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer served as Honorary Steward for the Longacres Mile. . .2008 Longacres Mile winner Wasserman with jockey Jennifer Whitaker led the post parade for the 88th Mile. . .Alex Cruz rode two winners, lost another on a DQ, and leads Luis Negron 51-47 in the jockeys’ standings. . .Trainer Alan Bozell had two wins. . .10-year-old Iron Rob ($7.80) notched career win No. 17 in Sunday’s third race. By Twirling Candy, Iron Rob debuted July 18, 2015, at Del Mar. . .A single winning ticket took down $14,429 in the $0.20 Jackpot Pick Six. . .The $0.50 Championship Sunday all stakes Pick 4 paid $165.25. . .Live racing continues resumes Friday with first post 7 p.m.