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Mile Preview Day Features Two Important Stakes Events

July 22, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

Older horses get their final local tune-up for the Longacres Mile in the $75,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap on Sunday, July 27, while fillies and mares square off in the $50,000 Boeing Handicap, the final steppingstone to the $100,000 Emerald Distaff.

The stakes doubleheader—billed as Mile Preview Day—is one of the racing highlights of the season. This year, the $300,000 Longacres Mile and the $100,000 Emerald Distaff will be run on Sunday, August 17, meaning horses that participate in Mile Preview Day will then have three weeks to prepare for the biggest events of the season.

Ten older horses were nominated to the 1 1/8-mile Mt. Rainer Handicap, while nine fillies and mares were nominated to the Boeing Handicap.

The Great Face decisively won the 2007 Mt. Rainer Handicap in a prelude to his dramatic victory in the Longacres Mile. The remarkable Wasserman has a chance to make it two straight years for Washington-bred sons of Cahill Road to attain Mile glory. The 6-year-old gelding is in the midst of his finest season for owner/trainer Howard Belvoir, posting thrilling come-from behind wins in both the FSN and Governor’s handicaps under jockey Jennifer Whitaker.

Trainer Mike Chambers nominated Lord Avalon and the hard-luck Chhaya Dance. The former has never been worse than second in five starts, including a second in the Lt. Governors Handicap at Hastings Park. Chhaya Dance has done everything but win a stakes this season, posting a second and two thirds while being beaten a neck and two heads.

Trainer Jim Penney, who has saddled three Mile winners this decade, nominated both Honour the West and Jamaica Bound, the latter coming off a third-place effort in the Budweiser Emerald Handicap.

Nominations to the 13th running of the Mt. Rainier Handicap (nominee, trainer, owner):

Assessment, Howard Belvoir, Tice Ranch Stables LLC
Chhaya Dance, Mike Chambers, Three Sisters Thoroughbreds
Don’twritemeoff, H.R.Mullens, Ron Crockett, Inc.
Exclusive Eagle, Craig Roberts, Don & Judi Gardiner
Honour the West, Jim Penney, Michael & Amy Feuerborn
Jamaica Bound, Jim Penney, R & R Warren LLC
Lord Avalon, Mike Chambers, Three Sister Thoroughbreds
Tracfurtogafur, Jerry Holifield, Jared Chappell
Wasserman, Howard Belvoir, Howard Belvoir
We Brothers, Charles Essex, Carolyn Kline

The Boeing Handicap is 1-1/16-mile test headed by Beaulena, the defending champion who continues to fire big shots as an 8-year-old, running second in both the Hastings Park Handicap and the Washington State Legislators Stakes. The veteran mare has finished first, second or third in 15 of 20 starts at Emerald Downs.

Firetrail, conditioned by Junior Coffey, is the horse to beat. The 4-year-old filly enjoys the intermediate distance and comes off a four-length score in the King County Handicap.

Shampoo, second in the King County and winner of four stakes last year, is another top contender.

Nominations to the 13th running of the Boeing Handicap (nominee, trainer, owner):

Beaulena, Blaine Wright, Ernest & Roberta Sherman
Cottingham, Robert Meeking, David Bowman & Carl Chan
Eclatante, Sharon Ross, Dr. & Mrs. Duane Hopp
Firetrail, Junior Coffey, Dunn Bar Ranch LLC
Kissntheboysgoodby, Charles Essex, Dean Essex
Pretty Maid, Shauna Ferguson, Salmon River Ranch & PL
Shampoo, Doris Harwood, Northwest Farms LLC
She’s All Silk, H.R. Mullens, Ed Zenker
Show the Light, Mike Chambers, Rabbah Bloodstock