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City Twister and D’honorable One to face off in $50K Auburn Handicap


June 1, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Arguably the two most visually impressive winners at the meeting thus far—City Twister and D’honorable One—will be out to prove who’s the better 3-year-old on Sunday in the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for sophomore colts and geldings running 6½ furlongs.

The Auburn Handicap is the division’s only sprint stakes and first stop en route to the $65,000 Emerald Derby on August 12.

A Washington-bred by He’s Tops, City Twister relished in his return to Emerald Downs last month, demolishing a $25,000 claiming race (N2L) by 8¾ lengths. Remarkably, that victory came after breaking from the unfavorable #1 post position and steadying at the half-mile pole. Now, City Twister draws the #8 post, which trainer Dan Markle said he prefers.

“The outside post is the prime spot,” Markle said. “Going 6½ furlongs, that’s the post you want to have.”

City Twister is assigned the task of reigning in D’honorable One, who is likely to be favored come post time. A Florida-bred by D’wildcat, D’honorable One has never finished worse than third in five career starts, including a third-place effort in the 2011 Premio Esmeralda Stakes. Since then, the Blaine Wright trainee has snapped off two sharp victories, most recently a 6¼-length romp in an April 29 allowance race that earned him a field’s best 87 Beyer Speed Figure.

Also in the Auburn Handicap field:

Johnski, a half-brother to graded-stakes winner Harvard Avenue and consistent allowance-type Davos, will make his first start at Emerald Downs for trainer Frank Lucarelli and owner/track president Ron Crockett. The Lion Heart colt comes off a half-length victory in a maiden allowance race at Golden Gate.

Karl Krieg’s Makors Finale, placed in back-to-back stakes races at Turf Paradise, has trained steadily the past month over the Emerald Downs’ oval, including a five-furlong bullet workout in 1:00.40 (1/9) on a sloppy track.

The full field for the 17th running of the Auburn Handicap (with jockey and impost):

Havanna Red, Leonel Camacho-Flores, 115 lbs.
Johnski, William Antongeorgi, 117 lbs.
Brady’s Kat, Javier Matias, 118 lbs.
D’honorable One, Leslie Mawing, 122 lbs.
Makors Finale, Gallyn Mitchell, 120 lbs.
Brudda Clyde, Jorge Rosales, 117 lbs.
First Last Chance, Juan Gutierrez, 117 lbs.
City Twister, Deborah Hoonan, 118 lbs.

The Auburn Handicap is race #9 on a 10-race card. Post time for the Auburn Handicap is at approximately 6:09 p.m. First post is at 2:00 p.m.