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Record field for Sunday’s $200,000 Longacres Mile

August 16, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

The richest field in Longacres Mile history an aggregate $5,641,505 blasts off Sunday in the 77th renewal of Emerald Downs’ premier event. Post time has been moved up slightly to 5:32 pm.

Awesome Gem accounts for nearly half the field’s earnings with $2,851,370, but Gallant Son, Winning Machine, Hudson Landing and Assessment all have earned over $400,000, and every runner in the 11-horse field is over $100,000.

Trainers Jim Penney and Howard Belvoir, as usual, have entries in The Mile. Washington Hall of Fame trainer Penney saddles 15-to-1 Jebrica and Washington Hall of Fame finalist Howard Belvoir sends out 20-to-1 Assessment. Either horse might be worth a look, considering Penney has five Mile wins, more than any trainer in history, and Belvoir is the only trainer to win the race two straight years at Emerald Downs.

Jebrica drew post 9 and will be ridden by two-time Mile-winning jockey Juan Gutierrez. The stretch-running 4-year-old is the only Washington-bred in the race, and Penney said the gelding would benefit from a fast pace.

“The post-position we drew is alright,” he said. “The main thing is to get a clean run into the first turn. He’s been training well since his (July 28 allowance victory).

“We were glad to have the last race in him. We’ve said all along that we were pointing him for this race, so we feel he’s at his best right now.”

Critics might scoff at Jebrica’s 81 Beyer in the 6-½ furlong race, but it’s noteworthy that the son of Liberty Gold earned the biggest Beyer at the 2011 meet, a 98 in the 1-1/8 mile Emerald Derby that was two points higher than Awesome Gem’s victory in The Mile.

Assessment exits the same race as Jebrica, finishing second while making his first start since November. The 8-year-old gelding is appearing in his fifth straight Mile, tying stable mate Wasserman for second most starts in the race. Kent Green, with six straight Mile appearances from 1987-92, holds the record.

Assessment, the 2009 Mile winner, drew post 6 and is ridden by Jennifer Whitaker.

“It’s a great post-position,” Belvoir said. “It’s certainly better than the 12-post, which we drew when he won The Mile. He’s going to have to use a little speed to save position, but I think he’ll be fine.

“I just wish we had another race in him. He was really tired after his last race, but he’s been training good since.”

Longacres Mile at a glance

What: 77th Running $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3)
When: 5:32 pm, Sunday, August 19 (Race 8)
TV: 2-6 p.m. TVG & CSN
Radio: KJR Sports Radio 950 AM 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Gates open: 9 am
Giveaway: 30 ipads
Other Features: $65,000 Emerald Distaff (Race 6, 4:24 pm), $30,000 Longacres Mile Consolation (Race 7, 4:54 pm)

PP—Horse—Trainer—Jockey—Wt—Morning line

1—Gladding—John Sadler—Juan Hernandez—119—3-to-1
2—Gallant Son—Frank Lucarelli—W. Antongeorgi—117—15-to-1
3—Awesome Gem—Craig Dollase—David Flores—123—5-to-2
4—Winning Machine—Frank Lucarelli—Javier Matias—119—8-to-1
5—Hudson Landing—Blaine Wright—Frank Alvarado—122—5-to-1
6—Assessment—Howard Belvoir—Jennifer Whitaker—116—20-to-1
7—Jump Up and Kissme—Kerri Raven—Marlo Dunn—114—30-to-1
8—Bailouttheminister—Keith Nations—Russell Baze—118—6-to-1
9—Jebrica—Jim Penney—Juan Gutierrez—118—15-to-1
10—Taylor Said—Michael Puhich—Mario Gutierrez—122—6-to-1
11—St Liams Halo—Michael Puhich—Leslie Mawing—118—10-to-1

TVG Party Place Friday at Emerald Downs

To celebrate the start of Longacres Mile weekend, TVG turns Emerald Downs into the TVG Party Place beginning at 5:00 p.m. Friday on Track Level.

TVG hosts Greg Wolf, Gino Buccola, Caleb Keller and Christina Olivares-Blacker will host their weekly show The Late Double at Emerald Downs, and fans can buy $1 hot dogs along with Craft Beer Specials and great music from Shelley & The Curves.