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The road to the 2014 Longacres Mile begins with Sundayís $50K Governorís Handicap

May 12, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

The road to the Longacres Mile begins on Sunday, May 18, with the $50,000 Governorís Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 6Ĺ furlongs.

The 75th running of the Governorís is the first of open stakes for older handicap runners and the lone sprint of the four-race series, which also features the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap at one mile on June 15, the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1-1/16 miles on July 20, and the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on August 24.

Eleven horses including seven stakes winners are nominated to this yearís Governorís, which will conclude a busy weekend at Emerald Downs that also features Saturdayís 139th Preakness Stakes simulcast from Baltimore.

Absolutely Cool, winner of the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise in February, returns to Emerald Downs for the Governorís. A 7-year-old Washington-bred gelding, Absolutely Cool is 7-8-6 in 27 career starts with earnings of $205,453, and has won three stakes with a strong late kick for owner/breeder Karl Krieg.

Winning Machine and Jebrica, first and second-place finishers in the 2012 Governorís, both continue to perform well at ages 8 and 6, respectively. Winning Machine has won four stakes at Emerald Downs and finished runner-up in the 2012 Longacres Mile, and Jebrica is a double stakes winner here and was fourth in the 2013 Mile.

Mr. Bowling, a Grade 3 winner and the third betting choice in the 2013 Mile, comes off an encouraging comeback last month, finishing second to Scat Daddybaby in a fast six-furlong allowance race.

Why Not Be Perfect, sixth in last yearís Mile, is a 7-year-old from the barn of leading trainer Jeff Metz, and ran well in this race last year while finishing third to Hoist and Stryker Phd.

Finallygotabentley and Mike Manís Gold, stakes winner last year as 3-year-olds, move up to the older horse ranks for trainer Tom Wenzel and David Martinez, as does Disruption, a promising Florida-bred scheduled to make his first start since finishing second to Finallygotabentley in the 2013 Auburn Handicap.

Update 5/15: Disruption returns in $50K Governorís íCap, Absolutely Cool assigned high weight

Disruption, a talented 4-year-old gelding coming off a knee injury, returns to action Sunday with a new trainer in the $50,000 Governorís Handicap at Emerald Downs.

For 3-year-olds and up at 6Ĺ furlongs, the Governorís is first stop en route to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on August 24.

Last seen finishing second in the 2013 Auburn Handicap, Disruption emerged from the race with a knee fracture that pre-empted what looked to be a big sophomore season at Emerald Downs. Owned by Heidi Nelson, Disruption ultimately was transferred to trainer Monique Snowden, whose patient regimen appears ready to pay dividends.

ďBy far and away, heís the best horse Iíve ever been around,Ē Snowden said of Disruption. ďItís like training Subarus and now I have a Ferrari. Heís so classy that heíd probably outscore dressage horses right now.Ē

A Florida-bred by Street Boss, Disruption sold for $90,000 at the 2012 Ocala Breeders Sales Company select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Originally trained by Blaine Wright, Disruption compiled a 2-3-0 record in six starts, winning a maiden special weight and non-winners of one allowance at Golden Gate Fields.

While with Snowden, Disruption has unleashed a series of big workouts capped by six furlongs in 1:113 on May 8.

ďHis workouts have been awesome,Ē Snowden said. ďI wanted to work him in company, but for some reason I canít find anyone to work with him.

ďI donít think thereís a clear-cut speed horse in (the Governorís). My horse breaks hard and fast so he should be right there.Ē

• Phoenix Gold Cup winner Absolutely Cool carries high weight of 122 lbs. in his first start at Emerald Downs since 2011. The 7-year-old Washington-bred has competed in 15 straight stakes races at Turf Paradise and Canterbury Park, including his 14-to-1 upset in the February 15 Gold Cup in which the gelding ran six furlongs in 1:08.40 and earned a career-high 94 Beyer.

• The 10-horse field ties the largest ever for a Governorís Handicap at Emerald Downs. The 2011 running won by Noosa Beach in 1:14.27 also featured a 10-horse field.

• The Governorís Handicap, race nine on a 10-race program, goes at approximately 6:19 p.m. local time.

The field for Sundayís $50,000 Governorís Handicap (from the rail out, with handicap weights): Dontmesswithkitten, Felipe Valdez, 115 lbs; Wheelhouse, Jose Zunino, 115; Absolutely Cool, Rocco Bowen, 122; Finallygotabentley, Leslie Mawing, 117; Winning Machine, Javier Matias, 116; Jebrica, Juan Gutierrez, 118; Disruption, Eliska Kubinova, 115; Mr. Bowling, Isaias Enriquez, 119; Mike Manís Gold, David G. Lopez, 116; Why Not Be Perfect, Anne Sanguinetti, 117.