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Itstufftobegood wins Marathon Series in style at Emerald Downs


September 22, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

Itstufftobegood with Kevin Krigger crowned Marathon Champion
(photo by courtesy Emerald Downs)
By Patrick Kerrison
Auburn, WA – Quite frankly, it really didn’t seem all that difficult.
Itstufftobegood made his sixth consecutive victory look effortless as he captured the fourth leg of the Harley H. Hoppe & Associates Marathon Championship Series on September 18 at Emerald Downs and was crowned Marathon Champion of 2005 at Emerald Downs.

A four race series that grew in distance with each event, Itstufftobegood won the last three competitions (1¼-mile, 1½-mile and 1¾-mile) and either set or tied the track record in each.

Sunday’s 1¾-mile feature event had Horatio and Cleared For Action setting the pace of 26 2/5 seconds and 53 1/5 seconds for the first half. Barely four lengths separated the four-horse field through the first mile which was run in a tepid 1:47 1/5.

Racing five wide and under a very tight hold, Itstufftobegood and rider Kevin Krigger did all they could do to relax throughout the 14 furlong run.

“In the paddock we talked a bit of strategy and decided that he would be in front,” said Krigger. “I broke out of the gate and wanted to be extra careful and save as much of him as possible. I took him back a little in the early part of the race and after racing three-quarters, I figured this is when I was going to find out what he really has. I got up next to Horatio and he showed me he wanted to go exactly where I had him.”

Itstufftobegood carried an unprecedented 128 pounds, the highest weight of any winner in Emerald Downs’ 10 seasons of racing.

“I have a heavy gallop boy so he’s [Itstufftobegood] been prepared for this,” joked winning trainer Neil Knapp.

“We knew he always had that kick from the word ‘go’ so I wasn’t too concerned [about Krigger rating him],” Knapp continued. “I did change the bit on him because last time he was pulling Kevin coming into the stretch. Outside of that I crossed my fingers and wished him luck.”

Itstufftobegood set a new Emerald Downs’ track record on August 5 when he raced 1¼ mile in 2:01. The previous record was 2:01 4/5 set by Rapid Stream, August 15, 1998. The state record is 2:00 3/5 set by Santarem at Longacres, September 3, 1973.

On August 27, Itstufftobegood tied the Emerald Downs’ mark for 12 furlongs, running in 2:30 3/5. Sunday afternoon, September 18, his time of 3:02 for 1¾-mile, created a standard for the first running of a race at that distance at the Auburn oval.

Itstufftobegood, owned by Southern Nevada Racing Stables, accumulated 24 points in his three race set; however he failed to garner the $1,000 bonus because he did not compete in leg one.

Road to Recovery, owned by H.R. ‘Pat’ Mullens and David Reising and trained by Mullens, earned an additional four points for his third place finish and the $1,000 bonus. Road to Recovery competed in all four legs and earned eight points.

“It was a great series, a great race, a great trainer and horse,” said Harley H. Hoppe, the marathon championship series’ sponsor. “It was all wonderful. I think it’s great when we can get a horse like that.”

Hoppe is a longtime owner of racehorses and has sponsored this series for 16 years.

Itstufftobegood is one win shy of tying yet another mark this season – most consecutive wins in a season at Emerald Downs.

Halonator won her seventh straight on Sept. 11.

Itstufftobegood improved his record to 9-3-2 from 15 lifetime starts.