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Emerald Derby goes to Raise The Bluff


September 5, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo
Auburn, WA (September 4, 2006) - Winning a horse race is always a
difficult task. Winning a 9-furlong stakes race after a bad start
against a talented field is amazing. Raise the Bluff did just that when overcoming a poor beginning to take the $100,000 Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby on Monday, September 4.

The 3-year-old son of Pine Bluff, trained by Junior Coffey, ran from
post six with Nathan Chaves in the irons.

The colt stood quietly in the gate while Reno Ringo, with Gallyn
Mitchell in the saddle, reared before settling. When the gate opened, Raise the Bluff hopped and appeared to stumble, falling to last as the 12-horse field rushed for the first turn.

Reno Ringo made the lead while Chaves tried to guide Raise the Bluff to the rail on the first turn, but was boxed out and carried nearly four wide.

The colt settled about five lengths back and steadied his stride down the backstretch as Reno Ringo set fractions of 23 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46 1/5 at the half-mile mark.

"My horse overcame a tough trip," Chaves said. "He missed the
break and he was shut out on the first turn. He thought about ducking out to get away from the dirt, but it would have been way too wide. I tucked him down in there and at the head of the lane he kicked on."

Raise the Bluff began to move at the half-mile pole. Coming out of the far turn, the colt was angled out five wide for the stretch drive,
taking the lead inside the final furlong and winning by a length in 1:49 4/5.

"I told Nate (before the race) there's a lot of horses in there so
don't get in trouble," Coffey said. "So what happens? Right out of
the gate he gets knocked down. The horse overcame it all. That's the great thing about horse racing. When they're ready to run their race, nothing will stop them."

Raise the Bluff paid $15.40. $8.20 and $4.60 for the victory.
Zillah's Knight returned $12.20 and $8.20 for second and while
Exclusive Eagle brought in $3 for third.

* Frank Lucarelli continued to move closer in the leading trainer's
race after winning two races on the Monday card. Lucarelli trails Jim Penney 35-33 in the standings.