Daily Wrap-up





Ostrich Racing this Sunday


Prime Engine


The Governor’s Stakes got some added juice Thursday when Peter Redekop’s lightning fast 7-year-old was a last-minute supplemental nomination to Sunday’s $50,000 race at six furlongs.

Winner of 11-of-26 career starts and $564,430 in earnings, Distinctiv Passion is a five-time stakes winner including four stakes in Southern California topped by a gate-to-wire score in the 2015 Los Angeles Stakes.

Claimed for $62,500 by Peter Redekop this spring at Santa Anita, Distinctiv Passion led all the way for a one-length victory in the April 23 Swift Inaugural at Hastings Racecourse, and would have been favored in last Sunday’s George Royal Stakes in Vancouver.

But a reported leg infection necessitated a late scratch, and Redekop and trainer Philip Hall called an audible and paid a $1,250 fee to supplement and ship to Emerald Downs, where Blaine Wright will handle saddling chores in the Governor’s.

Although the late addition of Distinctiv Passion could foil Prime Engine’s plans on the front end, trainer Mike Puhich said the 5-year-old Northern Afleet gelding remains razor sharp. In fact, Puhich said Prime Engine’s half-mile work in :47 2/5 Wednesday at Pegasus Training Center was the best drill he’s seen in his nine years there.

“He’s doing as good as he was before his race last month,” Puhich said. “He’s doing great.”

Prime Engine delivered the race of the meeting to date while blowing the drawers off a good allowance field by 3 ¾ lengths in a scorching 1:01.10 for 5 ½ furlongs. The 95 Beyer is highest of the meet.

Prime Engine drew the No. 1 post-position, which is 4-for-21 in the Governor’s at Emerald Downs, including a victory by the Puhich-trained Hoist in 2014. Although his overall record is a moderate 4-3-0 in 13 starts, Prime Engine has delivered some remarkable races here, beginning with a 5 ½-length victory in the 2014 Gottstein Futurity and including a six-length blowout in the 2015 Emerald Downs Derby.

Barkley probably won’t mind the late addition of Distinctiv Passion. Last year’s Top 3-Year-Old did well to finish second vs. Prime Engine last month, overcoming a severe bump at the break that easily cost him several lengths to edge Mach One Rules in the final stride for second.

·                                 The Governor’s Stakes goes as Race 8 at 5:39 p.m.

·                                 O B Harbor set a stakes record 1:13.59 winning last year’s Governor’s en route to Horse of the Meeting honors.

·                                 The Governor’s has been shortened a half-furlong for 2017 and the older handicap division now features two sprints instead of only one.

·                                 David G. Lopez, rider of Canadian invader Sabado Alegre, currently tops the standings with 10 wins at Hastings Racecourse.

·                                 The older handicap division also features the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, June 18; $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes, 1 1/16-mile, July 16; $200,000 Longacres Mile, one mile, August 13; $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic (s), August 27


AUBURN, Wash. (May 21, 2017) – Barkley repeated his favorite trick Sunday at Emerald Downs.

A 4-year-old chestnut with an unmistakable white face, Barkley collared Mach One Rules in the final strides for a neck victory in the 78th running of the $50,000 Governor’s Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

Ridden by Javier Matias at 119 lbs, Barkley ran six furlongs in 1:07.92 and paid $9.40, $3.80 and $3.40 as third choice in the wagering. Howard Belvoir is the winning trainer for Rising Star Stable III.

The Governor’s was a virtual replay of last year’s rivalry between Barkley and Mach One Rules, when as 3-year-olds Barkley defeated Mach One Rules by two heads and a neck in three consecutive stakes races. And just like last year, it appeared Mach One Rules was headed to victory—only to have Barkley come and take it away from him late.

A giant overlay at odds of 16-to-1, Mach One Rules swept past a tiring Prime Engine in mid-stretch and was within mere yards of turning the tide on his old nemesis, but it wasn’t to be.

With nowhere to go into the stretch, Barkley was angled out for racing room at the eighth pole and again showed a tenacious will to win, finally collaring Mach One Rules in the shadow of the wire.

“When I moved him outside, he exploded,” Matias said. “He knows where the wire is. He’s a special horse.”

Belvoir, meanwhile, praised Matias for keeping Barkley comfortable until crunch time.

“You could not have asked for a better ride from any jockey in the world,” Belvoir said. “I have to praise Javier.”

A Kentucky-bred by Munnings, Barkley is 7-2-0 in nine lifetime starts with earnings of $181,075, including $27,500 for Sunday’s victory. His only defeats were by a head to Opportunistic in the 1 1/8-mile Emerald Downs Derby and a second to Prime Engine after getting wiped out at the break in a 5 1/2-furlong  allowance race last month.

Canadian shipper Distinctiv Passion, the 11-to-10 betting favorite, bobbled at the break, rushed up to battle with Prime Engine through fractions of :21.96 and :43.86, but gave way readily on the turn for home. That left Prime Engine with a clear lead of 1-½ lengths into the lane, but the 5-to-2 second choice began to weaken after five furlongs in a sweltering :55.74, and Mach One Rules took the baton from there.

Mach One Rules, ridden by Isaias Enriquez at 119 lbs, paid $12.40 and $5. A 4-year-old Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold, has compiled a fine record of his own: 4-5-2 in 13 starts with earnings of $154,356 for trainer Frank Lucarelli and Roy Schaefer’s R.E.V. Racing.

Togrammashousewego, with Rocco Bowen riding at 118 lbs, rallied from last to finish third and paid $3.60 to show, while Prime Engine, Sabado Alegre, The Press and Distinctiv Passion completed the order of finish.

The Governor’s is first stop on the road to the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) in August. However, there are two more stakes races before the big one, including the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on Sunday, June 18.