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
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
·The Governor’s Stakes goes as Race 8 at 5:39 p.m.
·O B Harborset 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 invaderSabado 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
EDGES MACH ONES RULES IN GOVERNOR’S
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
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,