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Emerald Downs nominates 22 horses for Longacres Mile
Emerald Downs has nominated 22 horses, including stakes winners from Washington, Canada, the Midwest and California, to the $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.
The 75th running of the Grade III Mile, the biggest horse race in the state, is set for Sunday, Aug. 22, in Auburn. The day also includes the $75,000 Emerald Distaff for fillies and mares, with Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye to serve as Honorary Steward for The Mile.
Locally-based horses have captured every Mile since 2005, and 10 Washington horses are eligible to continue that trend in 2010. Noosa Beach, a triple stakes winner at the meet, has been the best horse at Emerald Downs this season and appears to have the best chance to make it six straight wins for local horses.
Wasserman, the 2008 Mile winner, and Assessment, the 2009 Mile champion, could give trainer Howard Belvoir an unprecedented third straight Mile victory.
Gallant Son, voted Top Juvenile at Emerald Downs in 2008, is scheduled to make a homecoming for trainer Frank Lucarelli and owners Chris Randall and Nick Rossi. The 4-year-old colt has won turf stakes at both Santa Anita (Pasadena Stakes) and Hollywood Park (Grade III Inglewood Handicap) and is scheduled to arrive this week from Del Mar in advance of The Mile. Southern California-based trainers Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill, who both have saddled Longacres Mile winners, each nominated a runner. Baffert, winner of the 1996 Mile with Isitingood, nominated Mythical Power, a double -graded stakes winner with a recent triumph in the Texas Mile at Lone Star Park. O’Neill, who shipped in Sky Jack for a record-breaking score in 2003, nominated Enriched.
Delightful Kiss is the richest horse nominated to this year’s Mile with earnings of $1,093,593. The 6-year-old Florida-bred has won four graded stakes, including the 2009 Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream Park in which he rallied from 16 lengths back to win going away by three lengths at the one-mile distance.
At least 10 horses have started in every Longacres Mile since 2000, with full fields of 12 lining up for the last three editions. In the event more than 12 horses enter the race. Entries will be drawn Aug. 18.