08/10/2017 2:36PM

Bistraya seeks to upset Mach One Rules in Longacres Mile

Shigeki Kikkawa
Bistraya, 12-1 on the morning line for the Longacres Mile, looks to upset Mach One Rules.

Entries were taken Wednesday for Sunday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile, with Mach One Rules, the 123-pound highweight and 7-2 morning-line favorite, drawing post 9 in a field of 12.

Trained by Frank Lucarelli, Mach One Rules is coming off wins in the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes on July 16 and the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes on June 18. In both the 1 1/16-mile Mt. Rainier and the 6 1/2-furlong Budweiser, he posted meet-best times at the distances.

Isaias Enriquez, who rode Mach One Rules in his last three starts, including a runner-up finish behind Barkley in the $50,000 Governor’s Stakes, retains the mount.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is hoping for a repeat performance from the horse who won last year’s Mile. Point Piper, ridden to victory last year by Mario Gutierrez, will break from post 2 under Julien Couton. The Hall of Fame trainer also will be represented by Seattle Serenade, who could be the one they have to run down in a race surprisingly lacking any pure speed.

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Herbie D used his good speed to win the 2013 Mile for trainer Rob Gilker. He posted sprint-like fractions on his way to a 1 1/2-length victory over Stryker Phd, who won the Mile the next two years. Stryker Phd will be trying for his third win in the race on Sunday.

Gilker is hoping Bistraya, at 12-1 on the morning line, is able to pull off an upset.

If he goes off at 12-1, it would be a generous price for a horse who finished second to Mach One Rules in his first start at Emerald. That race marked his third start for Gilker, who is based at Hastings, and in Bistraya’s two previous starts in Vancouver, he was the runner-up to Modern in the $50,000 George Royal Stakes on May 14 and third to Venetian Mask and Modern while going around three turns for the first time in the $50,000 John Longden 6000 on June 4.

Bistraya, who will break from the rail with Amadeo Perez aboard, was last early in the Mt. Rainier. He might be a lot closer to what figures to be a moderate pace if he breaks sharply in the Mile though.

Bistraya has only won twice, but it was his second win in a $40,000 optional claimer going seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Jan. 21 that encouraged Gilker to point him to the Mile.

“He was running against some pretty tough horses in optional claimers in Southern California, and he broke his maiden going a mile. He also showed he had the kind of speed it takes to win the Mile in his win going seven furlongs on a sloppy track. It wouldn’t bother me a bit if it rained Sunday, and they are calling for showers.”

Gilker loved the way Bistraya worked a bullet five-furlongs in 1:00 with his wife, Vicky, aboard last Saturday.

“He came out of his race in Seattle in great shape,” he said. “Vicky just sits on them and doesn’t gun them or anything like that. When he worked that fast, he was telling us he’s ready.”