08/22/2014 2:16PM

Boyett takes shot in Longacres Mile

Benoit & Associates
Boyett will be looking for his first stakes win in the Longacres Mile.

Boyett, the only California-based horse in the Longacres Mile field, doesn’t fit the profile of your average Mile winner. A homebred for Oregon horseman Rodney Orr, Boyett has been racing exclusively on grass since last fall and has yet to make any kind of a dent in a stakes race. But Boyett has improved steadily this year for trainer Mark Glatt, who reasoned that the Longacres Mile was a better fit for Boyett than Sunday’s Grade 2 Del Mar Mile and a meeting with the turf heavyweights Obviously and Tom’s Tribute.

Boyett arrived Thursday at Emerald Downs, with Glatt and veteran jockey Agapito Delgadillo scheduled to follow Sunday. Boyett drew the No. 6 post in a field of 12 and was listed at 12-1 on the morning line. That is way too high, Glatt said.

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“It looks like there’s quite a bit of speed in there,” he said. “He’s got good tactical speed, and I think he’ll be forwardly placed. There will be a few of them that get in front of him, but if he transfers over his current turf form back to dirt, then he’s a very big fit in the race. That’s the way I look at it. He’s a hardy, hard-trying horse. He doesn’t have bad days, and he doesn’t have any excuses.”

Steiner returning for Mile

Emerald fans and horsemen have been without their unofficial heartbeat for the past few weeks. Sally Steiner, the proprietor of the popular Quarter Chute Café on the backstretch, has been recuperating at home from a broken left shoulder resulting from a fall at the restaurant in late July.

But Steiner said it would take something more serious to keep her away from the Longacres Mile. Her plan as of midweek was to return Sunday to the Quarter Chute and stick around for as long as she feels up to it. The atmosphere should be festive.

Steiner’s brother, Jack Leonard, rode two Longacres Mile winners – Sparrow Castle in 1961 and Praise Jay in 1969 – and her son, jockey Joe Steiner, has ridden in the race a couple of times.

“My goal is to come down on Mile Day and spend a few hours, maybe spend the day,” she said. “I miss everybody so darn much, darn it. I have a few little things going on, but I’m doing better and better each day. I just feel so bad because I missed the Hall of Fame dinner, and then I missed the Mile draw. This is our Kentucky Derby. It’s what we strive for.”