08/08/2012 3:02PM

Emerald Downs: Bailouttheminister will go longer in Longacres Mile

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Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Bailouttheminister will go two turns in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.

AUBURN, Wash. – One of 26 horses nominated to the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, Bailouttheminister is likely to be included among the fortunate dozen when weights are released Saturday. Only 12 can start Aug. 19, with high weights preferred, and a full field is expected.

Bailouttheminister has never won a race around two turns, but the rapidly improving 4-year-old, one of the fastest sprinters in Northern California, profiles as a dark-horse contender in Emerald Downs’s $200,000 main event. He won a six-furlong stakes race at Pleasanton in his last start, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 98, and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze in the Mile.

Trainer Keith Nations said his horse is sitting on a peak effort.

“He’s run some good route races without winning, but obviously, he’s a really good sprint horse,” Nations said Tuesday from Golden Gate. “We just kind of thought that as good as he ran on the dirt at Pleasanton, and the way the track plays up at Emerald, that his speed would carry that extra distance.”

While he is based in Northern California, Nations owns a home in Seattle. Baze is a Northwest native, born in Vancouver. Edward and Theresa DeNike, owners of Bailouttheminister, live in Kent, Wash., not far from Emerald Downs.

“All the connections have Washington ties, including Russell,” Nations said. “Actually, Russell is the one who brought up running him in the Mile. He said don’t be afraid to run this horse two turns. So the more we started thinking about it, we decided, why not give it a shot?

“It’s going to be a tough race for us, but this horse keeps getting better and better. He’s a pretty solid horse. He’s got that perfect style. If we want to put him on the lead, he can go to the lead, or we can take him back four or five lengths, and he’ll relax. He’ll split horses, he’ll go up the rail – he’s extremely versatile. Russell is high on this horse, and he worked absolutely fantastic on Sunday. I really liked the way he finished up and galloped out. If Russell is satisfied, them I’m satisfied.”

Bailouttheminister worked seven furlongs Sunday at Golden Gate in 1:26.80.

“I’ve worked him three seventh-eighths in a row, trying to put the air in him,” Nations said. “The way this horse is going, as he’s maturing and getting better, I think he’s going to be able to handle a mile – with his running style – and make his run whenever Russell wants him to.”