08/18/2013 9:20PM

Emerald Downs: Herbie D all the way in Longacres Mile


AUBURN, Wash. – For the second successive year, a brilliantly fast horse from British Columbia took the measure of some of the West Coast’s best middle-distance runners in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Herbie D, the second favorite in a field of 12, set a crackling pace and refused to yield en route to a 1 1/2-length victory Sunday, while Politicallycorrect, the 9-5 favorite, never got involved and finished a distant ninth.

Herbie D, expertly ridden by Amadeo Perez, broke sharply from post No. 10 and quickly angled over to save ground around the first turn. With 30-1 outsider Winning Machine in close pursuit, Herbie D sped through a half-mile in 45.04 seconds and six furlongs in 1:09.01 while discouraging any horse quick enough to challenge him.

After Winning Machine and Hoist peeled away, Herbie D opened a two-length lead past the furlong pole and cruised home ahead of Stryker Phd, who rallied from far back to get the place.

Golden Itiz, in from Southern California for trainer John Sadler, closed well to finish third, a head behind Stryker Phd. He was followed by Jebrica, Gladding, Why Not Be Perfect, Until You, Tres Borrachos, Politicallycorrect, Winning Machine, Mr. Bowling, and Hoist.
Herbie D covered the mile in 1:35.12 and paid $6.80.

Questions about post positions and early pace were prevalent before the Longacres Mile, with forwardly placed horses such as Until You, Hoist, and Mr. Bowling candidates to vie with Herbie D in the early going. Until You never got close to the front after breaking from the inside post, Hoist faded badly after pressing the pace, and Mr. Bowling broke slowly from post 11, raced five wide around the first turn, and faded steadily past the half-mile pole.

Herbie D won for the 10th time in 13 starts, a record similar to the one fashioned by 2012 Longacres Mile winner Taylor Said, who also overcame an outside post to win the Mile with an impressive display of speed and staying power.

Owned by George Robbins of Cobble Hill, British Columbia, and Darcia Doman of Cowichan Bay, B.C., Herbie D collected $110,000 for his first graded stakes victory, running his career earnings to $337,928.