05/19/2013 9:04PM

Emerald Downs: Hoist wires Governor's Handicap

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AUBURN, Wash. – Hoist jumped out to a quick lead and led every step of the way to score a mild upset Sunday in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap at Emerald Downs.

Aaron Gryder, riding at Emerald Downs for the first time since 2008, was aboard Hoist, who races for Glenn Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Racing Co. and is based at Hastings in Vancouver, British Columbia. Trained north of the border by Troy Taylor, Hoist was saddled Sunday by Emerald-based trainer Mike Puhich.

Hoist ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.78 and paid $8.40 as the second choice in an eight-horse field. Longshot Stryker Phd rallied to finish second, a length behind the winner, with Why Not Be Perfect another three-quarters of a length back in third. They were followed by Assessment, Kooky Saluki, D’honorable One, Edge Forward, and 3-2 favorite Winning Machine, who was uncharacteristically flat from start to finish.

The speedy Hoist, making his second start of the meeting, was in command from the start, zipping through fractions of 21.93 seconds, 43.83, and 1:08.12, and held on comfortably under Gryder, who recently moved from Southern California to Vancouver to ride exclusively for Todd and Taylor.

“Troy did all the training on Hoist and did a great job,” said Puhich, who saddled three winners Sunday. “I basically just put the tack on him and prayed.”

Hoist, a 4-year-old by Mineshaft, won for the fourth time in 11 career starts and recorded his first stakes victory. He began his racing career in Louisiana, spent the spring and summer of 2012 in New York – winning two races at Belmont and then taking a $104,400 first-level allowance at Saratoga – and then changed hands in August, when Todd acquired the horse in a private sale.

For his next assignment, Hoist might be seen in the one-mile Budweiser Handicap at Emerald Downs on June 16.