06/16/2013 9:07PM

Emerald Downs: Jebrica scores upset in Budweiser Handicap


AUBURN, Wash. – Jebrica, a 10-1 outsider, raced to a hard-earned victory Sunday in the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap for older horses at Emerald Downs, rallying from midpack to collar the leaders in the final yards and holding off the fast-closing Stryker Phd to win by three-quarters of a length.

Jebrica ran one mile in 1:34.72 and paid $23.20 as the sixth choice in a field of nine.

Jebrica, trained by Jim Penney for Ron and Rosalie Warren, of Olympia, Wash., won for the first time in three starts this year and for only the second time since 2011, when he captured the Emerald Derby and then beat older horses in the $100,000 B.C. Premier’s Handicap at Hastings.

Most of the focus leading into the Budweiser surrounded Makors Finale, who had won four straight starts, and Hoist, who captured the 6 1/2-furlong Governor’s Handicap on May 19 while Makors Finale sat idle with a minor foot injury. Hoist, who broke from the outside post position, was the 2.60-1 favorite, with Makors Finale next at 2.90-1.

Makors Finale and Hoist were expected to duke it out on the lead, but only Makors Finale, who broke from the inside post, made a bid for the front. He was joined by Winning Machine on the backstretch, and those two skipped through a brisk half-mile in 45.83 seconds and six furlongs in 1:09.08 before tiring through the final furlong.

Meanwhile, Jebrica and jockey Isaias Enriquez conserved energy in the early stages, wore down the leaders from the outside, and inched away late.

Jebrica, by Liberty Gold from the Halo mare Peaceful Wings, earned $27,500, pushing his lifetime earnings to $256,905. He has won 6 of 20 starts and likely will be seen next in the 1 1/16-mile Mount Rainier Handicap on July 21, the final local stakes prep for the Grade 3 Longacres Mile on Aug. 18.