08/13/2012 3:46PM

Emerald Downs: Makors Finale regains best form to win Emerald Derby


Makors Finale won the $74,750 Emerald Downs Derby on Sunday, his third stakes victory of the meeting and a resounding return to form following an off-the-board finish in his previous start. The derby victory all but clinched honors for Makors Finale as Emerald’s 3-year-old of the meeting.

Jockey Rocco Bowen, who picked up the mount because regular rider Gallyn Mitchell is injured, coaxed the front-running Makors Finale through quick splits of 45.89, 1:10.08 and 1:35.26, maintaining a slight lead over Italian Boy all the way, before reaching the finish in 1:48.48 for nine furlongs. He prevailed by a half-length over Italian Boy, who had won four consecutive races, including the Seattle Slew Handicap in his previous start.

Makors Finale paid $13.40. Tom Wenzel is the trainer for owner/breeder Karl Krieg of Oak Harbor, Wash. The $41,250 winner’s check boosted Makors Finale's career ledger to $135,852 in nine starts.

It was a breakthrough riding victory for Bowen, who is mid-pack in the Emerald Downs jockey standings.

“When I was a bugboy at Hastings I won a $100,000 stakes up there, but I still think this is the best race of my career,” Bowen said. “All week I felt like I had ice water running through my veins, but last night I couldn’t sleep very much. My mom told me before the race that I’d get a hat trick today, and she was right. Tom told me to put the horse in front and lead every step of the way. I just made sure that we stayed in front and never let anyone get ahead of us. He fought the whole way. It was a great race.”

Jockey William Antongoergi III, aboard Italian Boy, said the race unfolded just as planned.

“I knew they’d send Makors Finale, so I just kept my horse within range," he said. "I had to start riding my horse pretty hard in the turn just to keep up with the winner. He was tired, but he ran the rest of the way with his heart. We just came up a little short today.”

D’honorable One, the slight betting favorite at 7-5, was two lengths back in third. Faster Than Duke, Brady’s Kat, and Edge Forward completed the order of finish.