08/23/2013 11:49AM

Ferndale: Howey holds three aces for Humboldt County Marathon


Trainer Quinn Howey is having a meet for the ages at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale. Going into the weekend, he had won with 14 of 20 starters and had seen only one runner fail to hit the board.

But there’s one race he wants to win more than any other – the 60th running of the $30,000 C.J. Hindley-Humboldt County Marathon, which is the final race of the meet Sunday. A loss would be like a 10-1 football team losing its final game to its arch-rival.

Ten signed up for the 1 5/8-mile race, during which horses cross the finish line four times, but only eight can start. And three of the starters will be trained by Howey.

Howey will send out Tiger Cat, who is coming off a victory in a $4,000 claimer over one mile at Santa Rosa. He also will run Surfer Dave, who has already won twice at the meeting, a 1 1/16-mile $3,200 claimer on opening day and a seven-furlong $5,000 claimer Wednesday.

Allen Aldrich owns Tiger Cat and Surfer Dave in a partnership with Howey. Aldrich owned the 2011 Marathon winner, Steel Blue.

“This is just the ultimate prize in Ferndale,” Aldrich said. “It’s a hard, hard race to win because of the distance.”

Tiger Cat tops the field with 10 career victories and has two wins and two seconds at Ferndale. Surfer Dave has scored four of his eight wins at Ferndale.

Howey also will saddle Graeme Crackerjack, who is trained elsewhere by Jeff Bonde. For Bonde, Graeme Crackerjack ran third last out in a $25,000 claiming route at Pleasanton on July 5 and before that finished fourth in a similar race at Betfair Hollywood Park. Howey has given him a work over the half-mile Ferndale track.

“It looks like Jeff’s horse should be the favorite, but both of mine absolutely love the track,” Aldrich said. “I think all three have a chance to win.”

Also entered are Awesome Address, El Saino, A Thousand Aces, Perfect Envoy, and Achak. Shakerattlenrule and Brought to Justice are on the also-eligible list.