08/13/2017 10:27PM

Gold Rush Dancer crushes field in Longacres Mile

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Reed & Erin Palmer Photography/Emerald Downs
Gold Rush Dancer and jockey Evin Roman win the Longacres Mile by 4 3/4 lengths on Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Gold Rush Dancer crushed his 11 opponents in an impressive performance to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs on Sunday.

Sent off as the second choice by a mere $78 behind Mach One Rules in the premier race in the Pacific Northwest, he paid $8.40 for his 4 3/4-length win over the favorite.

With Del Mar’s leading rider Evin Roman aboard, Gold Rush Dancer broke alertly from post 3 and saved ground going around the first turn while sitting just off 80-1 Dedicated to You. Roman moved Gold Rush Dancer off the rail coming out of the turn and took over the lead while posting a half-mile time of 45.81 seconds.

He started to assert himself at the six-furlong mark, held a four-length lead at the eighth-pole and was never threatened by Mach One Rules, who rallied from a stalking position while going wide. After looking like he was done on the stretch turn, Dedicated to You fought back from along the rail to finish a nose behind Mach One Rules.

Gold Rush Dancer is trained by Vann Belvoir, who served as an interpreter for Roman.

“When he broke well and was in a good position going into the first turn I thought he had a good chance,” Roman said. “When we started going down the backstretch I had a lot of horse. When we hit the half-mile pole I knew he was the winner."

“He was ready,” said Belvoir, who won the Mile as a rider aboard What A Winner when it was held at Yakima Meadows in 1995. “The tracks he has been running on in California are a lot deeper and he just floated over this surface. This was the race we have been pointing him to for a long time. It was also a lot more rewarding to win this as a trainer than rider.”

Belvoir was also the leading rider at Emerald in 1996.

The final time was 1:33.85.

Gold Rush Dancer is owned and was bred by John Parker. A California-bred 4-year-old by Private Gold, the $110,000 winner’s share brought his career earnings to $510,613.

The Mile was the final leg in a Cross Country Pick 4 that began with the last two races at Saratoga. The 9-12-3-3 Pick 4 paid $61.45.

It was also the last part of an all-stakes Pick 4 at Emerald, 3-1-3-3, that paid $1,353.70.

The reason for the substantial payoff was the $77.60 win price for B C Z Middleton, who upset the $25,000 King County Overnight Stakes for fillies and mares.