06/19/2016 9:45PM

O B Harbor stretches out to win Budweiser; Stryker Phd third

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O B Harbor paid $6.20 for his win over longshot Betrbegone in the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes at Emerald Downs on Sunday. He was the second choice behind Stryker Phd, who rallied to finish third in the one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It was Stryker Phd’s first loss at Emerald since he was the runner-up behind Herbie D. in the 2013 Longacres Miles.

Jockey Jose Zunino was expecting to put O B Harbor on the lead coming out of the gate but the Oregon-bred sat just off Betrbegone through a first quarter-mile in 23.26 seconds. He took command after three furlongs and held a one-length lead over Betrbegone at the eighth pole.  Betrbegone fought back gamely to lose by a half-length. Stryker Phd was in a striking position at the top of the stretch but he couldn’t make up any ground on the top two.

“I thought we would be in front but he broke a bit slow,” said Zunino. “He was comfortable and when I asked him he really responded .”

O B Harbor is trained by Chris Stenslie and is owned by One Horse Will Do Corporation. The vastly improved 4-year-old has won all three of his starts this year and he was coming off an impressive front-running win going 6 1/2  furlongs in the Governor’s Stakes. The Budweiser was his first win going a middle distance.

The final time was 1:34.73.