06/23/2009 11:00PM

Short rest for Assessment, Wasserman


AUBURN, Wash. - Assessment and Wasserman, the top two finishers Sunday in the one-mile Budweiser Emerald Handicap, will return on two weeks' rest to run in the 6 1/2-furlong, $50,000 Governor's Handicap on July 5, trainer Howard Belvoir said Wednesday.

Assessment became the leading local contender for the Grade 3, $300,000 Longacres Mile with his victory Sunday, though Wasserman, the 2008 Mile winner, ran his best race at the current meeting, closing stoutly to miss by a head. After the Governor's, Belvoir's pair will be pointed toward the nine-furlong Mount Rainier Handicap on July 26, three weeks before the Mile.

"We're here to dance every dance," Belvoir said. "We'll go from this one to the next one, and then go to the Mile."

Gallon, who finished third in the Budweiser Emerald in the second start of his 4-year-old season, will skip the Governor's and train up to the Mount Rainier Handicap, said Kay Cooper, who runs day-to-day operations for her father, trainer Jim Penney.

"I think he's coming into his own," Cooper said of Gallon, an Emerald Downs division champion at 2 and again at 3, when he won the $100,000 Emerald Derby. "The race Sunday didn't go exactly as planned, but he ran well. Our ultimate goal is to win the Mile."

Kruger Park will take an unconventional path to the Mile, trainer Carlos Moreno confirmed Tuesday. Victorious in the Seattle and FSN handicaps but fifth in the Budweiser Emerald, Kruger Park will run next in a turf stakes on the California fair circuit. He'll also have a new jockey when he returns to Emerald Downs. Moreno said Javier Matias, Kruger Park's regular rider, veered from pre-race strategy Sunday when he kept the horse under stout restraint while setting the pace. Kruger Park relinquished the lead on the second turn and finished 3 3/4 lengths behind Assessment.

"The horse came back kicking and bucking, so upset," Moreno said. "He wasn't even tired."

Atta Boy Roy, who tied the six-furlong track record of 1:07.40 in his Emerald Downs debut June 6, had been scheduled to run in the Budweiser Emerald, but trainer Valorie Lund had a change of heart.

"That mile race came back too soon, so we'll run in the Governor's Handicap," she said. "Everyone will have to wait a little longer to see if Atta Boy Roy can get a mile."

Davos, owned by Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett, could join the Mile field if he runs well in his next race at Hollywood Park, either an allowance or the Grade 1, $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap at seven furlongs on July 1. Trained by Doug O'Neill in Southern California, Davos last raced June 6, finishing fifth in the 7 1/2-furlong Ack Ack Handicap.

"We've got our eye on the Mile if he does well," Crockett's racing manager, Lance Williams, said.

Dixie Meister, a lackluster sixth in the Budweiser Emerald after breaking slowly and racing wide, will run next in the Mount Rainier, trainer Mike Puhich said. How he does there will dictate plans for the rest of the summer, though the Mile is the objective.

"We're going to take a real good look at the Mount Rainier and see how he's doing and go from there," Puhich said. "He broke real bad Sunday, and Seth [Martinez] said from there, the outside was deeper going. He didn't get the best of trips, but he needed a race and he came out of it just as good as when he went into it."

Lucarelli aims high with Feeling Fancy

Trainer Frank Lucarelli has ambitious plans for Feeling Fancy. Following an impressive debut victory in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race June 6, she will race next in the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes for juvenile fillies July 12 at Hollywood Park. Feeling Fancy arrived in Southern California on Monday, giving her plenty of time to acclimate to Hollywood's synthetic racing surface.

"She'll have time to get a couple of works on the track," Lucarelli said.

Feeling Fancy would have been idle for nine weeks had she stayed at Emerald Downs.

"There are no stakes races here until August 8," Lucarelli said. "We took a look, and this seemed like our best option. She's a good horse. There are some nice fillies down there, but this early in the year, you may not have to face the best ones."

Owners Chris and Diane Randall purchased Feeling Fancy for $19,000 at Keeneland last September. By Sky Mesa from the Distinctive Pro mare Miss Thermal Tech, Feeling Fancy won her debut by 5 1/4 lengths in 51 seconds. She earned a 74 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest by an Emerald 2-year-old this season.

Trainer Blaine Wright will also leave town with a top 2-year-old. Newfound Man, a romping winner in his racing debut May 25, is ticketed for the $50,000 River Rock Resort Stakes on July 12 at Hastings.

Owners John and Janene Maryanski purchased Newfound Man for $36,000 at the Washington yearling sale last September, but because his sire, Newfoundland, was not nominated for the Northwest Race Series, Newfound Man isn't eligible for the restricted Strong Ruler Stakes on July 18. He could return to Emerald Downs for the $50,000 Premio Esmeralda Stakes on Aug. 9.