08/24/2014 9:11PM

Stryker Phd rallies from 15 lengths back to win Longacres Mile


AUBURN, Wash. – Stryker Phd roared from some 15 lengths off the pace to win Sunday's Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs and reaffirm his status as the leading handicap horse in the Pacific Northwest. The heavy favorite in a field of 12, Stryker Phd ran the mile in 1:33.67 and paid $4.60. Boyett finished second, a half-length behind the winner and another hallf-length in front of the longshot Twistgrips, who finished third.

Just as forecast, a fast pace materialized from the outset. Scat Daddybaby, who tuned up for the race in a hot-paced 6 1/2-furlong allowance dash, made a beeline for the front and maintained a clear advantage past the quarter pole before Boyett, and Stryker Phd moved in to challenge. Boyett gained the lead between calls in mid-stretch but couldn't hold off Stryker Phd and jockey Leslie Mawing. Twistgrips rallied from far back to finish third at 24-1.

Scat Daddybaby, who covered the first six furlongs in 1:08.42, held on to finish fourth. He was followed by Shooting Jacket, Mr. Bowling, Prohibition, Disruption, Dontmessiwthkitten, Jebrica, Mysterious Soul, and Title Contender, the leading older horse at Hastings. Title Contender grew restless in the paddock, washed out badly before the start, and never threatened.

Stryker Phd earned $110,000, increasing his career ledger to $292,751 from 16 starts.

A 5-year-old gelding by Bertrando out of the Smart Strike mare Striking Scholar, Stryker Phd is a product of the 2010 WTBOA yearling sale. Trainer Margo Lloyd picked Stryker Phd out of the sale for owners Jim and Mona Hour of Bellevue, Wash., and trained him through his 4-year-old year. After two dull efforts at Golden Gate Fields last winter, the Hours transferred the horse to trainer Larry Ross. With his victory Sunday, Stryker Phd is now 3 for 3 for his new connections. Bred in Washington, he could be seen next in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic on Washington Cup Day, Sept. 7.

Two races after the Longacres Mile, Stopshoppingdebbie remained unbeaten with a hard-fought victory in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff.

Stopshoppingddebbie ran 1 1/8 miles under Rocco Bowen in 1:47.45 and paid $2.40. Goin to the Window, her Tom Wenzel-trained stablemate, finished second after reaching equal terms with the front-running Stopshoppingdebbie in mid-stretch, and Blueberry Smoothie finished third. All three are trained by Wenzel for owner-breeder Jerre Paxton.

Stopshoppingdebbie is 9 for 9 with earnings of $247,023. She is likely to make her next start in California as Wenzel prepares her for a possible berth in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita this fall.