Updated on 09/16/2011 8:56AM

Try horses whose goal is this race


AUBURN, Wash. - The Governor's Handicap, traditionally regarded as the final local prep for the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, has drawn a field of seven, going 6 1/2 furlongs for a purse of $60,000 at Emerald Downs Sunday.

No fewer than 14 horses have exited the Governor's and won the Mile in past years, and several in Sunday's field have their sights set on the Mile's $250,000 purse. Certainly among them are the field's highweights, Makors Mark and Radar Contact, whose reputations ensure that they will attract strong attention in the mutuels.

Bettors seeking value in the Governor's might prefer to concentrate on horses whose connections are regarding the race not as a prep, but as a goal.

Two who qualify on those grounds are Colterkind and Road Ahead, who ran one-two in a six-furlong allowance race in 1:09.20 here on July 4.

Owners Janet Johnson and Roy Lumm might be considered audacious for thinking about the Governor's, let alone the Mile, were it not for Colterkind's front-running win in the allowance. Before that he had won a restricted race for $12,500 claimers on May 24, the day he was claimed by his current owners, and an open $25,000 sprint on June 16. As it is, Colterkind enters the Governor's with rapidly improving form and abundant speed, making him a threat to lead throughout.

Impressive as Colterkind was in victory on Independence Day, Road Afleet gained stature in defeat, closing furiously after racing blocked to the furlong marker and losing by only 1 1/2 lengths.

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