STRYKER PHD SPECTACULAR IN 2014 DEBUT,
SETS STAKES MARK IN BUDWEISER HANDICAP
AUBURN, Wash. (June 15) – Using a strong closing kick, Stryker Phd made a triumphant return to action Sunday at Emerald Downs.
Runner-up in the 2013 Longacres Mile, Stryker Phd drew clear for a 3 ¼-length victory in stakes-record time in the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap for 3-year-olds and up.
Ridden by Leslie Mawing at 119 lbs., Stryker Phd ran one mile in 1:34.15—breaking the mark shared by Westsideclyde and R. Associate—and paid $10.80, $6 and $4.60. Larry Ross, who took over training duties from Margo Lloyd this spring, now conditions Stryker Phd for owners Jim and Mona Hour of Bellevue, Wash.
Mr. Bowling, ridden by David G. Lopez at 118 lbs., finished second and paid $5.40 and $4.20. Canadian shipper Shooting Jacket, a 29-to-1 long shot ridden by Eliska Kubinova at 116 lbs, rallied to finish third and paid $15 to show.
Jebrica, the defending champion and 3-to-1 betting favorite, finished fourth, followed by Twistrgrips, Dontmesswithkitten, Hudson Landing, Why Not Be Perfect, Mike Man’s Gold and Pepnic.
In ninth place early, Stryker Phd made a sweeping move on the last turn to gain command into the stretch, and then drew off through the lane for a powerful victory. It was an emphatic win by the 5-year-old gelding, who gained notoriety last year by finishing second in all four stakes for older horses.
"We’ve been training him just how we wanted him to run today,” Mawing said. “We wanted him to come from off the pace. I knew there was going to be a lot of speed today. All I needed to do was lie off the pace and make one big run.
“As long as this horse has something to run at, he’s going to give you 150 percent. Hopefully, we have a lot more wins by the end of the season.”
A Washington-bred by Bertrando-Striking Scholar, Stryker Phd is 3-4-4 in 14 starts with earnings of $155,251, including $27,500 for the Budweiser victory.
Based on Sunday, Stryker Phd would be considered the top local contender for the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on August 24. The $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 20 is the final local tune-up.
NOTES: Mawing rode four winners on the 10-race card and now leads Rocco Bowen 38-34 in the jockeys’ standings. Already this season, Mawing has a five-win day and two four-win days. The win on Stryker Phd was Mawing’s 533rd win at Emerald Downs and moved him past Kevin Radke into fifth place on the track’s all-time list. . .Jockey Anne Sanguinetti, in her first mount back after missing three weeks with a sprained ankle, rode first-time starter Forty Feroce ($22.40) to a 4 ¾-length victory in the third race. A 2-year-old Grasshopper gelding trained by Jeff Metz, Forty Feroce is owned by John and Christine Sanguinetti, parents of the jockey. . .The amazing 8-year-old gelding Polish Dollar ($4.60) won his 14th career race at Emerald Downs, running six furlongs in 1:08.87, and is now tied for sixth place with Kimos Friend and Toobusytoocall on the track’s all-time victory list. . . The Emerald Racing Club’s Dancing Yodeler was scratched from the second race after a deluge an hour before Sunday’s first race. . .Guinevere’s Finale ($33.40), owned and bred by Oak Crest Farm, came off the bench to score in a $75,000 claiming race for 3-year-old fillies at Sunday at Santa Anita. Trained by Vann Belvoir, the daughter of Tale of the Cat-Guinevere broke her maiden at Emerald Downs last September. . .Live racing resumes Friday at 6:45 p.m.