Mach One Rules collared a loose on the lead Prime Engine late and scored a three-quarter-length victory Sunday in the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Isaias Enriquez at 120 pounds, Mach One Rules ran 6½ furlongs in a meet-fastest 1:13.94 and paid $10.20, $4.60 and $3.60. Frank Lucarelli is the winning trainer for owners Roy and Ellie Schaefer of Port Orchard.
Prime Engine, ridden by Scott Stevens at 120 lbs, finished second and paid $3.60 and $2.60, while Togrammashousewego, Rocco Bowen riding at 118 pounds, rallied strongly for third and paid $3.80.
Barkley, a slight betting favorite over Prime Engine, encountered traffic trouble in the stretch and finished a close fourth, only his third loss in 10 career starts.
Howard Belvoir, trainer of Barkley, lodged an objection against the winner alleging interference in the stretch, but the stewards made no change in the order of finish.
Afterward, Lucarelli and the Schaefers breathed a huge sigh of relief after finally turning the tables on Barkley, who had hung four photo finish defeats on their gelding the last two seasons.
“I may be dumb, but I keep saying (Mach One Rules) is as good as Barkley,” Lucarelli said.
For a while it appeared neither Mach One Rules nor Barkley would be victorious, as Prime Engine shook off The Press into the lane, running a half-mile in :44.06 and kicking 2 ½ lengths clear of the field. Winner of the 2014 Gottstein Futurity and 2015 Emerald Downs Derby, Prime Engine was still clear inside the sixteenth pole, but Mach One Rules responded to Enriquez and swept by for the victory.
In fourth place early, Mach One Rules rallied into contention into the lane, drifted out past mid-stretch and causing Barkley and jockey Javier Matias to alter course, and then reeled in Prime Engine in the final yards.
“We changed his (running) style a little bit today and he gave me a big finish,” Enriquez said. “I think we could have won the (Governor’s) if I’d known him a little better.”
A 4-year-old Washington-bred gelding by Harbor the Gold-Felice the Cat, Mach One Rules is 5-5-2 in 14 lifetime starts with earnings of $181,856. He has four stakes wins including three in 2015 when he was track and state champion 2-year-old.
Barkley, now 7-2-0 in 10 starts, lacked racing room through most of the stretch and was beaten only two lengths for it all.
Stryker Phd, Its Allabout Jerry, The Press and Dedicated to You rounded out the eight-horse field.
Sprinting for the first time in over four years, Stryker Phd was only beaten three lengths in an encouraging comeback effort. The 8-year-old gelding earned $1,250 to push his lifetime total to $631,011, good for No. 3 all-time among Washington-breds.
The $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on July 16 is next for older horses, followed by the 82nd running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) on Aug. 13.
Frank Lucarelli in No. 5 all-time with 40 stakes wins at Emerald Downs. He had two wins Sunday and is No. 2 in all-time wins with 890, 31 behind Tim McCanna. … Roy and Ellie Schaefer are best known for owning Grade 2 winner Atta Boy Roy, who retired No. 6 all-time in Washington-bred earnings with $602,276. … The top five Washington-bred earners: 1-Saratoga Passage-$800,212, 2-Military Hawk-$686,128, 3-Stryker Phd-$631,011, 4-Peterhof’s Patea-$623,367, 5-Rings a Chime-$606,315. … Betting On Dr Bow at $103.80 in Sunday’s 10th race produced the meet’s largest $2 win payoff, edging the previous high of $103 set by Tondasarh on June 3…The late $0.50 Pick 4 paid a season high $10,427. …. There are Friday carryovers of $10,475 in the $0.50 Pick 5 and $4,188 in the $0.20 Pick 7…Vicente’s Shadow ($25.80) rallied from the clouds under Eswan Flores to win Sunday’s $18,500 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds in :51.53 for 4 ½ furlongs. Blaine Wright is the trainer for owners Gordon Twileger and Steven Twileger. … Wright had two wins Sunday and finished the week 4-0-1 in six starts and tops the standings with 20 wins. He’s on pace to eclipse the 39 wins he notched while winning his first Emerald Downs title in 2016. … Congratulations to 90-year-old trainer H.R. Mullens for his first win of 2017 as 4-year-old Hit the Beach ($4.80) prevailed in the $18,500 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up. … Washington-bred Invested Prospect set the pace for a half-mile before finishing fifth in the $100,000 Desert Stormer Stakes (Grade 3) won by Bendable in 1:09.04 for six furlongs at Santa Anita. … Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m.