Southern California shipper Papi Chullo and local favorite Flamethrowintexan share top billing in Sunday's Longacres Mile (gr. III), which has attracted a full field of 12 runners to Emerald Downs.
Trained by J. Buenaventura Vargas, Greg Norman's Papi Chullo exits the San Diego Handicap (gr. II) where he crossed the wire third but was disqualified for interference in the stretch and placed seventh by the Del Mar stewards. As a 3-year-old, the son of Comeonmom competed in a pair of grade I events, the Haskell and the Florida Derby, and was the runner-up in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita where he finished in front of eventual Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo.
Papi Chullo has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite and will carry 115 pounds. The colt will break from post 11 and will be ridden by Robby Albarado, who has won more than 3,000 races in his career and will be making his first appearance at Emerald Downs.
Grasshopper Stable's Flamethrowintexan comes to the Mile off a repeat victory in the Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup Handicap. The Jim Penney trainee finished sixth in the 2005 edition of the Mile, where he was beaten by three lengths. A winner in six of 11 starts at Emerald Downs, the son of Way West will carry high impost of 120 pounds. Flamethrowintexan will be ridden by Ricky Frazier from post nine and is listed in the morning line as the second choice at 7-2.
Trainer Michael Puhich, a native of Renton, will saddle his first Mile starter on Sunday when Southern Africa heads to the gate for owners Al and Saundra Kirkwood. The 4-year-old son of Cape Town
crossed the wire fourth in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), but was moved up to the third as a result of the disqualification of Papi Chullo. Winner of the Lone Star Derby (gr. III) in 2005, Southern Africa has will carry 119 pounds. Russell Baze, a three-time Mile winner has the call.$250,000 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III, Race 7, 4:20 p.m.), 3 & Up
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Confidential Call (WA), 113, Kevin Radke
2. Don'twritemeoff (KY), 112, Gallyn Vick Mitchell
3. Quiet Cash (KY), 118, Chad Hoverson
4. Starbird Road (WA), 118, Deborah Hoonan
5. Royal Place (FL), 114, Anderson Ward
6. Alexandersrun (FL), 116, Kevin Krigger
7. Grafton (FL), 115, Ken S. Tohill
8. R. Associate (KY), 115, Ben Russell
9. Flamethrowintexan (FL), 120, Ricky Frazier
10. Southern Africa (KY), 119, Russell A. Baze
11. Papi Chullo (FL), 115, Robby Albarado
12. Norm's Nephew (WA), 114, Leslie Mawing