California-bred Irisheyesareflying tracked pacesetter Handy N Bold through moderate fractions, then drew away from that rival in the stretch to win Sunday's $250,000 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III) at Emerald Downs.
Under Ignacio Puglisi, Irisheyesareflying completed the mile 1:35 2/5 on a fast track. Handy N Bold finished 2 1/2 lengths back in second, a half-length ahead of Makors Mark. Favored Mike K finished fourth, followed by Kittys Link, Snohomish Loot, Crowning Meeting, Kid Katabatic, Advantage, and Prodigious.
The win marks the first in a stakes for the John K. Dolan trainee. Previously, Irisheyesareflying finished second in both the San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) and the All American Handicap (gr. III). When last out, Irisheyesareflying seventh in the Californian Stakes (gr. II), won by Skimming. 5-year-old Irisheyesareflying (Flying Continental--Sharon's Barron, by Track Barron) earned $137,500 for owners Dolan Racing Stable or Lloyd Graham or Alice Taylor. He was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Weston L. Fitzpatrick.
Sent off as the second choice in the wagering, Irisheyesareflying returned $7.20, $4.40, and $3.60. Handy N Bold paid $8 and $5 and completed the $1 exacta worth $27.80. Makors Mark was worth $3.60 to show. (Chart, Equibase