Raise the Bluff returns to his favorite track, Emerald Downs, as the 3-1 morning line choice for the $400,000 Longacres Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap Presented by TVG (gr. III) Aug. 19.
Assigned co-high weight of 119 pounds, Raise the Bluff will break from post 8 in the 12-horse field for the 72nd running of the northwest's most prestigious race. Transferred from the Southern California barn of Doug O'Neill to Junior Coffey's Emerald Downs stable recently, Raise the Bluff won the Santana Mile Handicap at Santa Anita in March. In his only start since, the 4-year-old Pine Bluff colt faded to fourth after challenging for the lead in the stretch run of the 1 1/16-mile San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at odds of 24-1 at Del Mar July 21.
The pace-stalking Raise the Bluff, one of three horses in the Longacres Mile for Emerald Downs' President Ron Crockett, has performed his best at the Seattle track. Other than his win in the Santana Mile, all four of his other black-type finishes came at Emerald Downs, including stakes victories in the Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby and the Pepsi-Cola Handicap in 2006. Overall, the bay has won five of 17 lifetime starts and banked $247,706.
Tyler Baze, who has been aboard Raise the Bluff for his past three starts, travels to the northwest to retain the mount.
Crockett's other two starters in the Longacres Mile -- The Great Face and Don'twritemeoff -- the one-two finishers in the Mt. Ranier Handicap, are expected to be on the pace.
The Jerry Hollendorfer runner Trickey Trevor, who shares high weight with Raise the Bluff, is another with early speed. The 8-year-old Florida-bred with 20 victories and nearly $700,000 in earnings is stuck in the far outside 12 post, but has Russell Baze in the irons.
Trainer Bob Baffert will start two horses in the Longacres Mile. Sinister Minister, winner of the 2006 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), will break from post 5 with jockey Clinton Potts. The speedy 4-year-old colt was held at 7-2 on the morning line.
Also running out of the Baffert barn is Wanna Runner. Owned by former Washington resident Mike Pegram, the 4-year-old gelding will break from post 9 with Emerald Downs' leading jockey Ricky Frazier up.
$400,000 Longacres Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap Presented by TVG (gr. III, Race 9, 5:09 p.m. PDT), 3 & Up
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey, ML Odds
1. The Great Face (WA), 118, Juan M. Gutierrez, 4/1
2. Courting Seattle (FL), 112, Gallyn Vick Mitchell, 30/1
3. Wasserman (WA), 115, Jennifer Whitaker, 15/1
4. Gotaghostofachance (MD) 117, Kevin Radke, 6/1
5. Sinister Minister (KY), 116, Clinton L. Potts, 7/2
6. Schoolin You (WA), 112, Leslie Mawing, 20/1
7. Diligent Prospect (FL), 113, Wilson O. Dieguez, 20/1
8. Raise the Bluff (MD), 119, Tyler Baze, 3/1
9. Wanna Runner (ON), 116, Ricky Frazier, 10/1
10. Norm's Nephew (WA), 114, Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo, 20/1
11. Don'twritemeoff (KY), 114, Macario Rodriguez, 20/1
12. Trickey Trevor (FL), 119, Russell A. Baze, 5/1