Itstufftobegood Sets 10-Furlong Emerald Downs Mark

Emerald Downs' Harley H. Hoppe & Associates Marathon Championship Series continued Friday night with a 1 1/4–mile record-setting win by Itstufftobegood.

The 4-year-old gelding, trained by Neil Knapp and ridden by Kevin Krigger, stayed nearly six lengths back until the home stretch, when he took command and finished the race in 2:01. The previous record was 2:01 4/5 set Aug. 15, 1998 by Rapid Stream. The state record is 2:00 3/5 set by Santarem at Longacres, Sept. 3, 1973.

Big Bad Bue and Themanwiththebigcigar set opening fractions of :23 and :46 1/5, setting up Itstufftobegood's rally.

Krigger held his charge within striking distance, and then moved ahead by two lengths at the head of the stretch, extending his lead to nearly four lengths at the wire.

"I knew from the first time I rode this horse I just needed to sit on him," Krigger said. "This horse has a lot of confidence."

"They (the owners) almost wanted to give this horse away," Knapp said. "He's an ornery bugger, but he has gotten a lot better. He's a typical racehorse."

Itstufftobegood improved his record to 7-3-2 from 13 starts and paid $5.40, $3.20, and $2.60.

Exceptional Game returned $10.60 and $6.60 for second and Watershed Park paid $3.20 for third.

The Harley H. Hoppe & Associates Marathon Championship Series is a set of four races in which the distance lengthens in each event. The first race was a 1 1/8-mile event run July 15 and won by Mister Doeny, who finished seventh in Friday's second leg.

Leg three is run at 1-1/2 miles on August 27. The series culminates on September 18th with a 1-3/4 mile test.

(Chart, Equibase)