Last Intention Nails Toccet at Wire

The $50,000 Hail Emperor Stakes came down to a bob of noses with Michael Gill's Last Intention beating 4-5 favorite Toccet by a whisker.

Jockey Jorge Chavez had steered Toccet all the way around on the lead and had put away all comers when jockey Abel Castellano Jr. and Last Intention came barreling down the stretch with direct aim on the leader. Last Intention caught Toccet, but Toccet came back at him and the pair hit the wire in unison. Last Intention's official winning margin was a nose and his winning time was 1:42.9.

Last Intention, who is trained by Mark Shuman, paid $9.

"Mr. Shuman told me to stay close and make one good run. I waited and waited until the quarter-pole and he took off," said Castellano, the leading rider of the current fall meeting. "I have a lot of confidence now and when you think you're going to win you seem to win more often."

Toccet, trying to regain the 2-year-old form he displayed winning six of eight starts including a pair of grade I triumphs in the Champagne and the Hollywood Futurity, lost for the fourth consecutive time.

(Chart, Equibase)