AUBURN — Favored Anothertwistafate lived up to his billing Thursday evening at Emerald Downs, returning from a 16-month layoff and scoring a convincing victory in the 85th running of the $100,000 Longacres Mile.
Ridden by Juan Gutierrez, Anothertwistafate ran the mile in 1:34.10 and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.60. Longtime Northwest trainer Blaine Wright conditions the 4-year-old colt for owner Peter Redekop of Vancouver, British Columbia.
With the track running on a modified schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Mile was run on a weeknight for the first time ever, and about a month later than originally planned. It still attracted top talent from California and British Columbia to take on the track’s top older horses.
It is the first Mile victory for Wright and Redekop — runner-up the last two years with Alert Bay and Anyportinastorm — and third Mile victory for Gutierrez, who swept both stakes races Thursday and is just 13 wins from tying Gallyn Mitchell’s all-time track record of 1,419.
Stalking early fractions of :22.71, :45.21 and 1:08.74 set by Papa’s Golden Boy, Anothertwistafate took command three deep into the stretch and drew off to a 4½-length win over second choice Five Star General. It was the colt’s first start since a 10th-place finish in the 2019 Preakness Stakes.
“The first thing is to congratulate Mr. Peter Redekop and my entire crew here and at Golden Gate,” said Wright, who brought Anothertwistafate into the race off a series of works at Golden Gate Fields. “A lot of people have asked me if this is the best horse I’ve trained, and he’s been hot and cold with some health issues, but he’s a very nice horse.”
Wright also praised Gutierrez who previously won the Mile on No Giveaway in 2005 and The Great Face in 2007.
“The race worked out just the way we scripted it this morning, Juan (Gutierrez) did a great job.” Wright said. “When we couldn’t bring our rider (to Emerald Downs) there was no hesitation to ride Juan. He rode his 2,000th winner this year and is a great speed rider on this track. He fit this horse perfectly.”
Canadian shipper Five Star General, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, finished a clear second and paid $3.20 and $2.60. The Press, a 46-1 long shot ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, rallied for third and paid $4.60 to show.