Five Star General races during the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in Auburn on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Emerald Downs)

Five Star General races during the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in Auburn on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Emerald Downs)

Five Star General wins Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs

The 7-year-old horse delivered after entering the premier race as the favorite.

AUBURN – Score one for persistence. Five Star General had lined up seven times to race at Emerald Downs, including the past three Longacres Miles, and never won. He finally broke through on Sunday, taking the lead on the final turn and holding on for a 1½-length victory in the Mile, the Northwest’s most prestigious horse race.

Ridden by Joe Bravo, Five Star General was the slight 2/1 favorite in the 10-horse field and paid $6 to win. Grant Forster, the fourth trainer to run him in the Mile, proved to be the one with the winning touch. The Vancouver, B.C., native also won the 2005 Mile with No Giveaway.

“Growing up in the Northwest, winning the Longacres Mile was the ultimate dream,” Forster said. “I think most importantly, the horse deserves it.”

Five Star General ran in the silks of Joe Gottstein, who founded Longacres racetrack in Renton in 1933 and operated it until his death in 1971. Gottstein’s grandson, winning owner Ken Alhadeff of Seattle, uses the chartreuse silks to honor the man who established the Mile as a premier race.

Five Star General emerged from an early scrum for the lead with a good position, stalking just behind frontrunner A Man’s Man. He made a powerful move to take the lead and drew off to a 4-length cushion in the stretch. California invader Il Belator closed in, but Five Star General kept him safely at bay to the wire. Slew’s Tiz Whiz, the winner of last year’s Mile, rallied from far back in the 10-horse field to finish third, 5½ lengths behind the winner.

In taking the lion’s share of the $150,000 purse, the 7-year-old Five Star General ran his record to 10 wins from 30 starts and boosted his career earnings to $602,769. Alhadeff’s Elttaes Stable purchased him for $110,000 at a dispersal sale for the horse’s previous owner, Glen Todd, who died in 2022.

The top three in the Mile were followed by Arma d’Oro. A Man’s Man, Top Executive, Zestful, You’re the Cause, and Exclusive Speaker. Seattle Bold was pulled up on the last turn.

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