Longacres Mile Taken by Wasserman

The Longacres Mile Handicap was run on Sunday, 17 August 2008, at Emerald Downs Racecourse. It was day to remember for breeders and Washington racing, as the homebred six year old Wasserman worked his way past a formidable field of contenders to capture the Longacres Mile Handicap, a $300 000 Grade III horse racing event. The crowds at the racecourse on Sunday showered the winning horse and his jockey with shouts of praise and congratulations on their victory.

Wasserman was bred by Howard Belvoir, who is also his owner and trainer. He was sired by Cahill Road and foaled out of Howard Belvoir’s mare, Share the Knight. Belvoir’s partner, Vicky Potter, was treated for breast cancer by a Dr. Peter Wasserman, and suggested that the young foal be named in his honor. The Longacres Mile Handicap was Wasserman’s thirty–eighth career start and his eighth win, along with his nine second places and five third place finishes. He has also earned just over four hundred and fifteen thousand dollars during his horse racing career.

Flamethrowintexan, who has won the Longacres Mile in 2006, led the field in the start of the race, with Tropic Storm, Call On Carson and Honour the West challenging his lead. In ninth position, jockey Jennifer Whitaker started to move Wasserman to the outside as they took the second turn. Wasserman lowly started to move himself forward, passing the field that lay between him and the front runners, which by this time had changed to True Metropolitan and Tropic Storm fighting for the lead. But Wasserman and Whitaker never gave up, gaining ground and winning the Longacres Mile Handicap with a neck over True Metropolitan, who was followed to the wire by Tropic Storm in third. The win was not only a great achievement for Wasserman and Belvoir, but gave Jennifer Whitaker the pride of being the first female jockey to win the Longacres Mile. The rest of the contenders finished with Assessment in fourth, Schoolin You, Call on Carson, Flamethrowintexan, Honour the West, Nationhood, Luhuk’s Dancer, Southern Africa and Diligent Prospect.

The Longacres Mile Handicap is an automatic entry into the Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile, but as Wasserman was not made eligible as a foal, Belvoir will have to pay in $250 000 to see him race in Santa Anita. Belvoir commented that the next race for Wasserman will probably be the Washington Cup, after which he will be rested until racing season starts again next year.