Emerald Downs: Italian Boy edges D'honorable One in Seattle Slew Handicap
In the second part of the stakes doubleheader Sunday at Emerald Downs, Champagneandcaviar took the Kent Handicap.
Seattle Times staff
AUBURN — Jockey William Antongeorgi III knew Italian Boy was getting tired.
It didn't matter. When D'honorable One moved next to Italian Boy in the stretch, Italian Boy would not let that foe past, winning by a head while running fifth-sixteenths of a mile farther than he ever had.
Italian's Boy stirring win in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings was the first half of a stakes doubleheader Sunday at Emerald Downs.
In a huge surprise, Champagneandcaviar reclaimed the lead late and beat favored Exclusive Diva by a three-quarters of a length to win the $50,000 Kent Handicap at 28-1.
Just as resilient was Italian Boy, who worked hard to get the early lead.
"Every time I asked him, he just gave me more," Antongeorgi said of Italian Boy, who ran 1-1/16 miles in 1 minute, 41.61 seconds.
Trainer Tim McCanna put Italian Boy in the stakes race after he had won two 6-furlong sprints by a combined 11 ¼ lengths. Early Sunday, Italian Boy was going faster than McCanna would have liked, but he had just enough left at the end.
"He has a lot of heart, and that's what kind of convinced me (that he could run 1-1/16 miles)," McCanna said.
Italian Boy paid $10.40 to win.
Makors Finale, the 19-10 favorite, couldn't keep up with Italian Boy early and faded to fourth.
Champagneandcaviar was third in last month's Irish Day Handicap, losing by 10 ½ lengths. But jockey Javier Matias and trainer Howard Belvoir said she had trouble going around the first turn that day, so Belvoir worked on correcting that the past few weeks.
"She got a good start and took the turn well today, so that was good," said Belvoir.
Exclusive Diva made a bold three-wide move entering the stretch, but Champagneandcaviar responded to Matias' urging to regain command.
Champagneandcaviar paid $58.60 to win and ran 1-1/16 miles in 1:42.02.
Regal Betty, a Southern California invader who was ridden by 2012 Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez, finished third.
• Jockey Gallyn Mitchell was thrown off his mount, Silver Sneakers, in the fourth race. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary X-rays, but was back at the track later.
• Gutierrez, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year on I'll Have Another, was riding at Emerald Downs for the first time since 2010. He rode Starlight Gem to a victory in the third race.