Emerald Downs Derby: Makors Finale beats Italian Boy
Trainer Tom Wenzel said before the Emerald Downs Derby on Sunday that he had decided to let Makors Finale set sail, and sail he did ...
Special to The Seattle Times
Trainer Tom Wenzel said before the Emerald Downs Derby on Sunday that he had decided to let Makors Finale set sail, and sail he did — from start to finish, winning the $74,750 finale for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
"Italian Boy kind of drug us around the track last time," Wenzel said. Makors Finale finished fourth in the Seattle Slew Handicap on July 15.
"We decided to come up the inside and put Italian Boy behind us this time."
The race plan worked perfectly, with jockey Rocco Bowen going to the front from the No. 1 post position, forcing Italian Boy to run outside the entire race and then holding off that horse's charge down the stretch.
Makors Finale, out of Coup de Foudre by Makors Mark, finished 1-1/8 miles in 1 minute, 48.48 seconds and paid $13.40 for the win. Italian Boy, ridden by William Antongeorgi III, paid $3.40 and $2.20. D'honorable One, the race favorite ridden by Leslie Mawing, paid $2.20 to show.
Owner Karl Krieg of Oak Harbor said he thought his world had collapsed when Gallyn Mitchell, who rode Makors Finale to two earlier stakes wins this year, fractured his wrist Aug. 5.
"I really thought the racing gods were mad at me when Gallyn got hurt ... and could not ride in the Derby," Krieg said. "But Rocco and Tom have done a great job with this horse."
Mitchell is out for the rest of the meet after Blueberry Smoothie reared at the start of the Angie C. Stakes and stepped on his hand, but Bowen has stepped up.
"Tom (Wenzel) told me to put the horse in front and lead every step of the way," Bowen said. "I just made sure that we stayed in front and never let anyone get ahead of us."
Coming into the Derby, Italian Boy had made his presence known, not only with his victory in the Seattle Slew Handicap, but with four straight wins, each at a different distance, and by never finishing worse than third in six starts.
Makors Finale and D'honorable One had been evenly matched this season and showed that in the Auburn Handicap June 3 when the two shared the win in a dead heat.
With the win Sunday, Makors Finale has three wins in the four stakes races for 3-year-old males. Overall, he has five wins and four seconds in 11 starts.