The final Longacres Mile @ the Renton oval – 20 YEARS AGO

13 Aug

The last LONGACRES MILE occurred on August 23, 1992. TWENTY YEARS AGO.

Lets take a look back at that memorable August weekend:

Here are the past performances, courtesy of the Daily Racing Form:

Horses 5-7

Horses 8-10

Horses 11-12


Here are a few graphs from The Seattle Times coverage:


 RENTON – Bolulight, a horse with no hooves on his front feet, fulfilled his owners’ family dream with a stirring half-length victory over Ibero in the 57th and final running of the Longacres Mile in front of 17,182 at Longacres Park.

“We wanted to win this for the memory of our father,” said Bolulight owner Jim Braich, who owns the gelding with his four brothers. “This is the race we wanted all along. It really is hard to say how you feel.” Braich’s father, who died in 1976, was close friends with Longacres founder Joe Gottstein and raced horses for 30 years.

The family’s feelings were obviously strong after Bolulight’s near track-record performance of 1 minute, 34 seconds in the $293,800 Mile , just missing Always Gallant’s standard of 1:33 4/5. The winner’s-circle celebration featured raised index fingers and roars loud enough to startle Bolulight, delaying the horse’s entrance into the enclosure.

Bolulight also backed up the prerace boasts of his jockey, Ron Hansen. After riding the gelding to victory in the Governor’s Handicap three weeks ago, Hansen greeted reporters with two words: “Hello Mile .”

During the week leading up to the Mile , he wondered if even outstanding performances from the race’s highweight Ibero and local favorite Time To Pass would be good enough to topple his horse. Both almost did.

Time To Pass grabbed a brief lead with 300 yards remaining but tired and wound up fourth. Ibero was carried five horses wide around the stretch turn by pacesetting Charmonnier, who finished a nose back of Ibero in third. “It cost me the race,” said Ibero’s jockey, Alex Solis, who came up from Del Mar for the mount. “That was the difference. The winner got through on the inside because of that, too.”

That Hansen was able to get his horse inside after breaking from the eleventh post position was almost as surprising as his horse’s placing entering the final turn. In each of his nine previous victories, Bolulight had led at that point. Yesterday, Hansen held him back so he could save ground on the rail instead of being outside five horses on the first turn. “I had planned on beating Ibero going wire-to-wire,” said Hansen, who rode four winners yesterday. “There were just too many horses for that spot, and I just said, `What the heck, I’ll take him back and see what happens.’ ”

Bolulight is basically a horse without a hoof. This prevents him from wearing normal shoes and causes abscesses to form on the underside of his foot. The constant pounding worsens the condition.

To ensure Bolulight’s feet would be fit, the Braichs had the horse’s blacksmith, Tom Wade, flown in eight days before the race.

By reconstructing the foot with material developed by NASA for space missions, Wade is able to direct Bolulight’s infections to the rear foot where they can be more easily treated. Two days before the Mile , abscesses did form.

Because Wade, considered one of the top blacksmiths in Northern California, was here, he was able to quickly take care of the infection.


One Response to “The final Longacres Mile @ the Renton oval – 20 YEARS AGO”

  1. bobby braich August 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    wow…twenty years already…what a day it was…sad that owners Jim Braich (2009) and Herman Braich Jr. (2012) are no longer with us to share the 20th anniversary…long live the “Last Mile” at it’s birthplace “Longacres”….p.s. the track announcer was awesome!

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