Noosa Beach, a 4-year-old gelding that began his career in the claiming ranks,
scaled the mountaintop Sunday with a 1-½ length victory over long shot Jersey
Town in the 75th running of the Grade III, $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald
Photo: Reed Palmer/Emerald Downs
It was the fourth stakes victory of
the meeting for the Washington-bred son of Harbor the Gold and gave trainer
Doris Harwood her first triumph in the Northwest’s biggest race.
Noosa Beach, the 9-to-5 ridden by
Ricky Frazier at 120 lbs, ran the mile in 1:34 4/5 and paid $5.60, $3.80 and
$3. The victory was worth $96,250 for owner Jeff Harwood, who co-bred the
winner with his wife and trainer.
Jersey Town, ridden by Kevin Krigger
at 117 lbs, was easily second and paid $8 and $5.20. It was 3 ¾ lengths back to
defending champion Assessment, ridden by Gallyn Mitchell at 118 lbs, and a
$6.60 show payoff.
Almost Time rallied from last to
finish fourth, and was followed under the wire by Winning Machine, 5-to-2
second choice Gallant Son, Teide, Davos, 2008 Mile winner Wasserman, Senor
Rojo, Burj Dubai and Gallon.
Noosa Beach, who took command from
48-to-1 Winning Machine on nearing the half, opened a two-length lead into the
stretch and held off Jersey Town in the lane.
It was the second Longacres Mile
victory for Frazier and his record 71st stakes wins at Emerald Downs. The
46-year-old Little Rock, Ark. Native brimmed with justified confidence
throughout Mile week at Emerald Downs, but did encounter minor problems at the
“I was a little anxious out of
the gate,” Frazier said. “Noosa Beach broke great on his first
step, but after his second step Gallon stepped straight down on the middle of
his foot. I could tell it was bothering him, but I knew that he would fight
“When we reached the stretch, I
wanted to see how far I could open up on the field. Noosa Beach ran right by
Winning Machine, and I was confident we had the race won. He beat the best of
the best. He just does it all. He has shown from the get-go that he is a
special horse. I put a lot of pressure on myself to win this race. I am just
starting to let it sink in. I really want to relish this victory.”
Harwood added to her illustrious
career with a capstone victory. She won the $250,000 Favorite Trick Stakes with
Washington-bred Margo’s Gift in 2007, but said the Longacres Mile is
“It feels fantastic, it’s
really the highlight of my career,” said Harwood, who began training two
decades ago after a riding career at Longacres.
Harwood, 57, is the track’s
all-time leader with 47 stakes wins—38 of which have come in the last
Noosa Beach became the 10th horse to
win four stakes in a season at Emerald Downs, and is only the fifth horse with
seven career stakes wins. His overall record is 9-3-2- in 15 starts with
earnings of $340,590. The victory automatically qualified Noosa Beach for the
$1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November. But
because he isn’t Breeders’ Cup eligible, the supplemental
nomination fee would be $90,000.
In the $75,000 Emerald Distaff for
fillies and mares, Canadian shippers dominated as Kimmyv scored a one-length
victory over Summer Song in 1:49 1/5 for a mile and one-eighth. Chad Hoverson
rode the winner at 117 lbs for trainer Dino Condilenios and owner Swift
Thoroughbreds of Vancouver, B.C.
Kimmyv, a winner in five of eight
career starts, earned $41,250, and paid $23.60, $9.60 and $6.
Summer Song, ridden by Mario
Gutierrez at 121 lbs, was clearly second best and paid $6.20 and $4.40.
Christmas Ship, Mawing riding at 119 lbs, finished third and paid $2.80.
Rewritten, the lone 3-year-old in the
race, rallied from last to finish fourth, and was followed by Blue Sky Holiday,
Gadget Queen, Barbara’s Love, Crocodile Tuff and Clair Annette.
Clair Annette, the 2.10-to-1 betting
favorite ridden by Krigger, weakened after leading through six furlongs in 1:13
4/5, and faded to last.