Noosa Beach winning the 2010 Longacres Mile (G3)
SHOWDOWN LOOMS IN $50,000 GOVERNOR’S ’CAP
NOOSA BEACH READY FOR 2012 SEASON DEBUT
AUBURN, Wash. (May 13, 2012) – The track’s all-time leader in stakes wins returns to action when Noosa Beach defends his title in the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap at Emerald Downs on Sunday, May 20.
The Governor’s at 6-½ furlongs is first stop for 3-year-olds en route to the 77th Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, Aug. 19, and the only sprint in the older handicap division this season. The race also looms a potential showdown between progeny of the Washington stallion Harbor the Gold—Noosa Beach vs. Hollywood Harbor.
Winner of 14-of-21 all-time including 11 stakes victories at Emerald Downs, Noosa Beach is the two-time defending Horse of the Meeting, but has been off since a runner-up finish to Awesome Gem in the 2011 Longacres Mile. The versatile 6-year-old gelding is equally adept around one turn or two, and 3-1-0 in four starts at 6-½ furlongs including a one-length victory in the 2011 Governor’s Handicap. At Emerald Downs, Noosa Beach is 13-4-1 in 19 starts with earnings of $461,555.
Although Noosa Beach has a long history of running well fresh, he will need to be extra sharp off the bench this year, as Hollywood Harbor comes off a world-record performance on April 22, in which the 5-year-old gelding ran 5-½ furlongs in 1:00.87. The track’s Top Juvenile in 2009, the front-running Hollywood Harbor is 6-3-0 in nine career starts at Emerald Downs, and 2-1-0 in three races at 6-½ furlongs.
Yet another Harbor the Gold gelding, 5-year-old Cat On Base, already is a double winner at the meet and also set a track record for 5-½ furlongs on April 14—1:01.37—only to have the mark broken eight days later by Hollywood Harbor.
Winning Machine was runner-up to Noosa Beach in two stakes last year and has been among the track’s top handicap runners the last three seasons, while Jebrica was named Emerald Downs’ Top 3-Year-Old after a smashing victory in the 1-1/8-mile Emerald Derby last August. Couldabenthewhisky is a triple stakes winner locally and was Top Juvenile in 2010, while Taylor Said earned a 101 Beyer in a 4-½-length victory in the John Longden 6000 at Hastings Racecourse on May 6.
Governor’s Handicap—3-Year-Olds & Up-73rd Running
Horse/Handicap Weight Owner Trainer
Aaron the Baron-114 lbs (5-WA) Elttaes Stable Doris Harwood
Cat On Base-115 (5-WA) Rising Star Stable V & Howard Belvoir Howard Belvoir
Couldabenthewhisky-117 (4-WA) Friendship, A Maib, C & S Fredrickson Bonnie Jenne
Go With Gusto-113 (7-NY) Get Lucky Stable Roy Lumm
Hollywood Harbor-118 (5-WA) One Horse Will Do Corp. & C. Stenslie Chris Stenslie
Jebrica-118 (4-WA) R & R Warren LLC Jim Penney
Noosa Beach-122 (6-WA) Jeff Harwood Doris Harwood
Slim Pickins-111 (4-KY) Ken Miles Chris Stenslie
Taylor Said-117 (4-BC) N American Thoroughbred Horse Co. Michael Puhich
Winning Machine-116 (6-KY) Fleur De Lis Stables Frank Lucarelli