Kenai King storms back to capture feature | Emerald Downs

Kenai King and jockey Gallyn Mitchell overtake Cantcatchme and Ronald Richard for the victory Saturday in the feature race for Washington-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings. - Courtesy photo/Erin Palmer, Emerald Downs
Kenai King and jockey Gallyn Mitchell overtake Cantcatchme and Ronald Richard for the victory Saturday in the feature race for Washington-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Erin Palmer, Emerald Downs

For the Reporter

Kenai King and jockey Gallyn Mitchell would not be denied Saturday at Emerald Downs.

Under urging from Mitchell, Kenai King rallied from last and wore down Cantcatchme in the final strides for a three-quarter-length victory in the $19,025 allowance feature for Washington-bred 3-year-olds.

Kenai King ran six furlongs in 1:09.26 and paid $8, $3.80 and $2.60. Doris Harwood is the trainer for Bar C Racing Stables (Pam and Neal Christopherson of Hermiston, Ore.)

Cantcatchme, the 2-to-1 betting favorite ridden by Ronald Richard, opened a two-length lead into the stretch and just failed to last. Cantcatchme paid $3.20 and $2.80.

Smart Copy was three lengths back in third and paid $2.80 to show. He's Zuberrific, City Shadows and Can't Get Enough completed the order of finish. Troop Ship was a late scratch.

Kenai King is one of several top 3-year-olds in the Harwood stable this year. Last week, for example, she saddled Noosito to an explosive victory in the Auburn Handicap, and Del Rio Harbor*Emerald Downs' champion 2-year-old male of 2013*finished third in the Auburn. Sunday, Harwood saddles Trick Or Retreat, yet another promising sophomore, in a maiden special weight for 3-year-olds.

Harwood's four 3-year-olds*Noosito, Del Rio Harbor, Kenai King and Trick Or Retreat*are all sons of Harbor the Gold, the sire that also produced Noosa Beach, the brilliant gelding that won a track record 11 stakes for Harwood from 2008-2011.

Saturday, Harwood credited Mitchell's energetic riding for helping to make the difference. After breaking a step slow, Kenai King saved ground on the turn, angled out into the stretch and kept plugging away to finally tag Cantcatchme in the final yards.

The track's all-time leader with 1,358 wins, the 51-year-old Mitchell has posted riding doubles three of the last five racing days and is winning at a 23 percent clip for the season.


Leslie Mawing rode three winners and is tied with Rocco Bowen atop the jockeys' standings with 28 wins apiece. At the meet, Mawing already has a five-win day, a four-win day and two three-win days. . ... In a virtual replay of his May 17 victory, Memphis Beach ($4.40) made it two-for-two at the meet with a fast front-running victory in the $14,800 sub-feature for 3-year-olds and up. Saturday. Memphis Beach ran six furlongs in 1:08.47 under Mawing for trainer Dan Markle and owners Sue and Tim Spooner; two weeks ago Memphis Beach covered the distance in 1:08.55. A 5-year-old Harbor the Gold gelding, Memphis Beach was claimed Saturday for $20,000 by trainer Mary Pirone and owner Blue Mountain Stable. ... Da Ruler finished second as the even-money favorite in race five but was declared a non-starter, the stewards' determining the 6-year-old gelding did not receive a fair start, and all wagers were refunded. He's a Goblin ($5.40) led gate-to-wire to win the fifth, the 16th career victory for the 7-year-old Oregon-bred, but his first victory in five tries at Emerald Downs. ...

Jockey Connie Doll and owner/trainer Allen Gideon each scored their first wins of the meet as Chromatose ($30.40) rallied for the victory in Saturday's fourth race. The 7-year-old Klinsman mare received a rail-skimming ride by Doll to edge 3-to-5 favorite Athina Lee for the victory. Winner of the 2013 Lindy Award for accomplishment and sportsmanship, Doll has ridden in recognized races since 1976 and has the longest career of any woman professional rider in North American history. .... Clubhouse Ride ($15) out finished 1-to-2 favorite Fury Kapcori in the $200,000 Californian Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. ... Live racing continues Sunday with the $50,000 Seattle Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at 6½ furlongs. City by the Bay is the 7-to-5 morning line favorite and Lotta Attitude second choice at 3-to-1. First post is 2:15 p.m.

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