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Noosito all the way in Seattle Slew | Emerald Downs
For the Reporter
Noosito held off stable mate Del Rio Harbor and scored a hard-fought 1¾-length victory Sunday in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Leslie Mawing at 120 pounds, Noosito ran 1 1/16 miles in a stakes-record 1:40.76 and paid $5.80 and $2.60.
Del Rio Harbor, the 3-to-5 betting favorite ridden by Gallyn Mitchell at 122 pounds, ran a strong second and paid $2.20 for place. There was no show wagering.
Doris Harwood*extending her track record to 64 stakes wins*trains both Noosito and Del Rio Harbor, and the sophomores are now tied 3-3 in head-to-head match ups the last two seasons at Emerald Downs.
The rivalry continues Sunday, Aug. 10, with the $65,000 Emerald Downs Derby, a 1 1/8-mile test that figures to decide the 3-year-old divisional championship.
A Washington-bred by Harbor the Gold-Julia Rose, Noosito is living up to the hype that comes from being Noosa Beach's younger brother. Like his older brother, Noosito is versatile, a trait that came in handy in Sunday's short four-horse field.
Breaking from the No. 2 post-position, Noosito was able to save ground while maintaining a short lead over Del Rio Harbor, who broke from post-position No. 3.
And that's the way it would remain, Noosito with a short lead, Del Rio Harbor to his outside, clicking off reasonable fractions of :23.19, :46.06 and 1:09.77. Into the stretch, it was still Noosito with a short lead, and then the real race was on.
"The plan from the gate was to put him in the race early," Mawing said of pre-race strategy. "If Del Rio Harbor got the lead easy, we would've had to sit off him, but I knew that if I got the lead, he'd have to sit off me.
"(Gallyn Mitchell and I) slowed the pace down because we didn't want anyone else to come and surprise us. At the head of the lane, it was mano y mano. I tapped him and he responded. I knew I had a full tank of gas."
Noosito is 4-1-2 in seven lifetime starts, including three stakes wins and earnings of $117,878 for Last Rose Stable.
Noosito's three starts this year have resulted in two stakes wins sandwiched by a runner-up finish to Del Rio Harbor in the Coca-Cola Handicap. His 2014 earnings are $65,000, including $27,500 for Sunday's victory.
A possible silver lining for Del Rio Harbor is that the last six Emerald Downs Derby winners all were beaten in the Seattle Slew Handicap.
Charlie Thomas and Kenai King completed the order of finish.
Dancing Yodeler wins for the club
The Emerald Racing Club broke its maiden Sunday when Dancing Yodeler roared through the stretch for a three-quarter-length victory in the 10th race.
Ridden by Mawing, the 6-year-old gelding ran 6½ furlongs in 1:15.16 and paid $11.60 to win. Larry and Sharon Ross train the winner for Emerald Racing Club, 128 fans who each invested $500 and co-own Dancing Yodeler and 5-year-old mare Anelina.
After his victory, Dancing Yodeler returned to a rousing ovation from ERC members, who packed around the winner's circle and took keepsake photos of the winner.
"There's a lot of pressure when you have over 120 owners to explain to," Mawing joked afterwards. "I'm just happy to get a win for the owners.
"It was great for Emerald Downs to get everybody involved. Hopefully, the bug has bitten them and they'll buy 40 more."
A California-bred by Swiss Yodeler-Phaenna, Dancing Yodeler now has 11 career victories, the previous 10 were in Northern California where he was claimed in April. Sunday's victory, which was in a $3,500 claiming race, was worth a $3,410 winner's check.
Mawing rode three winners and Rocco Bowen and Eliska Kubinova rode two winners each on the 10-race card. Through 14 weeks of racing, Mawing leads Bowen 57-45, followed by defending champion Isaias Enriquez at 35 wins and Kubinova with 32. ... Northwest Farms' debuted another top prospect Sunday, Awesome Indian, a 2-year-old Indian Charlie colt, tied the fastest five furlongs of the meet while winning the $17,850 maiden special weight in :56.81. ... John & Janene Maryanski's Rocky's Quest ($4) turned in a sensational performance to win the $18,900 sub-feature for 3-year-olds and up. Boosting his Emerald Downs' record to 8-5-4 in 20 starts, the 6-year-old gelding ran one mile in 1:34.91 under Bowen for trainer Blaine Wright. ... Mr. Top Kat had his three-race win streak ended by Bleu Tarp ($13.60) in race four, the first career second-place finish for Mr. Top Kat, now 9-1-1 in 24 career starts. ... Jockey Felipe Valdez was given a two-day suspension, Saturday, July 19, and Sunday, July 20, for causing interference while riding Kandra in Saturday's eighth race. ... Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:45 p.m. ... Del Mar begins its season Thursday with simulcast wagering offered at Emerald Downs.