Sports

Mebossman wins a thriller, scores Derby upset | Emerald Downs

For the Reporter

Mebossman nailed Del Rio Harbor and Noosito in the final strides and scored a neck victory Sunday in a thrilling edition of the $74,250 Emerald Downs Derby for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Perfectly ridden by Juan Gutierrez at 122 pounds, Mebossman ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.23 on a fast track and paid $13, $5.40 and $2.60. Frank Lucarelli is the winning trainer for owner R.E.V. Racing (Roy Schaefer, Port Orchard).

Del Rio Harbor, the 7-to-5 second betting choice ridden by Gallyn Mitchell at 122 pounds, held second place and paid $3.60 and $2.40. Noosito, the 6-to-5 favorite ridden by Leslie Mawing at 122 pounds, was a head back in third place and paid $2.10.

Doris Harwood trains both the second and third-place finishers, who until Sunday were the track's top 3-year-olds. Although both ran well again Sunday, Mebossman came away with the victory and threw a monkey wrench into year-end honors as Top 3-Year-Old.

Mebossman bided his time Sunday, waiting in the wings as Del Rio Harbor led Noosito through fractions of :23.30, :47.02 and 1:10.91. Noosito, perhaps compromised by a slow break, moved up to challenge into the stretch and the two Harwood stable mates battled head and head through the lane. Mebossman gained gradually through the stretch and tagged the leaders with a late outside surge.

"I knew it was going to be a tough race because Noosito and Del Rio Harbor are tough horses to beat," Gutierrez said. " Frank (Lucarelli) told me to be patient and ask him at the end. I was confident in my horse on the backside because I was behind the other horses and I had a lot of horse under me. My horse was closing pretty good, little by little."

A Washington-bred by Petionville-Peaceful Wings, Mebossman is 3-3-1 in 12 starts lifetime, a ledger that included a second to Del Rio Harbor in the 2013 Gottstein Futurity. The $41,250 first place check pushed his bankroll to $109,917.

Mitchell said Del Rio Harbor did everything but win the race.

"We did want to get the early lead today and it was a little easier when Noosito didn't break with us," Mitchell said. "I wasn't going to let my horse go too fast and set it up for a closer. Noosito got a neck on us at the quarter pole but did you see my horse dig in? He ran super. The winner was too far outside or my horse would've dug in harder, I'm sure."

Mawing praised Noosito, and said the break forced a change of strategy.

"We missed the break a little today, but the plan was to go to the lead," he said. "The horse was lying comfortably, we sat right off Del Rio (Harbor) and didn't want to knock each other out up front. I asked him for run and at the quarter pole, we got in front and it felt like we were ready to go on with it. That other horse really dug in, he's a good colt, too. Then, we both get beat. My horse ran well, what, he got beat a half-length for all of it?"

The top three finishers are all Washington-breds and eligible for the Washington Cup on Sunday, Sept. 7.

Zoomzoomania, Oldtimers Vision, The Tom Squad and Hillside Select completed the order of finish.

Notes

Upset specialist Ms. Sutherland ($10.80) struck again Sunday, edging Spot On Babe by a head in the $18,900 sub-feature for older fillies and mares at six furlongs. Ridden by Mitchell, Ms. Sutherland ran six furlongs in 1:09.10, and has wins this season at odds of 12-to-1, 15-to-1 and 4-to-1. ... David G. Lopez, Eliska Kubinova and Jennifer Whitaker rode two winners each on the nine-race card. ... Whitaker and trainer Howard Belvoir book ended the card with Bella Angelina ($18.20) and Advancement ($6). ... Almosttoomuchfun ($2.80) and Moony Moony ($3) produced the meet's fourth dead-heat for win in race four Sunday, the 3-year-olds both hitting the wire in 1:17.08. ... Raised a Secret ($8.40), owned by Dr. Rodney Orr, prevailed in a $77,000 allowance race Sunday at Del Mar. A 4-year-old Songandaprayer colt, Raised a Secret scored his maiden win in 2012 at Emerald Downs. ... Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:45 p.m.

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