Sports

Governor's Handicap features return of Noosa Beach | Emerald Downs

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, the two-time defending Horse of the Meeting 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 is 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................................Owner.........................Trainer
Aaron the Baron (5-WA).....Elttaes Stable..... Doris Harwood
Cat On Base (5-WA)..... Rising Star Stable V & Howard Belvoir.... Howard Belvoir
Couldabenthewhisky (4-WA).....Friendship, A Maib, C & S Fredrickson....Bonnie Jenne
Go With Gusto (7-NY)......Get Lucky Stable.......Roy Lumm
Hollywood Harbor (5-WA)...........One Horse Will Do Corp. & C. Stenslie...... Chris Stenslie
Jebrica (4-WA).......... R & R Warren LLC...........Jim Penney
Noosa Beach (6-WA)....... Jeff Harwood........... Doris Harwood
Slim Pickins (4-KY)................ Ken Miles........... Chris Stenslie
Taylor Said (4-BC)...... N American Thoroughbred Horse Co...... Michael Puhich
Winning Machine (6-KY)...... Fleur De Lis Stables.............. Frank Lucarelli

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