Two of Emerald Downs’ all-time greats*superstar gelding Noosa Beach and jockey Ricky Frazier*will be honored in a joint retirement ceremony at Emerald Downs on Wednesday, July 3.
Noosa Beach will parade one last time before his numerous fans, and afterward the gelding will join Frazier in a final visit to the Winner’s Circle. In addition, Frazier will autograph full color Noosa Beach posters given away free to the first 7,500 fans through the gates.
The track’s all-time leader with 11 stakes wins, Noosa Beach recently sustained a minor ankle injury and trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jeff Harwood decided to call off the comeback. The now 7-year-old gelding pretty much rewrote the record book while winning consecutive Horse of the Meeting titles in 2010 and 2011. At the pinnacle of his career, Noosa Beach won six consecutive stakes races including a dominant victory with Frazier aboard in the 2010 Longacres Mile.
“There’s hardly words to describe what Noosa Beach has meant to both Jeff and myself,” Doris Harwood said. “His nickname at the barn was Elvis, and for two years he was the king.”
Frazier is officially hanging up his riding boots following a 30-year career in which he rode 3,469 winners, including 886 wins and five riding titles at Emerald Downs. The 48-year-old Arkansan was unable to get medical clearance after suffering a head injury at the 2010 Fresno meeting.
"I didn't really want to retire but had to face the fact that it's time,” Frazier said. “My quality of life is fine, but apparently this type of injury takes time. Time to get it behind me, focus on the next chapter.
“Noosa Beach wasn't ready to retire either but the fact that we get to do it together is great.”
First post is 4:30 p.m. on July 3, with the annual Fireworks Spectacular scheduled following the races.
7-year-old Washington-bred gelding, by Harbor the Gold-Julia Rose
Emerald Downs: 20-13-4-1-$465,305
Emerald Downs Achievements: Horse of the Meeting, 2010 & 2011; No. 1 all-time with 11 stakes wins; No. 1 in single-season stakes wins (five, 2010); Won stakes at age 2, 3, 4 & 5; Meet leader in earnings, 2010 & 2011; Record for most weight carried in stakes win, 126 lbs; Tied track & world record for six furlongs, 1:07; Won six consecutive stakes races, 2010-11; Won six divisional titles;
Won at seven different distances; Averaged $24,292 per start.
Born: July 23, 1964, Hot Springs, Ark.
Emerald Downs: Mounts 4,245 Wins 886 Earnings $9,980,186 Win% $1,632,102
Career: Mounts 25,257 Wins 3,469 Earnings $42,206,290 Win % 13.8
Emerald Downs Achievements: Won riding titles in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010; Rode track record 157 winners, 2007; Longacres Mile victories with Flamethrowintexan, 2006, and Noosa Beach, 2010; Seven straight years leading stakes rider, 2004-10; Mounts earned track record $1,632,102, 2007; Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year Finalist, 2007.