Del Rio Harbor wins second straight in $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes | Emerald Downs

Del Rio Harbor held off Mebossman and heralded stable mate Noosito and scored 1 ½ -length victory Saturday in the $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings at Emerald Downs.

With Rocco Bowen riding at 120 lbs for trainer Doris Harwood, Del Rio Harbor ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.84 and paid $11.40, $4.80 and $3.20. It was the second straight stakes win for Del Rio Harbor, a Washington-bred gelding owned and bred by Desert Rose Racing and Bar C Racing Stables.

Mebossman, a 9-to-1 longshot ridden by David G. Lopez at 118 lbs, battled with the winner through the stretch but settled for second place. Mebossman paid $8.40 and $4.

Noosito, the 4-to-5 betting favorite ridden by Isaias Enriquez, broke slowly and was bottled up inside throughout much of the race, and wound up another length back in third place. The younger brother of Noosa Beach, Noosito was coming off a spectacular debut in which he earned the meet’s biggest Beyer, a 67, while winning by three lengths.

Speaking of bloodlines, Del Rio Harbor has some fancy ones himself.  A full brother to Couldabenthewhisky, the track’s Top Juvenile of 2010, Del Rio Harbor is a chestnut gelding by Harbor the Gold-Bahati, and has a 3-0-0 record in four starts with earnings of $62,238.

Doris Harwood trains both Del Rio Harbor and Noosito, and the victory extended her track record in stakes wins to 59 including 20 in 2-year-old races. Saturday’s win was her first in the Lads, however.

Just as he did in the July 28 Emerald Express, Del Rio Harbor shoed speed from an outside post, shaking off He’s Zuberrific after half-mile in :45.13, kicked clear past mid-stretch and held off Mebossman and Noosito.

“We sure get along well,” Bowen said of Del Rio Harbor. “He’s a pretty nice and easy horse to ride. Once again, we got the outside post. First, I wanted to see what speed was going to go for the lead or should I go for it. I saw (He’s Zuberrific) go for it, so I just stalked him. I saved a little horse for the lane and we got the job done.”

Enriquez said Noosito figures to improve with more racing.

“He broke a little slow, so I was hoping that he would just relax behind horses but he wouldn’t,” Enriquez said. “He was in the bit all the way down the backside and never took a deep breath. He was pulling so hard that we almost clipped heels. Finally we got an opening, and he was just out of gas. He’s still a baby. He’ll keep learning.”

NOTES: Vodka With Ice ($3.80) and Chicks Special Angel ($3.20) each won divisions of the Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge Trials. Vodka With Ice took his division in :22.07 for 440 yards, and Chicks Special Angel romped in a track record :21.72 under Debbie Hoonan in the second division. A 5-year-old Oregon-bred owned by Jorge Hernandez and trained by Juan Sanguino, Chicks Special Angel has 10 straight wins, a streak that began July 15, 2011, at Prineville, Ore*The 10 fastest qualifiers return September 1 for the third running of the $60,000 Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge*With five Quarter Horse riding wins, Hoonan broke the previous single-season record of four QH wins set by Connie Doll in 2011*In the $14,374 sub-feature for 3-year-olds and up, 3-year-old He’s Not Bluffin ($3.60) notched his third win of the meet for owners Ron & Rosalie Warren and trainer Jim Penney, running one mile in 1:37.55 under Eliska Kubinova. He’s Not Bluffin was claimed for $25,000, however, and goes to the barn of Vann Belvoir*Sun City ($13.20) made her 100th career start a winning one as the 9-year-old Washington-bred mare prevailed gamely in Saturday’s 10th for trainer Joe Toye. It was the 21st career win for the daughter of Snowbound*Veteran trainer K.G. Apostolou saddled his first winner of 2013 as Graceful Minou ($7.40) held off long shot Curlew Slew for the victory under Kubinova in race four*Kubinova and Hoonan rode two winners each Saturday*Isaias Enriquez and Juan Gutierrez each rode a winner and Enriquez leads Gutierrrez 78-75 in the riders’ stansings*Longacres Mile nominee Commander ($4) and jockey Aaron Gryder won the Westerner Handicap at Northlands Park in 1:44 for 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy track*Live racing continues Sunday with Longacres Mile Day. First post is 2 p.m., and the 78th renewal of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) goes as Race 8 at 5:32 p.m. Ken & Sarah Ramsey, owners of Mile morning line favorite Politicallycorrect, won three Grade I races nationally Saturday including the Arlington Million via DQ, as Real Solution was promoted from second to first when The Apache was taken down for interference in the stretch.

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