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Doris Harwood holds pair of aces in Sunday’s $50K Auburn Handicap

May 22, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Del Rio Harbor (#3) and Noosito (#1), shown competing in the 2013 Daily Racing Form Dennis Dodge Stakes, square off on Sunday in the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for 3-year-old colts & geldings
(photo by Erin Palmer, courtesy of Emerald Downs)
The track’s all-time leader in stakes wins with 61, trainer Doris Harwood will be heavily favored to up that total Sunday in the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for 3-year-old colts & geldings.

Harwood sends out Del Rio Harbor and Noosito in the 6½-furlong Auburn, which is the first of four open stakes this season for sophomores at Emerald Downs.

Del Rio Harbor and Noosito figure to dominate wagering in the Auburn. Both are stakes winners, although Del Rio Harbor is a bit more proven after racking up three stakes wins as a 2-year-old and earning honors as the track’s Top Juvenile Male. The chestnut gelding could enjoy a fitness edge Sunday as well, having he scored a 1¼-length allowance victory in 1:03.65 for 5½ furlongs on May 4.

“Del Rio Harbor is such a pleasure to have in my barn,” Harwood said. “All he does is sleep and eat and goes to the racetrack and does whatever I ask him to do, willingly. He’s been very difficult to beat. He hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Owned and bred by Bar C Racing Stables and Desert Rose Racing, Del Rio Harbor is 5-1-0 in seven starts with earnings of $120,709. He drew the No. 1 post-position with Isaias Enriquez named to ride at high weight of 122 lbs.

Noosito will make his first start since a third to Del Rio Harbor in the Gottstein Futurity last September. Owned by Last Rose Stable, the full brother to Noosa Beach was 2-0-2 in four starts as a 2-year-old, earning $52,878 and dropping two-of-three head-to-head match-ups with Del Rio Harbor.

Noosito drew the outside No. 5 post, with Leslie Mawing named to ride at 120 lbs.

“Noosito has been a bit of a challenge,” Harwood said. “He got a bruise before the last allowance race, so we didn’t get the first out before the stake. To me, Noosito is still growing. Is he his very best right now? I think he can get better.

“However, I do have him as ready and as fit for this race as he can be.”

• The Auburn Handicap, race eight on a nine-race program, goes at 5:49 p.m.

• Trainer Chris Stenslie and owners Jody Peetz and Scott and Tina Saxwold scored the second biggest upset in Emerald Downs stakes history with 50-to-1 Showme Yourfriends in the 2011 Auburn Handicap. The same connections combine with Stikine Slough this year.

• Jockey Rocco Bowen and trainer Jeff Metz, who combine with Redsolocup, are a combined 17-5-6 in 40 starts at the meet.

The field for Sunday’s $50,000 Auburn Handicap (from the rail out, with handicap weights): Del Rio Harbor, Isaias Enriquez, 122 lbs; Redsolocup, Rocco Bowen, 116; Mebossman, David G. Lopez, 115; Stikine Slough, Felipe Valdez, 118; Noosito, Leslie Mawing, 120.

Special schedule this weekend at Emerald Downs: no racing on Friday, May 23; Memorial Day racing, Monday, May 26

There is no live racing this Friday only at Emerald Downs, although the facility will be open for simulcast wagering from around the country.

Racing resumes with the regular 2:00 p.m. first post on Saturday and Sunday, and Emerald Downs offers holiday racing on Monday with first post 2:00 p.m.