Noosa Beach takes the Mt. Rainier Handicap at Emerald Downs, preps for the Longacres Mile on Sunday August 21st

Noosa Beach takes the Mt. Rainier Handicap at Emerald Downs, preps for the Longacres Mile on Sunday August 21st

Story courtesy of Vince Bruun and Emerald Downs

Noosa Beach etched his name into the record books Sunday at Emerald Downs with a hard-earned half-length victory over Winning Machine in the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap.

Carrying a record 126 lbs, the 5-year-old Washington-bred ran one mile and one-sixteenth in 1:41.13 on a fast track and paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10. Gallyn Mitchell had riding honors for trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jeff Harwood of Kent, Wash.

With the victory, Noosa Beach moved past Handy N Bold into sole possession of first place all-time in Emerald Downs’ stakes wins with 11. The defending Horse of the Meeting also joined Flamethrowintexan and Poker Brad as repeat winners of the Mt. Rainier, and stamped himself squarely as the horse to beat in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, Aug. 21.

Noosa Beach has won 10 of his last 11 starts, at distances ranging 5-½ furlongs to 1-1/8 miles, and the defending Longacres Mile champion is undefeated in four career starts at one mile. By Harbor the Gold-Julia Rose, Noosa Beach has a lifetime mark of 14-3-2 in 20 starts with earnings of $480,722. At Emerald Downs his record is 13-3-1 in 18 starts with $421,555 in earnings.   To put Noosa Beach’s success into a local perspective, he has already passed Oregon’s All-Time Money Leader Lethal Grande who won 26 races in his career and earned $409,788 in his illustrious career. 

Unlike most of his victories, this one remained in doubt until the final yards as Noosa Beach finally edged away from his old nemesis and stable mate Winning Machine. In third place on the last turn, Noosa Beach rallied three deep into contention, collared Winning Machine past mid-stretch and held sway to the wire.

Allowed to set relatively soft fractions of :23.94, :47.65 and 1:10.88, Winning Machine had something left when Noosa Beach and Mitchell came a calling three deep into the stretch.

“There was a lot of pressure to win today, especially since we were spotting the field nine pounds,” Mitchell said. “Luckily, (Noosa Beach) is such a big horse that the weight didn’t bother him.
“I thought that somebody else would go to the lead because they had to try something to beat my horse. I just wanted to make sure not to take Noosa Beach out of his game. He knows what his job is. The leaders were going pretty easy up front, but I just bided my time. When I got the lead, the other horses never came back to me. I think he’s on top of his game.”
Although she’s accustomed to watching her horse throttle the opposition, Doris Harwood said she was pleased with the effort by Noosa Beach. Especially since he was able to rate off both Winning Machine and Assessment.

“When you’re in front at the wire, that’s a good effort,” Harwood said. “He can run, and he has the heart to finish.”

Longacres Mile Day Events at Portland Meadows

Longacres Mile Day on Sunday August 21st is one of the biggest days of racing on the West Coast and Portland Meadows will be incorporating some great events as part of our Sunday = Fun Day promotion to celebrate ‘The Mile’. 

The Longacres Mile will be the final leg in our weekly Handicapping Contest and our Chef will be featuring a great Salmon Sandwich special with Walla Walla Sweet Onions for just $5.50 in addition to the regular $2 BBQ Hamburger special.