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Del Rio Harbor sensational in season debut | Emerald Downs
For The Reporter
Del Rio Harbor could be improving with age, and that's a scary proposition for this year's crop of 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs.
Making his first start since the Gottstein Futurity last September, Del Rio Harbor swept past Stikine Slough into the stretch and scored a 1¼-length victory over stable mate Kenai King in the $22,575 allowance race for Washington-bred 3-year-olds Sunday at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Isaias Enriquez at 122 pounds, Del Rio Harbor ran 5½ furlongs in 1 minute, 3.65 seconds on a sloppy track and paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.40.
A chestnut gelding by Harbor the Gold-Bahati, Del Rio Harbor won three stakes last year and was voted the track's Top 2-year-Old Male. Trained by Doris Harwood for Bar C Racing Stables and Desert Rose Racing, Del Rio Harbor is now 5-1-0 in seven starts with earnings of $120,709, including $12,416 for Sunday's win.
Kenai King, also trained by Harwood, rallied from last and edged Redsolocup for second place. Ridden by Leslie Mawing at 118 lbs, Kenai King paid $7.20 and $3.80.
Redsolocup, with Javier Matias riding, finished third and paid $3. Strawberry Dawn and Stikine Slough completed the order of finish.
Del Rio Harbor stalked Stikine Slough through fractions of :21.73 for the quarter-mile and :44.47 for the half, took command from the outside into the lane, drew clear past mid-stretch and held off Kenai King for the win.
NOTES: The first stakes race for 3-year-old colts & geldings is the $50,000 Auburn Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs on Sunday, May 25. In addition to Del Rio Harbor and Kenai King, Harwood also trains 3-year-old Noosito, winner of last year's Daily Racing Form Dennis Dodge Stakes and younger brother of two-time Horse of the Meeting Noosa Beach. . .Trainer Robbie Baze scored a natural hat trick by winning races two, three and four with Brudda Clyde ($3.60), Mylast Sweet Pea ($5.40) and Liberty Lake ($5.80). Baze ranks No. 12 all-time with 267 wins at Emerald Downs. . .Enriquez, Mawing and Rocco Bowen each rode two winners on the eight-race card. Through nine days of racing, Bowen leads Mawing 18-14, with Enriquez third with 13 wins. . .Jeff Metz had one win and leads Frank Lucarelli 19-10 in the trainers' standings. . .Mambo Man ($2.80) won the 1 7/8-mile Hasta La Vista Handicap as Turf Paradise finished its 168-day meeting Sunday. Robertino Diodoro won the training title at the Phoenix track, saddling 127 winners while Metz finished second with 63 wins. Jorge Carreno was the leading rider with 106 wins. . .Live racing resumes Friday at 6:45 p.m.