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Strong field of sprinters gears up for Auburn Handicap | Emerald Downs

Triple stakes winner Del Rio Harbor, winning the 2013 Gottstein Futurity, is the horse to beat in the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings. - Courtesy photo/Emerald Downs
Triple stakes winner Del Rio Harbor, winning the 2013 Gottstein Futurity, is the horse to beat in the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Emerald Downs

For the Reporter

Trainer Doris Harwood will have a strong hand as Emerald Downs presents the $50,000 Auburn Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings on Sunday.

At 6½ furlongs, the Auburn is the lone sprint in the four-race series for 3-year-olds, which also features the $50,000 Coca-Cola Handicap at one mile on June 22, $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 13, and $65,000 Emerald Downs Derby at 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 10.

Harwood, No. 1 all-time with 61 stakes wins at Emerald Downs, trains three of the six horses nominated to the Auburn including stakes winners Del Rio Harbor and Noosito.

The track's Top 2-Year-old Male of 2013, Del Rio Harbor is 5-1-0 in seven starts with earnings of $120,709 for owner/breeder Bar C Racing Stables and Desert Rose Racing. A versatile son of Harbor the Gold, Del Rio Harbor won three stakes last year – Emerald Express, WTBOA Lads and Gottstein Futurity – and made a smooth transition to the sophomore ranks, scoring a 1¼-length victory over stable mate Kenai King in a May 4 allowance race at 5½ furlongs.

Noosito could challenge Del Rio Harbor for supremacy as both Harwood's and Emerald Downs' top 3-year-old of 2014. A full brother to the great Noosa Beach, Noosito is 2-0-2 in four career starts including a victory in the DRF Dennis Dodge Stakes, but he finished third to Del Rio Harbor in both the WTBOA Lads and Gottstein Futurity.

All three Harwood runners and four of the six Auburn nominees are Washington-bred sons of Harbor the Gold: Del Rio Harbor, Kenai King, Noosito and Stikine Slough.

Mebossman, second to Del Rio Harbor in the Gottstein, scored his maiden win here April 22, and was stakes placed three times as a 2-year-old.

Redsolocup has a first and a third in two starts at the meet and finished directly behind Del Rio Harbor and Kenai King in a May 4 allowance race over a sloppy track. The Demon Warlock gelding is 2-0-1 in four races on fast footing, and hails from the barn of leading trainer Jeff Metz.

Stikine Slough is 2-0-2 in seven starts and won an April 20 allowance race at 5½ furlongs.

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$50,000 Auburn Handicap, Sunday, May 25
3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings, 6½ Furlongs
Horse, owner, trainer

Del Rio Harbor (3-WA), Desert Rose Racing & Bar C Racing, Doris Harwood

Kenai King (3-WA), Bar C Racing Stables, Doris Harwood

Mebossman (3-WA), R.E.V. Racing LLC, Frank Lucarelli

Noosito (3-WA), Last Rose Stable, Doris Harwood

Redsolocup (3-WA), Warlock Stables & Horse Players #096, Jeff Metz

Stikine Slough (3-WA), One Horse Will Do, Saxwold, Stenslie, Chris Stenslie

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