06/06/2013 1:38PM

Emerald Downs: Carrabelle Harbor set to end drought on Saturday


AUBURN, Wash. – The future looked bright for Carrabelle Harbor after she won her first two starts, both stakes races, back in 2010. Yet when she starts Saturday in the feature race at Emerald Downs, the 5-year-old Carrabelle Harbor will be trying to get back to the winner’s circle for the first time in nearly two years. Her lengthy losing streak aside, she is likely to start as the favorite in a field of five fillies and mares racing 6 1/2 furlongs in a first-level allowance with a $32,000 optional claiming price. First post for the nine-race card is 2 p.m. Pacific.

Carrabelle Harbor has started just nine times since her most recent victory in July 2011. She was limited to five starts last year, when she capped her Emerald season with a runner-up finish behind division leader Class Included in the nine-furling Emerald Distaff in August. Trainer Doris Harwood then sent Carrabelle Harbor to the sideline for eight months. She has started twice in 2013. In her most recent effort, May 18, Carrabelle Harbor finished second after dueling for the lead in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race, setting her up for a big effort Saturday.

A front-runner from the second crop of leading Northwest stallion Harbor the Gold, Carrabelle Harbor made a splashy 2-year-old debut when she won the restricted Knights Choice Stakes in her first start and then took the six-furlong Angie C. Stakes by nearly 10 lengths. She won another stakes race the following summer at 3 but hasn’t won since, a span of 23 months. That could change Saturday in a race with very little in the way of pace competition. Carrabelle Harbor, who chased some of the fastest female stakes runners at Emerald Downs in her first two starts this year, should have an easy time making the lead.

Carrabelle Harbor will break from post 4 with jockey Isaias Enriquez. The other leading contender, Royal Moses, will break from the inside post under Javier Matias. Inquiry Miss, who won a $12,500 claimer in her last start, Solar Wind, and Maggie’s Special round out the field.

Royal Moses has been a hard-luck horse throughout her 12-race career. She has a pair of victories, including an easy score in a first-level $25,000 optional claimer in her first start this year, but also six runner-up finishes – five of them in stakes races. The late-running Royal Moses fell victim to a troubled trip in her last start, missing by head after racing in tight quarters through the stretch.