09/30/2013 7:45AM

Emerald Downs: Del Rio Harbor closes meet with Gottstein Futurity win


AUBURN, Wash. - Del Rio Harbor raced to a rain-soaked 1 1/4-length victory in the $67,500 Gottstein Futurity on Sunday, laying claim to Emerald Downs’ traditional 2-year-old championship on the closing day of the meeting. Earlier on Sunday’s “getaway day” card, Dallon’s Gold splashed to an upset victory in the $48,465 Cahill Road Stakes as Emerald pulled down the curtain on a 75-day stand.

Del Rio Harbor won for the fourth time in six starts, adding the Gottstein to previous stakes victories in the six-furlong Emerald Express and the 6 1/2-furlong WTBOA Lads Stakes. In his final start before the Gottstein, Del Rio Harbor was narrowly beaten by stablemate Noosito in the six-furlong Dennis Dodge Stakes on Sept. 15. Noosito started as the 8-5 favorite in the Gottstein, and Del Rio Harbor was the second choice. He ran 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy track in 1:43.85 and paid $9.20.

Del Rio Harbor and jockey Julien Couton pressed pacesetter Debossman through moderate fractions and outfinished Debossman through the lane as the two top dominated from start to finish. Noosito finished third, two lengths behind Debossman. He was followed by Decatur Princess, Twentyten, Reigning, Morning Line Wiz, Strawberry Dawn, Grindster, and Seattle Harbor.

Trained by Doris Harwood, Del Rio Harbor is a homebred for Neal and Pam Chistopherson of Hermiston, Ore., and is co-owned by D.H. Walker of Kennewick, Wash. By the Christopherson’s stallion Harbor the Gold, Del Rio Harbor is a full brother to 2010 Gottstein Futurity winner Couldabenthewhisky. Like Del Rio Harbor, Couldabenthewhisky recorded his futurity victory over a sloppy track. Del Rio Harbor earned $37,125, increasing his lifetime mark to $108,293.

Dallon’s Gold ($13.40) remained unbeaten through three starts with his front-running upset of Chu and You in the Cahill Road Stakes. Chu and You had yet to be tested before the Cahill Road, winning her four starts by a total of 20 lengths, but Dallon’s Gold, ridden by Ronald Richard, was quickest from the gate Sunday and easily turned back the 1-5 Chu and You after zipping the first half mile in 44.24 seconds. Dallon’s Gold prevailed by 3 1/2 lengths over Moony Moony, who was three-quarters of a length in front of Stikine Slough. Chu and You faded to finish fourth, and Classic Harbor was last in a field of five.

Trained by Dave Bennett, Dallon’s Gold earned $26,656 for owners Dixie Hitchcock of Bonney Lake, Wash., Delwyn Ellis of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Debra Larson of Phoenix.