06/27/2013 3:41PM

Emerald Downs: Harwood to run first-time starters Del Rio Harbor, Kenai King on Saturday


AUBURN, Wash. – While there is no stakes race this weekend at Emerald Downs, a band of potential stakes-caliber horses will be on display Saturday in the day’s fourth race, a 4 1/2-furlong dash for 2-year-old maidens. Harbor the Gold, the Northwest’s leading stallion, will be represented by four of the eight entrants, and the field includes the siblings of three recent Emerald Downs stakes winners.

The 10-race cards begins at 2 p.m. Pacific with an allowance race for Quarter Horses, and in the featured ninth race, Carrabelle Harbor headlines a second-level allowance with a $32,000 optional-claiming price for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs. As is half of the field in the 2-year-old race, Carrabelle Harbor is also by Harbor the Gold, who stands at Bar C Ranch in Hermiston, Ore. The sire has been churning out winners since his first crop reached the races in 2008.

Doris Harwood, who trains Carrabelle Harbor, will saddle two horses in the maiden race. Del Rio Harbor is a full brother to Couldabenthewhisky, who won four of six starts during his 2-year-old season. Kenai King, also by Harbor the Gold, is the second foal from a lightly raced Giant’s Causeway mare who won a maiden race at Woodbine by seven lengths in her third and final start. Harwood appears to hold a strong hand with her two first-time starters, but the race is brimming with possibilities.

Still another by Harbor the Gold, Stikine Slough, has a license to be a good one. Purchased by Jody Peetz’s One Horse Will Do Corp. for $40,000 at the 2012 Washington summer yearling sale, Stikine Slough is from a Slewdledo mare who has produced a handful of precocious sprinters. Not surprisingly, trainer Chris Stenslie gave Juan Gutierrez the riding assignment. Gutierrez has won with 25 of 67 mounts for Stenslie over the past 17 months.

The biggest obstacle for Stikine Slough might be the post position. He will break from the far outside, a tricky task with a short run into the turn.

Bluegrass Fox Trot and Mebossman, breaking from posts 2 and 3, are likely to attract considerable interest in the wagering. Bluegrass Fox Trot, a $47,000 Keeneland yearling, is by Bluegrass Cat, whose sire statistics include a 16 percent success rate with 2-year-old first-time starters.

Mebossman is out of the prolific dam Peaceful Wings, whose offspring includes stakes winners Jade Road and Peaceful Reign, along with Jebrica, the upset winner of the Budweiser Handicap at Emerald Downs earlier this month.