07/01/2013 4:44PM

Emerald Downs: Ricky Frazier, Noosa Beach to be honored Wednesday

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Emerald Downs
Noosa Beach and Ricky Frazier win the 2010 Longacres Mile.

AUBURN, Wash. – Ricky Frazier and Noosa Beach, a formidable pair in 2010 when Frazier ran away with the riding title and Noosa Beach won the Longacres Mile, will be honored in retirement ceremonies Wednesday at Emerald Downs. Frazier, who suffered head injuries in a post-parade mishap at Fresno in the fall of 2010, was told by doctors that the risk of further injuries was too great for him to continue. Noosa Beach, an 11-time stakes winner at Emerald, suffered a setback in training that ended his stellar career last month.

First post for the special 10-race card is 4:30 p.m. Pacific, with Emerald Downs’ annual fireworks spectacular to follow about 30 minutes after the last race. Frazier and Noosa Beach will be honored between races 3 and 4. Emerald Downs is handing out 7,500 free posters of Frazier aboard Noosa Beach, and Frazier will be present to sign autographs. Noosa Beach will make an appearance on the track and visit the winner’s circle one final time.

Frazier enjoyed an unprecedented run of success at Emerald, winning five riding titles during a seven-year span from 2004 to 2010. He holds Emerald season records for victories (157) and earnings ($1,632,102), both set in 2007, and ranks third on the track’s all-time list in both categories.

Born in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1964, Frazier rode for three decades and won 3,490 races with earnings of more than $42 million. He competed in a handful of Breeders’ Cup races, finished 11th in the 1995 Preakness Stakes aboard Itron, and won seven races in one day at Louisiana Downs in 1988. Though he was a native Arkansan, Emerald Downs became Frazier’s second home, and during a memorable 2010 he teamed with Noosa Beach for five stakes victories.

Noosa Beach also had a big year in 2011, when Gallyn Mitchell took over in the saddle for the injured Frazier. Noosa Beach was injured in a starting-gate accident last summer and never made it back to the races. Noosa Beach had been in training this spring and early summer before sustaining an ankle injury that prompted trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jeff Harwood to call off his comeback.

A 7-year-old by Harbor the Gold, Noosa Beach won consecutive horse of the meeting titles in 2010 and 2011, and at the peak of his powers prevailed in six consecutive stakes races, including a dominant victory over subsequent Grade 1 winner Jersey Town in the 2010 Longacres Mile. He retired with 14 wins from 22 starts and earnings of $524,472.