04/29/2011 12:08PM

Emerald Downs: Stakes runners tune up in allowance ranks


AUBURN, Wash. – With the start of the 2011 stakes schedule still two weeks away, a handful of horses with stakes credentials will make their season debuts in allowance races Sunday at Emerald Downs.

In the eighth race, a $50,000 optional claimer for older horses at 5 1/2 furlongs, 2009 stakes winners Hollywood Harbor and Peaceful Reign are scheduled to return from lengthy layoffs.

Hollywood Harbor, Emerald’s champion 2-year-old in 2009, hasn’t raced since April 2010, when he was ninth of 10 in the Harry Henson Stakes on the turf at Hollywood Park.

Peaceful Reign has been away for 10 months, since his fourth-place finish behind Eclipse Award finalist Majesticperfection in the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

Hollywood Harbor will be ridden by Jose Zunino for trainer Chris Stenslie, who owns the 4-year-old gelding in partnership with Jody Peetz. Peaceful Reign, trained by Vann Belvoir for Howard Maggard, will begin 2011 with a new jockey, Javier Matias, replacing Gallyn Mitchell as Belvoir’s preferred pilot.

Also in the eighth race: Seven Torrents, a three-time stakes winner at Portland Meadows; Davos, unplaced in two stakes appearances in 2010; and the speedy but largely unproven Bogachiel.

If the race mimics the past performances, Bogachiel will set the pace, Davos will settle in at the back of the field, and the other three will jockey for striking position from a length or two off the leader. Peaceful Reign lost by two lengths to 2010 horse of the meeting Noosa Beach in the six-furlong Seattle Handicap last May; a similar effort would be hard to deny.

In the co-featured ninth race, multiple stakes winners No Flies On Doodle, Carrabelle Harbor, and Sis’s Sis headline a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for fillies and mares.

No Flies on Doodle captured the six-furlong Hastings Handicap and the 6 1/2-furlong Washington State Legislators’ Handicap last May but tailed off badly in six subsequent starts in the Midwest. She could have her hands full with Sis’s Sis, who won 4 of 6 starts in 2010, and Carrabelle Harbor, a front-running 3-year-old making her first start against older horses.

Others in the field are Dream Sweeper, who won her first two starts at Emerald in 2009 but hasn’t won since, and Lilly’s a Jewel, third behind Sis’s Sis in the one-mile John & Kitty Fletcher Stakes in September.

In the seventh race Sunday, West Seattle Boy, 12, is scheduled to make his season debut as he zeroes in on 100 career starts. He’s at 94 and counting.