05/23/2011 7:50AM

Emerald: Noosa Beach continues run with Governor's victory

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AUBURN, Wash. - Noosa Beach picked up Sunday where he left off at Emerald Downs last summer, capturing the $50,000 Governor's Handicap to run his latest winning streak to five and his overall record since the beginning of 2010 to eight victories in nine starts.

The 3-5 favorite in a 10-horse field, Noosa Beach powered to the lead around the turn and held off closing bids from Assessment, the runner-up, and Tequila Gold to win by a length. He ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.27, about a half-second shy of the stakes record established by Trooper Seven in 1980, when the Governor's was run at Longacres.

Gallyn Mitchell rode Noosa Beach for trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jeffery Harwood, the trainer's husband. Bred by the Harwoods in Washington, Harbor the Gold is by the Seeking the Gold stallion Harbor the Gold, from the Basket Weave mare Julia Rose. Winning for the 12th time in 18 career starts, Noosa Beach collected the $27,500 winner's share and increased his career bankroll to $425,722.

Noosa Beach set an Emerald Downs season record with five stakes victories in 2010. He suffered his only defeat in the Governor's Handicap, when he missed by a neck to Assessment. Otherwise it's been clear sailing for the 5-year-old gelding, who is being pointed toward a defense of his Grade 3 Longacres Mile victory in August, and perhaps an appearance in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November.

"He's just a special horse," Mitchell said. "All I have to do is keep him out of trouble."