08/03/2009 12:00AM

Ex-claimer Peaceful Reign scores in Seattle Slew


AUBURN, Wash. - Peaceful Reign, claimed out of a maiden race less than three months ago, coasted to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 Seattle Slew Handicap on Sunday at Emerald Downs, stamping himself as the leading local contender for the Emerald Downs Derby on Sept. 7.

Posting his first stakes victory in five lifetime starts, Peaceful Reign ran 1 1/16 miles under jockey Gallyn Mitchell in a stakes-record 1:41 and paid $9.60. He earned $27,500 for owner Jerry Maggard of Yakima, Wash., pushing his career earnings to $52,775. Maggard claimed Peaceful Reign for $30,000 on May 9. Trained by Vann Belvoir, the gelded son of Liberty Gold from the Halo mare Peaceful Wings finished third in the 6 1/2-furlong Pepsi-Cola Handicap in his first start after the claim, and was a close third in the one-mile Tacoma Handicap in his last start prior to the Seattle Slew.

Peaceful Reign controlled the pace Sunday, edged clear of three-time stakes winner Noosa Beach at the top of the lane, and widened his advantage through the stretch. Noosa Beach, who is trained by Doris Harwood, finished second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of stablemate Winning Machine, the 9-5 wagering favorite. Rooster City, the 2-1 second chose, finished fourth, followed by Born'n Blue Genes, Deacon Speakin', and Who's Your Next Ex.