08/23/2010 6:54AM

Noosa Beach overcomes rough start in Longacres Mile


AUBURN, Wash. – Noosa Beach overcame a roughhouse incident at the start to win the Grade 3, $203,125 Longaces Mile Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Scoring his fifth victory in six starts in 2010, the Doris Harwood-trained 4-year-old pressed a moderate pace under Ricky Frazier, moved up to take command turning into the stretch and kicked away to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:34.80. Jersey Town, making his second start of the year, rallied from just off the pace to finish second, 3 3/4 lengths clear of defending Mile champion Assessment.

The second high weight and wagering favorite in a full field of 12, Noosa Beach suffered an apparently minor injury at the start when Gallon, starting to Noosa Beach’s immediate right, stepped on the winner’s right foot as they scrambled away from the gate. Frazier said the incident played a role in his tactical handling of Noosa Beach.

“Both horses broke straight, and then Gallon came right down behind me and stepped right in the middle of my horse’s foot,” Frazier said. “My horse stumbled hard and recovered. It shows how much class he has.”

Noosa Beach’s brief misfortune allowed longshot Winning Machine, breaking from the rail, to sprint to the lead around the first turn. Noosa Beach soon ranged up to join the leader through a half-mile in 45.80 seconds. They ran six furlongs in 1:09.80.

“I was real comfortable with the pace,” Frazier said. “I would have let him take the lead if he wasn’t having problems with that right front. I felt like I needed to keep him geared down quite a bit.

“At the half-mile pole, I wanted Winning Machine to know who he was dealing with, so I let him eyeball him for a little while, and then I eased him back again,” Frazier said. “When we reached the stretch, I wanted to see how far I could open up on the field. He ran right by Winning Machine, and I was confident we had the race won.”

Noosa Beach earned $96,250 for owner Jeff Harwood, the trainer’s husband. The Harwoods bred Noosa Beach, who is by Harbor the Gold, a son of Seeking the Gold, from the Basket Weave mare Julia Rose.

Noosa Beach, who won for the ninth time in 15 starts, increased his career earnings to $340,590. He paid $5.60.

A guaranteed Mile purse of $250,000 included $75,000 from the Breeders’ Cup Fund for Cup-eligible horses. A total of $46,875 reverted to the fund, leaving the total purse payout at $203,125, the lowest for a Longacres Mile since 1995.

As part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, the win earned Noosa Beach a starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs. Noosa Beach is not Breeders’ Cup nominated, however, and would have to be supplemented.

Jersey Town was attempting to become the second horse to win the Mile with just one prep race during the year. The Tim McCanna trainee settled for second under Kevin Krigger and earned $50,000 for owner Chuck Fipke. After Assessment came Almost Time, Winning Machine, Gallant Son, the starting high weight at 121 pounds and the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, Teide, Davos, Wasserman, Senor Rojo, Burj Dubai, and Gallon.

Kimmyv upsets Emerald Distaff

Earlier Sunday, Kimmyv raced to a $23.60 upset in the $75,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares. She covered nine furlongs in 1:49.20 and prevailed by a length over Summer Song, with Christmas Ship another 3-3/4 lengths back in third.

A lightly raced 4-year-old, Kimmyv was making her third start since February and second career start around two turns. She was acquired by her owners, Vancouver-based Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., after winning a seven-furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs in May. Kimmyv, who earned $41,250, finished fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Boeing Handicap at Emerald in her most recent outing Aug. 1.

Chad Hoverson rode Kimmyv, who tracked pacesetter Clair Annette before taking over with a strong move near the three-eighths pole.
Rewritten finished fourth, followed by Blue Sky Holiday, Gadget Queen, Barbara’s Love, Crocodile Tuff, and Clair Annette, the 2-1 favorite who faded badly after relinquishing the lead.