04/29/2006 11:00PM

Starbird Road takes Seattle Handicap

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AUBURN, Wash. - Starbird Road stalked the pace of Salt Grinder to the stretch, then powered to the front and easily withstood the late charge of Spanish Highway to win Sunday's $40,000 Seattle Handicap at Emerald Downs by two lengths in 1:08.60 for six furlongs. Spanish Highway got second by 2 1-4 lengths over last year's Seattle Handicap winner, Slewicide Cruise.

It was the first stakes win for Starbird Road, a 5-year-old son of Count the Time who is trained by Sharon Ross and was ridden on Sunday by Debbie Hoonan. Starbird Road, who broke from the far outside in the field of 12, returned $34.60 to win and earned $22,000 for owner Rick Beal. It was the fifth win from 12 starts for Starbird Road, who now has earnings of $80,498.