Trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jeff Harwood have decided to send Noosa Beach home to their Auburn, Wash., ranch while they contemplate the future of their star gelding.
After watching Noosa Beach breeze five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 on June 25, Doris Harwood said he didn’t seem to be 100%.
“During his last workout, he just wasn’t himself,” she said. “It was an easy decision to send him home. We haven’t decided what our next move will be. We’re going to let him tell us what he wants to do.”
It was Noosa Beach's first workout since he flipped in the gate and was a late scratch from the Budweiser Handicap June 17.
A 6-year-old son of Harbor the Gold, Noosa Beach has compiled a superb racing career that boasts numerous Washington-bred honors including Horse of the Year (twice), champion 3-year-old, and champion sprinter. A 12-time stakes winner, his career record stands at 14-4-2 in 22 races with earnings of $524,472.
Winner of the 2010 Longacres Miles (gr. III), he ran second in that race in his final start of the 2011 season while sustaining a foot injury.
This season has been tumultuous for Noosa Beach. First, the big dark bay endured a tough trip in Governor’s Handicap, where he got carried out by Hollywood Harbor in the race’s final turn and finished fourth.
In last month's Budweiser, Noosa Beach became restless in the gate when his stablemate Aaron the Baron refused to load, rearing and flipping over. Both Noosa Beach and jockey Leslie Mawing escaped serious injury, but Noosa Beach did sustain some superficial wounds.
Harwood said she still wouldn’t rule out any races yet this season.
“There’s a chance he could come back and run, we just don’t know yet,” she said. “He’s training himself right now. He’s been running from one end of the pasture to the other. He’s pretty happy right now.”
While Noosa Beach rests on the sidelines, his full-brother Music of My Soul will make his first career start on July 8 in a maiden allowance race for 2-year-olds running five furlongs.
By Harbor the Gold and out of Julia Rose, Music of My Soul was purchased for $82,000 by Kenny Alhadeff (Elttaes Stable) in the 2011 WTBOA summer yearling and mixed sale. Harwood said she has been impressed with the Music of My Soul’s training and temperament so far.
“He’s a mellow-minded colt,” she said. “He’s a big, long-striding horse. He does everything well, and breaks well from the gate, too.”
A good break will be key for Music of My Soul after drawing the inside post. He will also have to contend with Finallygotabently, a Bernardini colt that finished a fast-closing second in his June 16 debut.
Finallygotabently, trained by Tom Wenzel, is out of Smarty Deb, who Harwood trained to three stakes wins and fifth-place finish in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) for owner/breeder Jerre Paxton.