Noosa Beach

Noosa Beach

Emerald Downs

Noosa Beach to Miss Remainder of Year

Star Washington gelding will miss Longacres Mile, return as 7-year-old next spring.

Two-time Washington Horse of the Year Noosa Beach will miss the Longacres Mile (gr. III) Aug. 19 at Emerald Downs and is going to take the rest of the year off, trainer Doris Harwood said Aug. 2.

A 6-year-old homebred owned by Doris' husband, Jeff, Noosa Beach "twisted something" when he flipped in the gate prior to the Budweiser Handicap June 17, necessitating his scratch. Noosa Beach was sent home to the couple's nearby Auburn ranch less than two weeks later.

"He got banged up pretty good," she said.

While he has recuperated from the incident and is feeling good again, the Harwoods decided it would be in the horse's best interest to wait on a return to the races.

The Emerald Downs meet ends Sept. 23.

"We made the decision he's going to stay home," Doris Harwood said. "We would have had to play catch-up with him (to make the Longacres Mile). It would be another thing if we traveled (to other tracks after the meet ends) but we don't do that. He's loving being at home right now and we love having him at home."

She added, "His best chance of coming back at his best is to give him the time off now and come back fresh next year."

Noosa Beach won the 2010 Longacres Mile and finished second last year to grade I winner Awesome Gem. Trainer Craig Dollase said recently the 9-year-old gelding, a winner of more than $2.8 million in his career, would return to Washington for this year's race.

"Maybe by next year, 'Gem will be retired and we won't have to worry about him," Harwood said.

A son of Harbor the Gold, Noosa Beach is a 12-time stakes winner in the Northwest with a career mark of 14-4-2 in 22 races and earnings of $524,472.

Noosa Beach went to the sidelines after last year's Mile with a foot injury. He has had just one race since, finishing fourth in the Governor's Handicap May 20. He was being prepared for a stakes at Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia when the decision was made to stop on him.

"It warms my heart to see him running around like a wild thing with the sun on his back," Harwood said. "He hasn't had a summer off since he was a baby, so we chose to give him one."