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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Page updated at 08:00 p.m.

Elusive Noise's run at Emerald Downs may be over, new career about to start

By Scott Hanson
Seattle Times staff

The Seattle Times is following Elusive Noise throughout the 2012 Emerald Downs meeting to take readers inside horse racing and shine a light on the sport's personalities.

AUBURN — Just when it seemed that Elusive Noise, the 4-year-old filly The Seattle Times has been chronicling this season at Emerald Downs, had run her final race at the track, she might not be done after all.

Owner Jerre Paxton had made the decision to send the horse to Del Mar outside San Diego to see how she would fare in turf sprints before sending her to Kentucky next year to be bred.

"She's bred for the turf, and who knows, maybe on the turf, she'll be able to relax," Paxton had said.

But after giving it further thought, Paxton changed his mind and decided to keep the horse at Emerald Downs under trainer Tom Wenzel's care.

Elusive Noise will not run in the Emerald Downs Distaff on Sunday, the championship race at Emerald for fillies and mares. That race is at 1-1/8 miles, and is beyond the distance that Elusive Noise has had success.

"If we can find an allowance sprint for her, we could run her in that," Wenzel said. "We entered her in a race last week, but it only drew three horses, so the race didn't go."

Elusive Noise was a stakes-winner last year at Emerald, and lost by just a head earlier this year in the Hastings Handicap. But as the races got longer, Elusive Noise did worse. She was seventh and fourth in her past two races.

She is a horse that wants to go straight to the lead, but facing other speedy horses made Elusive Noise run too fast early in races.

"We were just setting up the races for the closers," Wenzel said. "And even with a better pace scenario, we'd still be up against with Class Included (the top older female at the track)."

Wenzel had hoped he could get Elusive Noise to learn how to relax in a race and come from behind, but this horse just wants to go.

She is too valuable to enter her into a claiming race, so if an allowance race in her division does not make it onto a card in the final month, her racing career is likely over.

Paxton paid $110,000 for Elusive Noise at a 2009 yearling sale in Kentucky, and although she has earned $70,155, Paxton is happy with his purchase.

"She's turned into a very nice looking filly and she will make a great broodmare," said Paxton, who breeds his mares to some of the top stallions in the country, but has yet to decide on a stallion for Elusive Noise.

So while Elusive Noise's racing is winding down, a new career is months from beginning.

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