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Originally published Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

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Class Included runs down Elusive Noise at Emerald Downs

Class Included had to dig deep twice in the last furlong of the $50,000 Hastings Handicap on Sunday at Emerald Downs to edge out Elusive Noise by a head.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Class Included had to dig deep twice in the last furlong of the $50,000 Hastings Handicap on Sunday at Emerald Downs to edge out Elusive Noise by a head.

For Class Included's jockey, owner and trainer, it showed the quality that makes last year's top 3-year-old filly a consistent winner: versatility.

"With this kind of horse, we can do whatever we want," said Juan Gutierrez, who didn't get Class Included to the lead until the last stride of the 6-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Until then, it had all been Elusive Noise, who was ridden by Gallyn Mitchell. She took the lead at the start, held off Carrabelle Harbor with a quarter mile left, and edged further ahead the first time Class Included challenged in the stretch but could not withstand the winner's second effort.

"I thought I had the race won," said Mitchell. "We had the lead until the last two jumps, but the last two jumps are where the money is."

Class Included, the race favorite, paid $3.20 to win..

The winning time was 1 minute, 9.17 seconds.

"We thought we would be on the lead," said Kay Cooper, assistant trainer to Jim Penney. "But it just shows her versatility that we can win that way, too."

Penney, who won his 42nd stakes race at Emerald Downs, said, "When you have a horse like this, you can train them for the race."

In the case of the Hastings, the first of 30 stakes races at Emerald Downs this year, it meant training for a sprint. This was Class Included's fourth win around one turn. But she also has two victories in distance races, both coming last year in the Washington Oaks at Emerald Downs and the BC Oaks at Hastings in Vancouver, B.C.

She has six wins and five seconds in 11 starts with career winnings of $219,323.

For Mike Feuerborn, the owner and breeder of the winner Class Included, said his horse "scared the hell out of me late."

But after the race, he was talking about how much fun it had been and how he had plans for A Classic Life, mother of Class Included. He will be breeding her with Include for a full sibling to Class Included.

The win Sunday was the 20th stakes victory at Emerald Downs for Feuerborn and his wife, Amy.

Older fillies and mares race again on June 10 in the $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes.

The feature race this Sunday is the $50,000 Governor's Handicap, the first stop for older horses headed for the $200,000 Longacres Mile on Aug. 19.

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