Seattle Sounder threw his heart into the last of the 2019 Wathba Stallions Bonus Bonanza races in California to win the $20,000 Championship in Fresno on 12 October 2019.
Settled into the race an easy fourth Seattle Sounder raced alongside stablemate WMA Fantom with Morning Line favorite Skeedaddle running in the pack nearby. Sluffys Gizmo, always advancing from the rear, had moved up to take a brief lead by the head of the stretch and the top contenders pounded down the track four abreast when Seattle Sounder made a determined push taking the lead at the wire, The photo for place showed WMR Fantom second, and Sluffys Gizmo third with Skeedaddle fourth. The finish time for 6 Furlongs was 1:22:31.
The winning bay 3-year-old home bred by Baseq Al Khalediah has run his first three races this year, winning his very first bid at Santa Rosa with his grade, then taking a third to the older horses later at Fresno before this win on 12 October. It did not hurt to have regular jockey Hugo Herrera onboard as he is one of the top Arabian racing jockeys now on California tracks.
Both winner Seattle Sounder and WMA Fantom are owned and trained by Abel and Elisabeth Borg, the two racing their own horses with a passion. Borg has been a consistent winner on California tracks this season with his home-bred horses. (See Racing in California, Meet Trainers Abel and Elisabeth Borg – https://wp.me/p26iCL-Q5d).
Borg commented after the win: “Needless to say a 1-2 win in the BIG race is special.
When two of our home grown babies won early in the season this year, I exclaimed
‘The Lord put wings on their feet.’” Then we were additionally rewarded with wins from WMA Fantom from Rita Deleon’s farm in Texas.
“It was the perfect ending to the relentless efforts of many. Special thanks to Hugo Herrera, our exercise rider and jockey, and to Dr. Cory Soltau who lent his expertise and counsel when we hit the low with Sounder.”
Abel also thanked his wife for her continued fortitude and support.
Arabian Racing Association of California President Dr. Cory Soltau thanked the excellent staff at Fresno racing and the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival for trophies and making this series a success.
Dr. Soltau said of the race: “The day before the race, Sounder had discharge from his nostrils and a slight fever. He seemed to respond greatly to the antibiotics and was his old energetic self on race day. I think we can expect great things from him next year. He’s only a baby. And it’s always a very special day when one one of your own horses that you bred, raised, trained and race under your own silks wins the big one. Congrats to Abel and Sissy for a job well done.”
The WSBB Series has provided a new outlet for many racing Arabians in this new and competitive California series held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, California welcomes back the Festival sponsorship to their racing program.
There were 17 horses that were nominated and competed in this Series as it moved with the California Fair Circuit beginning near San Francisco in June in Pleasanton, then on to the State Capital in Sacramento, then to the Sonoma County Fair at Santa Rosa, before heading to Humboldt County at Ferndale in August, and on to the LA County track of Los Alamitos. The Series season will end in Fresno, on the western edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
PP. Horse, Pedigree, A/S, Jockey Wgt Trainer Owner
1 Seattle Sounder, (Baseq Al Khalediah x Cafe Latte by Falina Des Fabries), 3/C, H Herrera, 125, Abel Borg, Elisabeth Borg – $11,800
2. WMA Fantom – (Sand Tiki Special x Fantoma V), 4/G, JL Dominguez, 131 Abel Borg, Elisabeth Borg, – $4,000
3. Sluffys Gizmo – (Djet Set De Falgas x Gizmoson Fire), 8/M, E McNeil, 128, Helen Shelley, David Kaden.
4. Skeedaddle – (No Limite x Skeezitz), 5/M, F Monroy, 131, Terri Eaton, Dorothy Burt
5. Aura Makarina- (Sammy V x RCF Aura-Leigh), 3/Fm C Herrera, 122, Abel Borg, Elisabeth Borg
6. WHR Incendiary, (Sudden Mischief x AER Volitile), 7/G D A Martin, 128, R E. White, Pleasanton Arabian Racing Club
4. Haffirs Simone (Haffir El Rimal x Du East) 5/M, C Bonnet, 122, H Rubin, Howie Rubin
8. Stylized Lily – (Sadeem x Awesome Blossom), 4/F , P Flores, 122, Ron E White, Pleasanton Arabian Racing Club/Stephanie J Ruff
Photo credit: Thanks to Vassar Photography