July 2, Delaware Race Park ~ The temperate weather promised hot and humid and the temperature soared into the 90’s for race day.
The track was fast as the eight horses took the rail for the 2nd running of the Sh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup Open (Grade II). The purse of over $40,000 brought some well matched Arabian four year olds and up together for the meet, the second Arabian race of the day at Delaware.
TM Fred Texas had just come off a big win in Kentucky where Grilla came in 4th, but Grilla had beaten Fred Texas on their last outing together in his name state. Dixies Valentine was second at the Kentucky race, but Ovour the Top was third. A Ladys Man. by the speed champions Nivour de Cardonne and Lady Wiking had every reason to get in the fray and Rich Frynchman had been out twice this year with a win and a place.
On July 2nd, Grilla took the early lead and showed courage until the stretch when Fred Texas made his move. With his second Arabian win of the day on two rides, Santos Chavez said he was following orders. “I have to thank Ron Martino, ” he said. “Everything went according to plan.”
Breeder, Todd Moak spoke after the race. “We tried to save as much ground in the first turn as we could. It was a good race with a lot of luck. Bill did an excellent job with Grilla. Dixie Valentine, she’s a hard knocking filly and she gives it everything she’s got.”
The purses – $50,000 for the Kentucky sponsored Arabian race, and the Delaware $40,000 + purse are excellent rewards for the sport and good draw for the daily cards, and we have insider news that there will be more of the same to come and maybe on other race tracks.
Delaware Park Racetrack was designed and built by William duPont Jr. with parnter Donald Ross and opened on June 26, 1937. It is the only mid-Atlantic track to hold Arabian races and has a strong following of Arabian and Thoroughbred trainers including Tracy and Rancy Nunley, Ron Martino, Bill Waldron, Lynn Ashby, Maureen Stillwell , John Youngdale, and Felix Payne. Photo gallery: http://photos.horsereporter.com/Racing/Delaware-Color/17835308_tjz8kL
Afleet Alex and Barbaro both won their career debuts at the track although they trained at nearby Fair Hill Training Center. Look for the article about our visit to Fair Hill.