Smith strikes on Sand On Fire in HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies race
8 March 2015, Houston, Texas ~ On 7 March in Houston, hot favorite Valiant Boy SBFAR was a non-starter, and it was the Jerenesto Torres-trained Burning Fleet under Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez that made a driving finish to win the first leg of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Triple Jewel.
The 5-year-old son of Burning Sand (out of Angel Proof) won the US$ 45,000 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – Amethyst Jewel (Grade 1) race over 7-furlongs at the Sam Houston Park on Saturday night.
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – Amethyst Jewel (Grade 1)
The promised rain held off and the weather stayed cool and dry as Sammy V under Alfredo Sigala led the pack out the gate with Burning Fleet a close second. As they turned for the home stretch Burning Fleet took over, and despite running wide had enough to win from the Scott Powell-trained Paddys Day (Kelsi Purcell up) with Quick and Rich under Paul Nolan in third place.
It was the second win for trainer Torres who saddled TM Junior Johnson to a win in this race when it was run as a Group 3 in 2012.
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR Cup Stakes
In the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR Cup Stakes, a race for fillies and mares, Ms Dixie started as the favourite but early in the race was out of the reckoning after a stumble and stutter under Laura Giesgen.
The Lynn Ashby-trained All N All, fresh from a Grade 2 win in Texas Yellow Rose on 21 February and undefeated in her two career efforts, set the pace under Alexandra Bihari. But jockey Rebecca Smith blew by the field on Sand On Fire coming up with a breezy finish after staying in the rear half of the field for much of the race. Throughleap under Catherine Fortune finished third and RB Frynch Broad came in fourth under Whitne Hurst.
The 6-year-old chestnut mare by Burning Sand (out of BJ Zell by Brusally Orlen) forged ahead on the home stretch to win the Ladies championship race and book a spot for the winning jockey for the Abu Dhabi finale in November.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), said, “This is a great start to the Triple Jewel – the three-race Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series- which carries an addition bonus of US $150,000. After this Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – Amethyst Jewel – the next two legs will be held as the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – Emerald Green in Pleasanton and the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – Diamond in Los Alamitos later this year.”
“The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR Cup Stakes race once again proved to be an exciting event and the lady jockeys showed the packed crowds here at the Sam Houston Park racecourse that they are second to none when it comes to riding skills,” Ms Sawaya said.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, Omeir Travels and Racing Post.