President of the United Arab Emirates Cup - Gr I
23 September 2017, Louisville, Kentucky, USA ~ Two $100,000 races held racegoers enthralled on Saturday night 23 September at the famous Churchill Downs racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky.
Richard Klein’s Pinch Hit rallied to grab the lead in mid-stretch and held off a late surge by Champagne Problems to win by a neck in the 42nd running of the $100,000 Dogwood Stakes.
The Dogwood was the feature race on an 11-race “Downs After Dark Presented Stella Artois and Woodford Reserve” nighttime racing program that attracted 15,317 fans.
Immediately following the Dogwood, Tom Fritz’s Michigan homebred Quick and Rich scored a 19-1 upset of Eastern Man and defending champ and two-time reigning Arabian Horse of the Year Paddys Day in the $100,000 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup (GI) for purebred Arabian 4-years-old and up.
Quick and Rich rallied from off the pace under Joe Rocco Jr. to get past 5-2 second choice Eastern Man inside the final sixteenth of a mile to win by three-quarters of a length. Paddys Day, the $0.70-1 favorite, was another 1 ¼ lengths back in third.
Quick and Rich, a 7-year-old son of Th Richie conditioned by eight-time Darley Award-winning trainer Lynn Ashby, stopped the teletimer in 1:54.39 to score the first Grade I win of his career. Overall, it was his seventh win in 26 starts, and the $58,280 winner’s share jumped his earnings to $173,964.
He paid $41.20, $16 and $4.4 in the field of eight en route to his first victory since the Fourth of July in 2015. The upset triumph snapped an 11-race losing streak.
It was Rocco’s third win in the stakes race, his latest was the 2013-14 renewals with Valiant Boy SBFAR. Rocco said: “He ran a huge race tonight. I’ve won this race a couple of other times before and he’s up there with some of the best Arabians I’ve ever ridden. Paddys Day is a very nice horse and tonight we were just the best. I’ll be excited to go back overseas and ride him.”
Trainer Lynn Ashby said: : “The real difference maker tonight was Joe Rocco. He has such a great clock and rode the absolute perfect race. This absolutely made my year to win this race.”
Owner/breeder Tom Fritz said: “I would have never imagined I would get a win at Churchill Downs. To beat a horse like Paddys Day is unbelievable. This is the last horse I bred that will race so it’s very special to win this race.”