Quick Sand AA leads 1-2-3 for trainer Torrez
7 April 2018, Arcadia, California ~ It was a photo-finish for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley International Awards Stakes $100,000 Grade 1 race, resulting in a 1-2-3 for trainer Jerenesto Torrez on Saturday, 7 April 2018, at Santa Anita Park racecourse in Arcadia, California, USA.
It seemed fitting that a Grade 1 Stakes race for Purebred Arabian horses named after Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the United Arab Emirates and promoter of women, was won by American lady jockey Sasha Risenhoover.
Risenhoover scored her first Grade 1 win on an Arabian horse when Quick Sand AA dashed to the front for a 1-2-3 finish for trainer Torrez, who had won the US Darley Award for Best Trainer for the 2017 season at the International Darley Awards on Friday, 6 April, in Hollywood honoring Arabian race horses.
It was Easter Man under Carol Cedeno that seemed the one to beat in the 12-horse field, and he was a nose behind RB Nash ridden by Darley Award Jockey winner Keiber Coa leading the run down the stretch with Quick Sand AA in hot pursuit. Close to home Quick Sand AA was driving hard under Risenhoover on the outside and it took the photo to determine the order of finish.
The photo gave the verdict in favor of Quick Sand AA by Burning Sand and it was the 27-year-old Oklahoma-based Risenhoover’s biggest win.
“It is a great feeling to win a Grade 1 race and Quick Sand AA settled in well and once we found a gap he put his heart into the race and we managed to strike,” said Risenhoover.
Trainer Torrez said all three of his horses had huge potential and the winner Quick Sand AA and second-placed Easter Man are both owned by Joseph and Betty Gillis.
Earlier in the meeting, the 81st running of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby saw three-time Dubai World Cup winning trainer Bob Baffert win his eighth Santa Anita Derby with 4-5 favorite Justify, finishing three lengths over Bolt d’Oro.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Justify, a striking chestnut colt by Scat Daddy, is now undefeated in three starts and looms as the probable favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Derby on Saturday, 5 May. The day’s racing saw an on-track crowd of 39,023, an eight percent increase over the 2017 attendance figure of 36,155.
Festival Director Lara Sawaya commented: “To have our Festival’s race alongside some of America’s top thoroughbred events is a huge moment for us and that has been complemented by a fantastic finish. It has been a milestone race in the Year of Zayed as we mark our Festival’s 10th anniversary.”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Santa Anita Park donated $50,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) on the sidelines of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley International Awards Stakes.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carrier, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFHRA, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abu Dhabi Youth Council, General Authority for Sports and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Nissan Middleast Al Massood Automobiles, Nirvana Travels and Tourism LLC, Equicare Veterinary Services, Alawal Stud, Cavalos Equine Care & Supplies, SET Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Al Awani General Enterprises, Omeir Travels, Kabale, YAS Channel, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohammed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, , Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2018, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.