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HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Grade 1 Stakes at Santa Anita Park

A thrilling photo-finish in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley International Awards Stakes $100,000 Grade 1 race which resulted in a 1-2-3 for trainer Jerenesto Torrez capped what was one of the most exciting race meetings on Saturday, April 7 here at the Santa Anita Park racecourse in Arcadia, California.

It seemed fitting that a Grade 1 Stakes race for Purebred Arabian horses named after Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Emirates, President of the General Women's Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood end in a brilliant win for American lady jockey Sasha Risenhoover.
Risenhoover scored her first Grade 1 win on an Arabian horse when Quick Sand AA headed a 1-2-3 finish for trainer Torrez on a superb day of racing action at Santa Anita.
It was Easter Man under Carol Cedeno which started as the one to beat in the 12-horse race which was being held under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival after Friday night’s Darley Awards.
Torrez, who won the US Darley Award on Friday for Best Trainer in 2017, proved his class when Quick Sand AA under Risenhoover, Easter Man under Carol Cedeno and RB Nash under Keiber Coa-yet another Darley winner on Friday after being voted Best Jockey- all finishing with hardly much to separate them.
The photo gave the verdict in favour of Quick Sand AA and it was also the 27-year-old Oklahoma-based Risenhoover’s biggest win and her third since starting to ride Purebred Arabians.
“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 were both owned by Joseph A and Betty J Gillis.
Earlier in the meeting, the 81st running of the Grade I, US$ One million Santa Anita Derby and the other races proved a huge success on every level, as an on-track crowd of 39,023 (an eight percent increase over last year’s 36,155) turned out for world class performances.
Three-time Dubai World Cup winning trainer Bob Baffert won his record eighth Santa Anita Derby with 4-5 favorite Justify, who won by 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, May 5.
Equally as impressive was the Bill Spawr-conditioned Midnight Bisou, who rallied into the teeth of a slow pace to win the Santa Anita Oaks by 3 ½ lengths. With Smith aboard for a Grade I double, this daughter of Midnight Lute, who is a pair of noses away from being undefeated in five career starts, could be favored in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, to be run on Friday, May 4.
HE Abdulla Al Subose- UAE Consul General in California, HE Mohammed Al Suwaidi -UAE Ambassador to the Oman, Edward Hamod, Director of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Global Promotions- Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Ahmed Al Qubeisi of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Nadim Lahad of Emirates Airline, Khalid Al Hussein- GAYSC representative, Mohammed Abdulla of Al Massood Automobiles, Dr Stephano Daneri of Equicare Veterinary Services, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), American Racing Cup Stewards Michelle Morgan, Denise Gault and Sam Vasquez among others attended the prize distribution ceremony after the HH Sheikha Fatima race.
“Just 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 and as we mark our Festival’s 10th anniversary,” said Ms. Sawaya.
“As part of the Festival’s promotion we also had competitions for ladies in the ‘Best Overall Fashion’ and ‘Best Overall Hat/Fascinator.’ A good number of ladies took part and the winners received gift items and also air-tickets and accommodation for trips to Spain during next month’s World Arabian Horse Racing Conference and also to Abu Dhabi for the November finale of the Festival,” she said.
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.
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