So Big Is Better Romps Home in Sheikh Zayed Cup
in Los Angeles
September 13, 2013, Los Angeles, California ~Favorite So Big Is Better won the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Arabian Stakes while French amateur Marie Rollando steered Lil Rich Girl to a superb win in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race at Barretts Racing at Fairplex at Los Angeles Thursday, September 12.
The two races were part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival with the ladies race creating history as the first-ever to be held in LA.
In a nine-horse field chasing the prize fund of US $30,000, jockey Jesus Agosto Velazguez rode So Big Is Better and managed to stave off the young challenger Ayers under Barrington Harvey with Luis Medina finishing third on Chollyroger SWA.
So Big Is Better clocked 1:59.11 to in the 1700-metre dirt contest and jockey Velazquez said the workouts on the track here in the previous days helped. “I’ve been galloping here for several days,” he said. “We won in Ferndale (August 25), and I know this horse. This is a very nice horse.” So Big Is Better has 5 wins for 8 starts in 2013.
The loudest cheers of the afternoon at Barretts Fairplex were for the 27-year-old French horse insurance agent and amateur jockey Marie Rollando.
In the 7-furlong race restricted to mares and fillies, Rollando followed trainer Ken Danyluk’s instructions and struck success with Lil Rich Girl winning in style and hot favorite Ms Dixie in third behind TM Maddamme. It was a 1-2 for Danyluk with 17-yr-old USA rider, Zoe Valvo, on the runner-up.
Marie Rollando and Lil Rich Girl
“She was wonderful and did her job; the trainer said to go in front and that is what I did,” said the elated Rollando, who will now appear in the Championship finale in Abu Dhabi in November.
Trainer Danyluk praised his horse and rider, “The filly has enjoyed this track tremendously ever since we came. She moves so effortlessly and the rider did a beautiful job.
Abdulla Ali Al Saboosi, the UAE’s Consul General in Los Angeles; Dr. Wadooda Badran, Advisor of the Arab Women Organisation and Lulwa Alawadhi, member of the Bahraini Consultative Council and Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) for Ladies Racing along with other US Arabian racing officials attended and gave away the trophies for the two races.
The UAE envoy Al Saboosi said, “This is a great start to the Festival’s debut in Los Angeles and I am confident that the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will make a huge impact on Arabian racing in the region.”
“It was heartening to see another new winner in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race series. This reflects the depth of the series and we now move to Stockholm in Sweden for the next leg of the Festival’s races,” Ms Sawaya said.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Invest AD, Arabtec Holding PJSC, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, 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 2013, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Hotel and SPA and Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Pamela Burton