Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - by Jonathan Horowitz
Saturday, July 5, will be a big day in the United States for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival. Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colorado will host the Wathba Stud Farm Cup as part of the global festival. Some of Arapahoe Park’s top Arabians will also travel to California to compete in other festival races at Pleasanton—the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR Stakes.
This is the first year that Arapahoe Park has hosted the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, a global series that takes place in nine countries around the world. Saturday’s race, a 6-furlong contest for maiden fillies and mares, drew a field of 10. Breezell Lzp and Otylia Swa are both coming off second-place finishes at Arapahoe Park. Etres Chic won Arapahoe’s first Wathba Stud Farm Cup on May 25. Arapahoe Park will host one more race in the series on August 10.
Sammy V, who won the Grade 3 COBRA Sprint at Arapahoe Park on June 22, will try to defend his title in the 6-furlong, $47,000 Grade 2 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup at Pleasanton. After winning the race last year, Sammy V was away from the races for 10 months before returning with two victories at Arapahoe Park this season. Juan Sanchez will be aboard the 6-year-old gray horse owned by Sam Vasquez. The field of eight also includes the Vasquez-owned Lacy Vaz, who was most recently third in an allowance race behind Sammy V at Arapahoe Park on May 31, and Arapahoe maiden Ta Line King.
Ms Dixie, a two-time Darley Award champion and three-time winner of the Grade 3 COBRA Distaff Sprint at Arapahoe Park, is entered in the 6-furlong, $40,000 Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR Stakes. The fillies and mares will be ridden by female amateur jockeys from around the world. Giada Menato of Italy will pilot Ms Dixie, a 6-year-old mare owned by the Quarter Moon Ranch of Lori Long and trainer Scott Powell. Ms Dixie was second in the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR Stakes that was held at Sam Houston in Texas in March. Other runners coming from Arapahoe Park are My Vaz Is Hot and Ta Dance Withthe Star. They were fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Ms Dixie in this year’s COBRA Distaff Sprint. My Vaz Is Hot will be ridden by Eilidh Grant representing the United States, and Ta Dance Withthe Star will have Ireland’s Lisa O’Neill in the saddle.
Outside the United States, the Arabian Racing Organisation in England will host a Sheikh Mansoor Festival Raceday on Saturday at Hereford Racecourse.