2015 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup
– Amethyst Jewel G1 –
SAND ON FIRE AND BURNING FLEET IMPRESSIVE WINNERS
IN THE ARABIAN RACING FESTIVAL AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Entertaining Camel, Zebra and Ostrich Races Featuring Local Celebrities Attract Big Crowds Both Friday and Saturday Nights
Stories by Martha Claussen, Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park hosted two prestigious Arabian stakes on Saturday, March 7, the $45,000 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – Amethyst Jewel G1 and $38,500 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup, both at a distance of seven furlongs. Also see HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup
Burning Fleet Front Running Victor in the
$45,000, Grade 1,
HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup
- Amethyst Jewel -
A talented group of eleven colts and geldings showed their mettle in the Grade 1, HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup. Betty and Joseph Gillis's homebred Burning Fleet won in gate-to-wire fashion under jockey Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez, covering seven furlongs in 1.33.11.
Trainer Jerenesto Torrez conditions the 5-year-old son of Burning Sand, who won the Texas Arabian Derby at Retama Park on November 14 by 20 lengths. This was his fifth win from 14 starts, and he did it with confidence.
“This horse needs to go to the lead,” said Torrez. “When he gets in front, he does his best running.”
Burning Fleet returned $11.40 for the win. Paddys Day, winner of the Grade 2, $30,000 Texas Six Shooter two weeks ago, was a game second for Quarter Moon Ranch LLC. Jockey Kelsi Purcell had the call aboard the 4-year-old Burning Sand colt, who has won three of his last four starts.
Quick and Rich was third under Paul Nolan followed by Our Princess.
Valiant Boy SbFar was scratched as two flights were cancelled due to winter storms and the 7-year-old French-bred stallion never made it to Houston.