Jonathan Horowitz – Aurora, CO – June 18, 2016
Uptown Dannys Boy is finding his funk at Arapahoe Park. In his first start at the Colorado track on May 22, the 4-year-old gray colt broke a 15-year-old track record for five furlongs. Then on Saturday, he prevailed in an exciting stretch duel in the Jerry Partin Memorial COBRA Sprint against Sammy V, the winner of the stake in 2014.
“What a duel down the stretch—as exciting as it gets in horse racing,” trainer Ken Danyluk said.
Uptown Dannys Boy and jockey Tracy Hebert sat just behind leader Sammy V and jockey Carl Williams as the two speedy sprinters blazed through quick fractions for Arabians—23.29 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.32 seconds for the half-mile—and separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the six-furlong, $18,800 Grade 3 stake. Uptown Dannys Boy took the lead in the homestretch and pulled away for a two-length win in 1:18.21.
“I didn’t let [Sammy V] get away from me,” Hebert said. “With Arabians, you can’t get too far behind. When I beat him the last time, I rode him the same way.”
The Jerry Partin Memorial COBRA Sprint was the first Arabian stakes victory for jockey Hebert, a winner of more than 3,800 Thoroughbred races in a career that has spanned four decades. Hebert said he is riding Arabians for the first time since 2008 in Minnesota. He has also ridden Quarter Horses during the Arapahoe Park season for the first time since 2005.
Uptown Dannys Boy was making his first start for new owner Ali Haddad. Danyluk opened up his Barn 31 on the Arapahoe Park backside to fans the morning of the race for tours as part of the Arabian Horse Association’s “Arabian Horse Day at Arapahoe Park.” Uptown Dannys Boy displayed a playful attitude in his stall for families before his tenaciousness hours later on the racetrack.
“He’s very quiet. He’s all business,” Danyluk said.
Saturday was a particularly interactive day at Arapahoe Park because, in addition to the barn tours, the track partnered with the Colorado Horse Council to host the “Heritage Ride.” About 30 people brought horses to Arapahoe Park for a trail ride on the racetrack and the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds.