By Jonathan Horowitz June 19, 2014 Aurora, CO
Ms Dixie, one week removed from winning the COBRA Distaff Sprint for the third year in a row, and Sammy V, coming off a fast allowance victory over Ms Dixie in May, head a talented field of seven for the COBRA Sprint at Arapahoe Park on Sunday. The 6-furlong, $20,000 stakes race has been upgraded to Grade 3 status by the Arabian Jockey Club for 2014.
Ms Dixie, who is owned by the Quarter Moon Ranch of Lori Long and trainer Scott Powell, has won seven career stakes races, although none have come when racing against males. However the 6-year-old gray mare has come close with a third-place in the Grade 1 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup at Santa Anita last November, the first Arabian race held on the Breeders’ Cup card. Mike Luark will be aboard the two-time Darley Award winner as champion 4-year-old filly in 2012 and champion older mare in 2013.
Ms Dixie was third in the 2013 COBRA Sprint while her stablemate, Mahra T set the track record. Sammy V came close to the 6-furlong track record for Arabians at Arapahoe Park when defeating Ms Dixie in an allowance race on May 31 in his return from a 10-month layoff. Sammy V set a scorching pace of 23.34 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 48.38 seconds for a half-mile before stopping the clock in 1:17.32, .40 seconds off the track record. That was his first race since winning the Grade 3 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup at Pleasanton in California in July 2013. That lone start of 2013 was enough to earn him a Darley Award nomination in the older horse division. Kelsi Purcell will ride the 6-year-old gray horse owned by Sam Vasquez and trained by Renee Lafleur.
Powell will also saddle Butch Cassidy Lzp. He is looking to return to the form that saw him finish second by a nose in 2012 Grade 3 Texas Arabian Derby at Retama Park to Valiant Boy Sbfar, the winner of the Grade 1 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup at Churchill Downs in Kentucky last Saturday. Butch Cassidy Lzp only had one start in 2013 and in 2014.
The COBRA Sprint field also includes 2013 Texas Arabian Oaks winner Zells Follies, Zells Bells, Djets Son, and T M Burning Bridges.